LAST WEEK’S RECAP | May 27 – June 2, 2013

Two friends from the parties who met and played at the parties 2-3 times a week finally got to see each tonight because one has been playing less and the other playing when he isn’t. The less frequent player is expecting his 2nd child in just 2 weeks and has has an 18-month-old who monopolizes much of his time. He said that he has to play with her before leaving for work in the morning or else…. He’s happy that she adores him and vice versa.

We welcomed a couple of newcomers from Englewood and West New York and welcomed back a few returnees from Staten Island, NY, Edgewater and Red Bank.

The newcomers met each other at another tennis event a couple of weeks ago and found us later. They thought they would give our group a try and were glad they did. They said that they felt right at home and really loved the Friday crew. This really is the friendliest bunch and I should call them my WELCOME team. The newcomers are such a breath of fresh air, so vibrant and full of passion for the sport. They truly love the game after having picked up the racquet only once or twice before. With such zealousness, I can’t help but want to make them the player that they want to be by putting them on a Tennis Buffs program I designed for new players. It’s an ancient Chinese secret.

A player from Red Bank, NJ, drove quite a ways just for us. She had so much fun that she will start coming more, especially now that her regular indoor season has ended. I’m glad to have year-round tennis for the avid players. I always tell newcomers that if you love tennis, this group is for you.

A young old-timer moved to Wall, NJ and has recently moved back to the area, North Haledon. He recognized a couple of faces from 5-6 years ago and even remembered that the Transylvanian from Paramus has a big flat serve down the middle and stood towards the middle to return the serve. He said he feels old, rubbing his knees. I dared to ask his age and he said 32! That made me feel ancient.

A regular from Essex Fells has not missed a Friday night except for when he was sick or on vacation. This Friday he left his wife’s party early for the weekly rendezvous with his Friday night tennis friends – a testimony to the strong bond the group has created.

After fun was had by all, players collected the used balls which I save for kids programs. This time there were a few piles of balls stacked in the shape of a pyramid, 3 balls at bottom and 1 on top. The player from Jersey City player explained that they represent the atomic orbitals. I haven’t yet read up on that topic but he constantly keeps the group’s minds stimulated with different topics. Retirement (beginning of 2013) suits him well, as he’s having the free time to enjoy life and share his joys and knowledge with everyone around him.

Congratulations to the new parents from Hoboken, who welcomed a baby boy on June 1st! He’s excited about teaching him tennis next week. Yay to future Feder’s and Nadal’s of future generations.

We are so excited to have met a newcomer who’s attended the last 2 weeks. A perfect fit for the group, he has met so many people and even hung out with several of them at the end of the party. Upon request, he treated us to samples/staples of baked goods from his family bakery including flogera, kourabiedes, finikia and afali and of course baklava. Fourth generation baker, he makes the phyllo by hand which he uses for his savories and desserts. Immediately he hit it off with another player and he’s sure to go there during lunch or after work.
Pastry Monsters
I was sad that our resident 13-year-old player wasn’t going to be there to enjoy the desserts but the father said that he himself will be there with a big fork and spoon. You’ll see to the right, a picture of he and other players enjoying the desserts.

It was like being at an international exhibition match with players originally from Honduras, Peru, England (blond and blue eyes, born in Thailand and carries a Thai passport, to parents from Holland and England, lived in Germany, counts in German, fluent in German, English, French, Dutch and familiar with Italian), Hungary (born there, grew up in France, Venezuela and America), and finally players from the good ol’ US of A! Everyone had such a nice time, no one really wanted to leave. Besides, it had started to drizzle about 7:45 PM.

The newcomer brought his family and immediately everyone took a liking to them, especially the kids ages 2-6. A couple of Friday night friends from Parsippany dropped by to say hello and have dinner with us. They’re getting married in February 2014, another wedding I would love to attend if it wasn’t overseas in the middle of the winter tennis season! For someone who’s big on traditions, I would have liked the traditional wedding but will have to settle for a private ceremony here in the States.

A true Tennis Buff attended Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. He took a tumble on Saturday but he isn’t one to forget about the scores or to forgo playing the next day:

“Sore today. Last night’s match with My-Partner vs. Opponent-#1 and Opponent-#2, we were up 5-4 and had 40-15 on Opponent-#1’s serve. I was running to the net to put away an easy backhand and fell down! Drew blood on my left knee. Opponent-#1 ended up holding and we ended at 5-all. I think I will try to make it there today at 3!” AND he did make it.

He summed up Sunday pretty well:
“It was great on Sunday. Good workout. My-Partner-#1 and I had fun playing together as did My-Partner-#2 and I. Good matches. Fun that he brought the whole family. Between the matches, the kids, teaching the beginner, the food, grill on fire and the storm coming in no wonder you were tired! Ha!”

At the same time, he gave away my secret of feeling wiped out from fatigue on Mondays but it’s the best kind of fatigue. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything, except maybe for a few days on the beach.

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