Friday, March 21, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (March 21)

With the beautiful weather yesterday, our thoughts turned to baseball. I took the boys to Dunham’s, a sports store, to buy Andy a new glove. His current one will be given to Eddie once it’s restrung. Andy also needed a pair of baseball cleats. The ones he wore last summer are a size 6. He now wears a size 9, but I bought him a size 10. There will probably be at least one shoe size of growth between now and August. Eddie also needed new baseball cleats – Andy’s old ones are too worn for hand-me-downs – which I hope he’ll also be able to use for soccer. After this shopping trip, we found ourselves an open baseball field at the old Elm Lawn schoolyard, just a few blocks from the house, and warmed up by throwing the ball around. Eddie no longer flinches when a ball is thrown at him. I threw batting practice to both boys, Andy quickly regaining a mid-season swing. He hit a few sharp line drives to left-centerfield that would have gone for extra-base hits in any of his games. Eddie was a little slow in getting around on the ball, all of his hits going to the right side. Andy volunteered to pitch to me. “Don’t swing hard, Dad,” he cautioned. Ever since my softball days in Oshkosh, I’ve been known for my nasty line drives up the middle. Andy’s has been on the receiving end of a couple of those, so he’s always a little gun shy when he pitches to me.

We talked about using the batting cages at Vitense Golfland but ended up playing miniature golf instead. I had a two-stroke lead over Andy going in the “back nine”, but he erased that advantage and went on to beat me by at least three strokes. Once we returned home at 3:30, JoAnna having finished whatever she needed to do at the campaign office, I picked up the numerous dead branches littering the front and back yard. Middleton must have had some high winds during our brief absence. I also checked the lawn for areas that will need additional reseeding this spring.

During the early evening, leftovers on the menu for supper, JoAnna went to the health club and Andy and I played catch in the open lot next door to us. After I skyed him a series of high pop-ups, Andy threw about 20-25 pitches, just to start the process of getting his arm limbered up.

We have more sunshine today, so from inside the house, it looks very pleasant outdoors. That’s not the case. Blustery conditions have kept the wind chill in the teens range so far today. I still plan to walk to work, though. Later today, Andy has his first soccer practice of the season – indoors, fortunately. 

Before I know it, the boys and I will be on the road, making our way to Pennsylvania again. I’ll probably start packing on Wednesday evening so that everything will be ready to put in the car on Thursday. Following last year’s itinerary, I’d like to leave Middleton at noon, which means getting the boys out of school early. That will make the trip through Chicago less grueling. 

Time for me to take a shower and get something to eat if I want to avoid feeling rushed later this morning. 

We send you our love. The boys and I are looking forward to our return engagement. Andy offered a suggestion for our itinerary during the week. “We should take Grandma to the mall in Jamestown.”

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