One Night In October

Yes, it’s  been a while.  No, I won’t make excuses.  The everyday life of an SID isn’t that exciting and you don’t want to know the mundane details of what makes these writing these posts take a lower priority, but the reality is the writing gets placed on the back burner.  Sometimes things weigh on me enough that I feel like I have to write and this is an outlet for me.  Sometimes you have to cut a vein open and bleed a little, but I’ll get more of that in a little while.

Fall season has come and is going.  A few teams are wrapping up seasons.  The women’s soccer season will come to a close this Saturday while the men’s team is in the post season with a win.  A loss by the men combined with a Briar Cliff loss also gets the Defenders in the eight team post season playoffs.  Here’s to hoping the Defenders take the drama out of it early on Saturday and get the win.

Volleyball continues a road swing that finds them at a Doane team that I don’t think anyone has completely figured out.  Rest assured they got Coach Hanson and the team’s attention when they swept Nebraska Wesleyan last night.  Right now, with a variety of scenarios in place the Defenders could finish anywhere from second to fourth in the standings.  Hastings will finish either third or fourth and Midland is sitting in second behind Northwestern.  Midland has two losses and Northwestern is unbeaten in GPAC play.

Cross country has the week off before running in the GPAC Championships.  Both the men and women are rated in the top-25 in the country.  The women are in pretty rare air right now with a no. 5 spot, the highest in the school’s history in the sport while the men are trying to get traction in the poll and are no. 23 this week.  The Defender men need to make up 30 points on Concordia next week to have a shot at the automatic berth out of the GPAC.  Women have positioned themselves nicely heading into the final two polls of the season.

Football goes to Doane and then Hastings in the coming week.  The Defenders keep getting people back and healthy…I’m anxious to see what this group can still accomplish this fall with three games remaining.

Golf is done for this half of the season, put the clubs away till spring.  I think I speak for the coaches when I say an early spring would be welcome after the spring this past year when the clubs didn’t get out of storage until late April.

Hockey is underway and after pair of wins the first weekend things have gotten difficult.  A trip to Colorado served as further preparation for the Clash in the Corn and the MACHA Conference season that gets underway this Friday and Saturday against Wisconsin Platteville.

And here we are at the start of another basketball season.  Women have already played a game and the men play their season opener against Valley City State on Friday night.  Where’d that off season go?  Women will probably get everyone healthy next week while the men are eager to see how the young kids will mix in with the veterans this season.  Lots of questions that won’t be answered until we’re deep into the season.


Through the course of my time at Dordt College I’ve gotten to meet and know many people and I know that KDCR has many faithful listeners.  Some of them live in a house I’m paying off in Orange City.  Another lives in between Ireton and Hawarden and prior to October 23 another was listening from a hospital room in Sioux Falls.

For 105 days leading up to October 23 Gloria Zylstra spent her time in isolation while she underwent treatment for leukemia.  Treatment, that in the words of Dr. Carl Zylstra, former Dordt President and Gloria’s husband said, was unable to harness the disease.  As of October 23 Gloria was sent home and treatment was stopped.

I’d been told a couple times over the past weeks that Gloria would listen to sports broadcasts online via her computer and the request was made to say hello to her.

I had a hard time picturing a woman that was always active and could be found at most home contests and concerts at Dordt,  sitting in a hospital room by herself listening to our description of the games.

That figure in the parka by the fence at soccer games?  That was Mrs. Zylstra.

The woman taking the time to talk with Dordt employees and the faithful Dordt followers on the west side of the De Witt Gym at volleyball and basketball games? That was her.

The lady who gave each Dordt graduate 5$ on graduation morning so they would have something to give back in a few years, that was her as well.

The baker who made the fantastic cupcakes that went for a mint on the KDCR auctions?  You guessed it.  Gloria Zylstra.

The mom and grandma who showed up at our house in Orange City one spring morning to see my wife’s and my new baby daughter?  Mrs. Zylstra. And she brought some of those cupcakes as well.

My work life is made up of meeting deadlines.  Broadcasts, previews, postgame wrap, Twitter updates calls to TV stations, recording sports updates.  You’ve got to get them done on time.   A little late is too late.  This blog entry was a deadline I felt like I had to meet.

Again from a post by Dr. Zylstra, “We plan on following Dr. Bleeker’s advice to spend the next couple of week’s doing whatever she is up to doing without worrying about the health risks that have preoccupied us for the last few months.”

Without worrying.

Isn’t that ironic?

What the doctors and nurses are telling Gloria and Dr. Zylstra to do is exactly what we are taught as Christians to do every day.  Don’t worry about tomorrow and live today in the promise and hope of Christ’s payment for sins.

So, on the verge of one of the busiest weekends and months of the year, I try to take that to heart.

Don’t worry.

Enjoy the ones you love.

Work as if you are working for the Lord.

There’s enough hurt to go around, but those hurts and pains are only temporary.  But those hurts and pains are very real.

I’m no pastor or theologian.  I’m just a guy making mistakes like the next person.  But the words I’ve heard at literally thousands of church services have come to me and is my prayer for the Zylstras on this Thursday night.

In the days and weeks ahead, May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make his face shine upon you.

And may He give you His peace.


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