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Usually, when Ellen wakes up, she seeks her fathers who are getting ready for a work day. We ask her how she slept. Inevitably, her answer is, “Not well. A cow bit my cheek!”A Cow Bit My Cheek

For the record, we are miles away from cows. Years ago, the sleeping quarters of my relatives in Bavaria were separated by one wall from their barn, but that’s the closest I’ve ever come to being bitten by a cow in my sleep.

I’ve not yet mentioned this to Ellen, so I’m wondering how she came up with the expression while I’m secretly hoping she won’t grow out of it any time soon.

Ellen has a great sense of fun. Are the first words that come out of her mouth in the morning a humorous way of preparing herself for whatever the day tosses in her path?

I’ve learned more from Ellen than anyone in my life. I admire her Come What May stance for the highs and lows life presents during waking and non-waking hours. I can be a little too organized and wanting to be in control of life which of course is often impossible. Letting go and enjoying it has not always been my strong suit, but I’m getting better.

On the tennis front, I’ve been keeping up with the US Open mostly by checking the schedule of play on my computer. It’s only day 2 of the two-week event, the one major tournament I’ve actually been to several times. The last match of the day yesterday, the only one I watched live on TV here in Hawaii, was a thriller. Alison Riske played a smart, steady game against Madison Keys, but could not match her power hitting and faded in the third set. What I’ve followed during little breaks at work today has been heartening: I almost always root for the veterans, and Venus Williams won a tight three-setter. Since I no longer write for tennis publications, I can also be more open about my favorite players, so, yes, I’m happy Stan Wawrinka won his opening round against a very talented Fernando Verdasco. A player whom I wrote about in the first weeks of this blog, Nicolas Mahut, also won in straight sets.

The match last night between Alison and Madison featured two world-class athletes who gave their all and then some in front of thousands of loud spectators until about 2 a.m. New York time. They mostly kept their composure, sense of purpose, accuracy, and humor throughout the long match. I’m sure there were plenty of occasions when they must have felt that a cow bit them, but they sure didn’t let on if they did!