Baseball Season is Upon Us

A baseball field with the batter up and ready to hit.

The rain has been persistent for the last two days and appears to be determined to hang around for at least one more day. We certainly needed the rain to wash away the pollen that is everywhere, causing runny noses and tearful eyes. But, we are ready for some sunshine and the opportunity to get outside and do things. Somehow, rainy days always depress me. I remember that being so when I was a boy running around in our coal camp (Page). I also remember that when it rained it came down in buckets. Us kids would stand under the water as it cascaded off the roofs, as it was the only way to get cool in the summer. I never saw an air conditioner until I left home and went into the US Air Force. Heat & AC are available now just by moving a lever on the wall unit. Lord knows I should be much happier now than I was back then and, maybe, I am. Life was so simple and there may be a lot to say about a simple life. I wonder what I would say if I should be lucky enough to stand in front of St. Peter and he says, “Ok, what’ll it be, the Simple Life, or, one more complicated, but with more pleasures?â€. “St Peterâ€, says I, “how about a mixture of both?â€. “Nopeâ€, says he, “it has to be one or the other!†  Pleading, I say, “Could I at least have my laptop?†  I imagine that’s when he does what my 3rd grade teacher (Mrs. Angell) always did: draw a circle on the chalk board and make me stand there for an hour with my nose in it. Come to think of it, I think that circle did some psychological damage. Maybe, I can use that as an excuse. Surely, St. Pete knows the damage a circle like that can have on a young kid.

Jerilyn’s mother (Gladys) will be moved from the Health Care unit (HC) of her retirement community back to her apartment this Friday. Health Care provides 24 hour care and, of course, once she gets back to her apartment she has to look after herself. We are hoping for the best. We went over Sunday and took her to her apartment in a wheelchair and let her practice walking to the community dining room, just to make sure she could do it. At 89, she is quite weak and very unwilling to exert any energy. I think she would like to stay permanently in HC, but that unit is for those residents severely disabled.   Jerilyn & I went shopping last week and bought her a new, 26†TV. The one she has is very old and huge. It works well, but we decided she needed one with a better picture and more easily moved. We anticipate she will be back in HC before too long, for one reason, or the other.

We attended a city wide yard sale last Saturday morning. We arose early (0530), ate breakfast and headed off for the sale least someone should grab up all the bargins. I was standing at a table with a very nice patriotic wall flag, picking it up and looking at the price tag on the back, when I noticed the owner close by. “Heyâ€, says I, “how much is this flag?â€. “$10†she responds. “Ohâ€, says the lady next to her, “I just looked at that flag and decided not to buy it because it said $40â€. She then quickly walks over to me and says, “If you lay it down I want it!â€.   Everybody that goes to a yard sale is looking for the “I bet you can’t guess what I paid for this?†item. Now it’s impossible for me to lay it back down and then walk around thinking about it before I buy. I either have to buy this thing now or she gets it. Like the dummy I am, I proudly yell “SOLD!†and reach for my wallet. Later, as we walked back to the truck, I had a sneaky suspicion about being set up. Now, I know that chalkboard circle thing did some psychological damage!

On the way back home from the above yard sale, we stopped at another one. They had one of those ladders that you can make into a platform to do various things to the side of your house (repairs, wash windows, etc.). The price on it was $75. I inquired as to their best price and the lady says $65. Trying to atone for the previously perceived hustling I declined to bite that hook. As we got in the truck, I told Jerilyn about it and that I was only willing to pay $55. She makes a beeline to the lady, gives her our phone number and tells her to call if the ladder doesn’t sell and she’s willing to take $55. I have been sitting by the phone for 2 days now. I wish she would hurry and call. I’m missing all my good TV shows.

Well, the baseball season is upon us and I have yet to see my first game. Jerilyn’s grandson, Brandon, is involved with the Little League and I enjoy watching him play. The weather has started to warm up and spring is in the air. I always look in the Sports Section of our local paper to see how the Dodgers and Yankees are doing. The Dodgers were KD’s favorite team (since childhood) and following them, somehow, keeps me connected with him. Mary (my adopted sister), stays busy with LL baseball. I plan on getting out and watching one of her teams play this summer (she’s the league’s president).   I coached her son (Duke) in baseball for a couple of years in the early 80’s. As a matter of fact, his nickname comes from the popular Centerfielder of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Duke Snyder. Baseball is such a wonderful distraction from the worries in our life. Isn’t it great that the only thing that matters for a few brief hours is how many runs we can score, how many batters we can strke out, or how many times we can hit the ball.

Have you noticed the price of a barrel of oil lately? Last time I checked it was $117 and the average price for a gallon of gas nationwide was $3.50 and no relief in sight. I wonder how high it will have to go before I change my driving habits? Right now, I’m guessing that $4.00/gallon will cause me to plan my trips more carefully and $5.00/gallon will give me severe heartburn. At $6.00/gallon the bicycle comes out and some serious pedaling takes place. At $7.00/gallon the possibility of buying a motor scooter crosses my mind and all discretionary traveling stops. Should I blame the Arabs or am I to blame because I am unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices. Aww shucks, I’m back to that chalkboard circle again.

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I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world. Thanks for reading my weekly missive.


“Paradise is here or nowhere: You must take your joy with you, or you will never find it.” ….O.S. Marden