God I love spring.
I finally replaced the old rusty basketball hoop in my yard with a new one. The old one served me well for over 10 years and I have so many fond memories of that hoop. I remember the whole process of putting it together. My cousin was living at our house at the time, and as just a callow little boy, I didn’t play a huge part in the assembly process. The breaking of the existing blacktop, the 2 feet deep hole we dug up to bury a portion of the pole , the 2 days-which felt like weeks- of waiting for the cement to harden, I was just an impatient observer of its construction. But when it was finally put together, I spent so much time in my yard shooting hoops, meeting new friends in my neighborhood–who all seemed to gravitate to my new hoop; so many great memories.
But time doesn’t discriminate–even for basketball hoops. After a decade of attrition, piece-by-piece of my hoop started to come apart. First the mechanism that raised and lowered the hoop, started to malfunction, and then broke off. Then the rim started to bend so that it was no longer parallel to the ground. And then, the rim broke off completely :'(. Now it was just a backboard. A sad sight.
Then came the Winter of Despair. This last winter, during a night of a frightfully powerful storm, the wind came and tore down the backboard of my hoop. Now it was just a pole–a rusty, despondent, semi-black pole.
But last weekend, I replaced the whole thing. This time I did most of the assembly, although my cousin (a different cousin) helped a bit.
The first shot I took on my new hoop: a brick! The ball bounced off the rim and landed back into my hands, as though the hoop completely rejected my attempt.
So although the new hoop is brand new and glossy black, I’m still a little rusty. And maybe I am getting a wee-bit maudlin about something as material as a basketball hoop. But it’s sure nice to look out through the window and see a brand new hoop again.