Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Relief has arrived. Yesterday we received an unexpected break in the weather. The Sunday forecast for this week was a steady diet of high temperatures in the 90s. High humidity, too, of course. After two days of hot and muggy weather, the temperature remained in the 80s yesterday, and the evening was actually quite comfortable while we watched Andy’s baseball game. Thunderstorms had been predicted for the late evening but never arrived. Now the rest of the week is doing to be pleasant: sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s.

In order to beat the heat at home, we keep the house closed up during the day. That deprives Boxer from sitting on a window ledge, but it also keeps the hot air from seeping into the house. The four silver maples in our yard provide an umbrella of coolness. Without them, the house would be baking in the sun all day. During the evening, we run window fans in the bedrooms and ceiling fans in the dining area and kitchen. I think I neglected to mention this in a recent letter, but a couple weeks ago, JoAnna and I installed a ceiling fan in the kitchen. Ourselves. Without assistance. Successfully. It certainly made a difference when JoAnna was doing all her cooking and baking for the party. Our kitchen tends to trap heat. The fan helps to disperse it. Anyway, we were quite pleased with ourselves over what was admittedly was a very modest project, but then neither of us is the handiest person in the world.

Last night Andy’s team – they dubbed themselves the Road Kill at the beginning of the season – played the only undefeated team in the league. In their first meeting in June, they lost 11-8, and Andy’s pitching performance was a little shaky. He was the starting pitcher in the rematch, giving up 3 runs in the first inning. He pitched well, but the opposing team was getting the bat on the ball. Two hits to the outfield got past the defense, and the runners were able to take an extra base. One of the balls had an outside chance of being caught, although it would have been a tough play to make. Andy shook it off and came back to strike out the side in the second. Johnny Strnad pitched the next two innings, giving up one run in the 3rd. In the bottom of the 4th, the exploded for 5 runs, Johnny hitting a tripe with the bases loaded. Johnny is the team’s best player, but he hasn’t always performed well in clutch situations, but last night he redeemed himself and really smacked the ball. Wesley Bonebrake pitched the final two innings, making things interesting in the top of the 6th when a single and a couple walks loaded the bases. The other team scored just one run. Final score: 7-5. It was a very exciting game, and the boys, of course, were happy to beat the 1st place team.
Andy plays three games this week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday – and then has a select team practice on Saturday morning. The select team played Tuesday evening against a team from Cross Plains, a community seven miles west of Middleton. Initially, they thought they’d be playing against another select team, but that wasn’t the case. As a result, it was a very one-sided affair, Middleton winning 21-3. Andy pitched the second inning, striking out the side. I was at a library board meeting and JoAnna was at a fundraiser. The swimming pool served as Eddie’s sitter, a situation that he enjoys as he’ll always run into someone he knows there. He doesn’t enjoy watching Andy’s games and gets bored trying to find something to do. JoAnna and I didn’t make precise arrangements as to who would be where during the evening. The board meetings sometimes run past 8:00, but Tuesday’s was adjourned at 7:40. I thought I’d better check on Eddie at the pool since it closes at 8:00. He was still there, and we found JoAnna at Andy’s game. If the meeting had run past 8:00, Eddie would have been standing around for while wondering where his ride was.

Andy’s activity at the Camp of the Trails this week is canoeing, so he is spending a lot of time outdoors. At the beginning of the week, I was concerned about the heat and humidity sapping all of his stamina before Friday. Another reason I was happy to see cooler weather arrive. Andy did complain about being tired yesterday morning but got out of bed with no prodding this morning. Eddie’s group went to the county fair yesterday, which may be our destination this evening. He wants to go on the rides. 

With all this activity later in the day, evening mealtimes are difficult to arrange. Monday was on the order of serve yourself. After Tuesday’s baseball game, I detoured through McDonald’s drive-through on the way home. The boys ordered their regular fare. A chicken McNugget happy meal for Eddie, with barbecue sauce and a Coke. A 5-piece McNugget with a super-size fries and a large Sprite for Andy. JoAnna asked me to pick her up two chicken fajitas. I opted to fix myself a turkey and cheese sandwich fired up with Pelligrino peppers at home. Last night, we went to Culver’s, actually eating our meal at a table inside the restaurant. JoAnna has a meeting tonight, so the boys and I will get our dinner at one of the concessions at the county fair. At yesterday’s game, one of the parents talked about getting a group together and going out after tomorrow’s game. We’ll most likely be in Two Rivers on Saturday for Larry’s surprise birthday party, which Albert is arranging. That means a surprise party is an unlikely outcome. JoAnna called her sister Cindy yesterday, to ask if we could stay at her house in Manitowoc. Cindy said, “Sure, but I probably won’t’ be around Saturday night.” 

“Albert definitely isn’t communicating with Cindy about this party,” JoAnna concluded after relaying this news to me.

As much as I’ve encouraged her to take the time off, JoAnna doesn’t feel that she can get away during the week of August 2nd. Here’s how our schedule is shaping up.

Friday, July 31. I have to work, as I’m only one of three people scheduled to be at the library. Three staff members are on vacation that day. JoAnna and Eddie will leave for Two Rivers to attend the Richard family reunion.

Saturday, August 1. Andy’s select baseball team plays a tournament in Reedsburg. 

Sunday, August 2. Depending on how the team does, the team will continue their tournament play. If the format is like the Beaver Dam tourney, they’ll play at least one game on this day. From Reedsburg, we’ll drive to Two Rivers, long before dark, I hope.

Monday, August 3. The boys and I will leave for Warren. Depending upon our Reedsburg departure time, we may try to drive through Chicago and find a motel in western Indiana. Our expected time of arrival should be late afternoon.

Friday, August 7. I’ll probably leave for Lorain, Ohio, since I want to attend Renee’s bat mitzvah the next day. It starts at 9:30. From here, I’ll continue on to Middleton.

Friday, August 14. I have to attend a Wisconsin Library Association board of directors meeting in La Crosse, which will add a couple hours to my return trip. The meeting will probably last until 3:00. My destination will be central Indiana.

Saturday, August 15. If I’m lucky, I’ll pull into the driveway at 4 East Third Avenue during the early afternoon. I should be able to stay over through Tuesday, making the return trip with the boys on

Tuesday, the 19th. I have a meeting on Wednesday that I can’t skip out on. Thursday is our annual staff in-service workshop at the library. Then before you know it, school starts. But we’re not there yet. Plenty of summer left. Let me back up and enjoy the present.

Two letters this week. Now you can plan your calendar.

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