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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Report from the eve of summer


Blogging has been scarce. What with the garden, yard work, and maintenance on the palatial retirement compound. And baseball... I really don't know how I managed to find time to work before retirement.

Over the past weeks I’ve had a birthday and an anniversary. Frankly, I never thought I would live this long and there is little doubt that I married a Saint. No ordinary female would have put up with me all these years.

I am and have been power washing the outside of the house and deck. The house because it has become dirty with some mold and the deck because it has collected mold and dirt, especially where the trees and bushes nudge up against it and must be cleaned before it is re-treated with water repellant and stain. Such is the penalty of living where snow and ice are rare occurrences.

The garden has caught up. The tomatoes are loading up with fruit… yes city boys and girls tomatoes are a fruit…and the cukes are growing so fast you can almost see them. We had fresh onions as a side salad dish last night and they were as sweet and tasty as your first kiss.

Coaching youth baseball is like herding cats… It can be done but only if the cats agree. I think that is true of most activities that our kids engage in. I practice loud praise in public and criticize quietly in the dugout. So far only one parent has decided the position that their child must play and after discussion he wisely agreed that the team needed his son’s strong arm in the outfield to turn the triples into doubles and singles.

Baseball is the most American sport because each player stands alone and performs before all who watch. It is the game of farmers and shop keepers and small business owners. There are routine plays after routine plays that must be done flawlessly with no great fanfare or expectation. Yet there are times when a player must step forward and do the unexpected great act. The diving stop to save a run and the game… the single up the middle by the “good field no hit” infielder.

But the best thing about baseball and kids is that it teaches them that the fun is in trying. And that while losing today’s game is bad there will be another game and that if they work hard and play hard they can win that next game.

Persistence is the most important virtue.

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