Friday, July 19, 2013

On This Date in 1998

I feel somewhat lethargic today, drained of energy after a weekend that consisted of a lot of sun and water. Perfect weather conditions beckoned us outdoors, and we couldn’t resist the lure. My arms and shoulders are also a bit sore as a result of reacquainting myself with a baseball bat on Saturday. The details are forthcoming.

In my previous letter, I mentioned the possibility of a visit to the county fair last Thursday evening. We didn’t go. On the drive home, I asked Andy what he wanted to do.

“Stay home,” was his response.

I wasn’t surprised, considering his busy week of baseball, two games in two nights with another game and a practice still to come. We didn’t veg out the entire evening, though. Soon after JoAnna returned home from a meeting, somewhere around 7:30, Andy suggested we ride our bikes to Old Elm Lawn so he could practice his pitching and batting. I’m always happy to oblige when it comes to baseball.

Andy played in another exciting game Friday evening. He pitched the first two innings, giving up an unearned run in the first when a ground ball, a potential third out, went through the shortstop’s legs. The Road Kill won in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. The ball was hit to the second baseman, and he didn’t try to make a play at the plate. If Andy’s team hadn’t scored, the game would have ended in a draw. No extra innings in the Little Bucks league.

After the game, we joined a group of parents and kids at Damon’s for dinner and trivia. The group included two couples, two (divorced) moms, and 6 boys (Wesley from Andy’s team; Wesley’s brother Kyle, who is Eddie’s age; Ross Parks, and Ross Hellenbrand). Both Rosses have played on the T. Rex’s, Andy’s soccer tame, since its formation when they were in kindergarten.

Andy had a select team baseball practice Saturday morning. During that time, I made three stops on the east side of Madison to return items that people loaned us for our party. A table and 8 plastic molded chairs. Two chafing dishes. A bug fogger. JoAnna and Andy went golfing in the afternoon (par 3). Eddie and I went to the pool, where we stayed for nearly four hours. JoAnna and Andy were supposed to join us after their 9 holes, but both preferred to rest. Andy was sacked out on the family room couch, and JoAnna was stretch out on top of the bed. We had a light supper: French bread, cheese, fruits, including watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes. We weren’t in the mood to cook or even fire up the grill. After Andy and I conducted another pitching and batting session, the family went to Michael’s Frozen Custard. I had my first turtle sundae of the season, at least I think it was my first.

On Sunday I was hoping to get some yard work done. I need to do a little “patching” in the front yard. Andy and Eddie had different ideas. While JoAnna prepared a salad for dinner and washed the kitchen floor, the boys and I went miniature golfing at Vitense Golfland in Madison. Eddie actually stayed even with Andy and me during the first 9 holes but lost his focus a little bit during the second 9. Before leaving, we tired out the new batting cages. Baseball: fast, medium, and slow. Softball: fast and slow. At first I just watched while Andy took some swings (a 50-cent token buys 12 balls), but then I decided, “Hey, this looks like fun, I want to try it myself.”

I chose a slow-pitch softball cage and was soon reliving my glory days on the Pot Luck Food Buying Club team in Oshkosh. Both boys expressed surprise at how hard I was hitting the balls. I was a little surprised myself considering how long it’s been since I’ve swung a bat. Eddie wanted to get into the act, and even though a sign said no one under 9 years old was allowed to use the batting cages, I told him to put on a helmet and try the slow softball pitching. He did very well, rarely missing a pitch. We spent $20 rather quickly here and on the walk back to the car, started talking about next week’s visit.

Before returning home, we stopped at Dunham’s, a sporting goods store, where Andy bought a bat and a helmet. The latter will be useful to have when I pitch to Andy. I’ll be less concerned about an errant fastball. Andy and I spent the entire afternoon at the pool. Eddie’s visit was interrupted by a trip to the county fair, where he and JoAnna were helping out at the cub scout booth. Not wanting to ruin her “do”, JoAnna opted to visit the pool later in the afternoon.

Today my face is on the reddish state, but there is no sting or pain involved. I probably should get into the habit of using sunblock. At least I’ll be out of the sun for the remainder of the week. More hot weather has come our way. We’ll hit 90 degrees today and tomorrow, but by Wednesday things will cool down a bit. 

So, outside of the basics of keeping up with the laundry, tidying up the house, and vacuuming, the weekend was pretty much all play. Not that I had any pressing chores to tackle. I can work on the yard a little bit at a time in the morning, after my Walkfit exercise and before I shower and get dressed. I can usually fit in 30-45 minutes of chore time when I get up with the alarm at 6:00. Occasionally, though, I’ll sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep.

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