Last weekend I had to slather on the sunblock, order an iced latte, and sleep with the fan on. This weekend I need a sweatshirt, an extra hot latte and my down comforter.
This weekend we have baseball up the wazzoo. Darren has a tournament which means 5:00 Friday (we won), 4:30 and 7:00 Sat, 7:00 Sun. and if we do well, more games on Monday. Payton had a 5:30 on Friday (we won) and an 11:00 on Sunday. He was also supposed to have a 1:30 on Sunday but mercifully, that was canceled. With all of this time spent outside, I was hoping for at least 70 and some sunshine. But no.
OK, so get over it, wimp. I am more comfortable in wintertime clothes anyway, so at least there is that. And I would rather be here dealing with this weather (cloudy and 55) than in Oklahoma and Kansas (and Colorado for that matter) dealing with twisters. I had enough of that as a kid growing up in Illinois. Been there, done that. Thank you very much.
So I'll OD on 'bucks and don my fave hoodie and have fun with it anyway. I do love my baseball and my boys and so what am I bitching about?
It's that time of year again. My favorite time. Filled with ball game after ball game (that's what happens when you have 2 boys who also love the game). I've been through a whole 6 oz bag of ranch flavored sunflower seeds in less than 3 games. They are a must have for me as I watch my boys play.
Although Payton has grass allergies, he still loves the smell of the grass in spring just like I do. Combined with the smell of a freshly oiled mitt and we're in heaven.
Dan is coaching Darren's team again this year. We will spend many evenings and Saturdays dashing between ball fields. A little easier this year than in the past because Payton can drive himself to and from games now. Still, we find our lives revolving around a little leather-wrapped ball with red stitches. Some games will be cold and windy, others hot and sunny. Either way, we will love it.
People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell
you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers
I'm always talking about the ballgames that we go to constantly. With 2 teen-aged boys who love baseball, it isn't often that we have a weekend without it.
Good thing I love it so much!
There have been only two geniuses in the world: Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare. -- Tallulah Bankhead
I played softball from about 5th grade off and on (mostly on) into high school. My grandfather took me to my first MLB game at Candlestick in 1978. Some of the more memorable players at the time (in my eyes) were Willie McCovey, Jack Clark, John Montefusco, Vida Blue, Johnny LeMaster and Darrel Evans. Giants fans, now doesn't THAT bring you back in time?
You know it's summertime at Candlestick when the fog rolls in, the wind
kicks up, and you see the center fielder slicing open a caribou to
survive the ninth inning. ~Bob Sarlette
Ever since then, I have been a big (National League) baseball fan. Dan and I spent much of our "courtship" at the Stick in the $2.50 per seat bleachers. If we weren't at the game, we had it on the radio or the TV. Yes, I'm one of those freaks who loves to watch baseball, even on TV. The day after we got married, we took all of our groomsmen to the fan appreciation ball game vs. the Dodgers (1990). When we were in college at Chico State (about a 3 hour drive to the Stick) we would come home with our friend Ted (otherwise known as Theotis) for a weekend series: catch the Friday night game on our way into town, then the Saturday game and the Sunday game on our way back to Chico. Now THOSE were the days.
Edit: My dear friend "Theotis" as mentioned above just reminded me of the Tuesday night 14 inning marathon game against the Cubs, with a wind-chill factor of about 18 degrees. We got back to Chico at around 4:00 AM! If memory serves we made the journey in the Theotis-mobile, a brown VW Rabbit. ooooohhh memories!
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game
begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in
the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as
the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.
~A. Bartlett Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind," Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977
Then, when we had kids, we of course brainwashed them early. Both of our kids' birth announcements were baseball cards with their photos in their newborn Giant's gear on one side and their stats on the back. When Payton was about 2 years old, he could list, IN ORDER, the Giants starting line-up. This great feat led to Dan and I deciding that Darren would be a good name for our second son, because when Payton said, "Darren Lewis" it just sounded so damn cute. In fact, in the delivery room, Dan showed me the newspaper with the box score from the day before to make sure I liked the way the name looked in print. I did, and so our son was named after the Giant's outfielder.
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I tried all the major religions
and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma,
Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For
instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108
stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance.
~Ron Shelton, Bull Durham, 1988
For the last 12 years we have been watching our own boys play, and I must say that watching them play is what it is all about. From T-Ball when they were 4 to the high school games we watch now, I must say that there is nothing I would rather do than park my butt in one of those fold out chairs with a pack of Ranch flavored seeds and an ice cold water and watch the boys play. Because we have lived in the same town since the boys were 2 and 4, we have grown close with all of the other boys and their parents (in fact we are going to Maui with about 5 families in August this year) and it is the best community of people you could wish for.
So when you hear me say we had 3 ball games this weekend it usually means that we didn't get much done around the house or had much time for doing anything else (except for going out with some of the other baseball parents). But it also means that we had a great time.
And there is no end in sight. It looks like Darren will be able to play all 4 years in High School as he is going to a school that is pretty small and everyone makes the team. Payton just finished his JV season at Serra and although making the Varsity team will really difficult, he is hopeful. He is now playing summer ball in the Colt league in San Carlos with all of his friends.
Baseball is reassuring. It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up. ~Sharon Olds, This Sporting Life, 1987
And I still love to plant my butt on the couch and watch the Little League World Series, or college ball, or the big leagues. Some of my favorite movies include The Sandlot, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and The Natural. We will be making a trip to New York in the next year or two and you can count on us including a trip to Cooperstown.