The Epiphany, the Yarn Crawl and Coach

I had an epiphany this past week. Now, most of you are surprised that I know what the word epiphany means, much less actually have one. I’m here to tell you I am a product of public schools and I have a diploma to prove it. I might not know exactly where my diploma is located, but I am guessing it is somewhere in this house with Elaine's two CSU diplomas.


There is a story behind my actually receiving my diploma. About two weeks before graduation day my counselor informed me between my vocational school credits and high school credits, I was one English credit short for graduation.


My counselor accepted some of the responsibility and suggest I write a one-thousand-word essay I the subject of my choice. If I agreed to write the essay, I would earn the English credit. Seemed simple enough, I chose to write a biographical essay on Michelangelo. I have no idea why I chose Michelangelo and wouldn’t have chosen that subject today.


Trust me, I wasn’t going to enjoy (and didn’t) writing an essay in the last two weeks of high school.

About three paragraphs into the essay, I came to the realization that small words typed had the same value as long words. Michelangelo is a long word. I changed his name to Mike. I thought it was brilliant. Elaine, (yes, that Elaine, who was my proofreader then; as well as today. As well as the love of my life. Blame her for typos.) on the other hand was horrified.


I explained to Elaine there was no way Michelangelo’s friends called him by his full name. With the amount of research, I did on his life, I felt like his friend.

I have no idea if anyone at the school ever read my essay, but somewhere in this house is a signed diploma with my name (not Monner) on it.


I have another high school-related story with a current twist, but,


Back to the epiphany. Your Daily Fiber will not be participating in this years’ Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl. For the past ten years or so, Your Daily Fiber along with other yarn stores from northern Colorado and southern Wyoming celebrated each year Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl. Prizes were given, stores gave away patterns and stuff. Some stores held events, classes with special teachers. I was never asked to teach by any of the stores, and I’m not bitter. I realize most people know how to carry heavy stuff or take naps in the store.

I’m not sure why it was called a Yarn Crawl, because in all those years not one person crawled into the store. Some of you sprinted around the store, collected your free stuff, and boom, out the door. Maybe my snoring offended them.


Back to the epiphany, along with realizing we will not be participating, I will not be dyeing yarn specifically for the celebration. In the past, Ivy (and Elaine) insisted, unceremoniously that I dye skeins of yarn in combinations of colors I have never used before.


If you read the paragraphs above, you might have concluded, I am not opposed to looking for short-cuts. Dyeing yarn is time-consuming. I’m not sure if I will miss it. I will miss the customers crawling (running) around the brick and mortar. I will miss “napping” up on the mezzanine, listening to you guys asking, “Is that someone snoring?” I wake up easily.


Enjoy the Yarn Crawl. Several northern Colorado and southern Wyoming stores are will be continuing with Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl this year. As I understand it, a few stores have dropped out due to the beervirus. Check out the store that stayed in, they deserve your support.


I promised another story. As a high schooler, one of my high school football coaches lived on our street. I knew him pretty well as I had delivered the local newspaper to his house in my pre-high school years.


By my senior year, I had realized my football career was about over. (There was this kid from Colorado Springs that taught a bunch of us where football was headed. He went on to play for the Buffalo Bills.)

I was goofing around in practice and upset my coach (neighbor). He told me that I would not be able to play in Friday night’s game. The game was to be played in a town one hundred miles from our school. Coach told me I could accompany the team and he would decide if I played as the game went on.


It was one of those games where we not only played the other team but we played against the weather. It was snowing hard. When I say we, I meant everyone but me. Coach kept me out of the entire game. Standing in the snow, I came to a decision. (Elaine has her own story about that game, but she doesn’t write stories. If she did she would tell a story about a hair-raising ride home involving a couple of my friends and the Colorado State Patrol.)


On the bus ride home, Coach asked me,


Coach: Did we learn a lesson? Me: Yes, I learned Monday I am turning in my gear. Coach: That is not the lesson I was hoping for, you will regret that your entire life.


Friday afternoon, on the way home from work I stopped at the local grocery store. Friday night is sushi night in northern Colorado. Yes, I eat sushi, not that octopus and eel stuff. Or shark, I have made a pact with nature not to eat something that can eat me. Some of you might be amazed at how refined Elaine has required me to become.


Have you ever had that feeling someone is watching you? I took a while to pick out the cartons of sushi that did not contain octopus or eel. I turned to make eye contact with a guy inspecting watermelons. We nodded politely and walked on by. I am not the type of person that can strike up a conversation with strangers. (You should be happy about that because if I liked talking to strangers, I would run for office and straighten this (construction language) out!)


Anyway, something about this stranger bugged me. By the time I convinced myself to talk to him, he and made his way to the meat section. I chased him through the store. If he hadn’t stopped to look at beef steaks, I doubt I could have caught up to him.


Me: Coach I__________? Monner Sipes. (OK, I lied. I used my old name.) Coach: My God, I thought I knew you. I wasn’t sure. Me: I wasn’t sure either. Coach: What year did you graduate?


It was obvious he didn’t read the “Mike” essay, or he would have remembered the year.

Me: 19%$ Coach: That was the first year of the new school. Me: Yes, it was. Coach: We had a great team that year. Me: Yes, we did.


We spent at least a half-hour reminiscing about a football team from 40 plus years ago. We talked about playing against each other in men’s fast-pitch softball. We talked about my brothers. He asked me if I had retired? He saw my slightly whitened hair and beard. His hair was brown and plentiful.


The one thing we didn’t talk about was whether I had regretted my decision to end my football career. I really haven’t. I would have regretted not chasing him across the store. I’m happy about that decision.


Our crazy lives!


Monner