Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Boys Of Summer

I drove 300 miles for lunch today, leaving early this morning to get to my appointment. It was in a small town, all crops and church steeples. We ate at the local café, a place full of people whose grandparents and great-grandparents came from Germany so many years ago. Lunch was sauerkraut and sausage and apple sauce and dark bread and dumplings, everything good and made in the kitchen behind the counter. We talked about crop prices, and about the school that closed because there aren't enough kids in town anymore, and about baseball. A lot of the small towns are dying, but until they do, there's still town ball and a chance to remember all the men who ever played on those fields.

I thought about that tonight when our boys were playing their own game.

I thought about it when the kid who hadn't gotten a hit all year lined a triple into left field and jumped up and down on the base while his parents and his grandparents and his teammates and their parents and Coach P. and I jumped up and down with him.

I thought about it when the umpire called one of our runners safe and Coach P. walked over and told him that our guy was late getting to the base and convinced him to change his call, a third out that killed our big inning, and the other coach walked over and said, "Thanks, guys."

I thought about it at the ice cream shop, a place that's become a ritual after games, where my son and his best friends ate their cones and relived the game and chased each other around the picnic tables while we parents told them to settle down without really meaning it.

I thought about it and understood that we do not celebrate wins, we celebrate that our town is still alive, and so are we, and that someday people will talk about the boys and girls who played here.


Chuckles said...

Way to make my childhood look like shit compared to your kids'.

Anonymous said...

Way to be all 'Erma Bombeck'

AG barfs in the corner!

And somehow I think Slorn's parents meant it when they told him to 'cool it'.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Don't listen to AG, Snag.

Your baseball posts are becoming legendary. I come over here looking for weird drinks, savage carnivoroso, and Parenting Tips from Demons, and I go away all teary eyed.

Way to bait and switch. Thanks though.

Anonymous said...

The softer side o' Snag. :)

Snag said...

Erma Bombeck?! I can think of a lot of comparisons, not all of them complimentary, but that's not one I would have picked. Guess I'll have to start writing about septic tanks.

Anonymous said...

The softer side of septic tanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I kind of feel like Chuckles. You are living the dreams we never got to live. Chuckles because he was in Uganda or some such, myself because I had the little league coach that was a shithead.

We're just jealous.

Anonymous said...

Pinko, the guy wasn't a shit head. You sucked, dude. You rode the big wood for all the years and you are just mad. Get some counseling and get on with it.

If you want to write about septic tanks, go over to 3Fools! It would be a welcomed change to the crap they write over there.

And Rodrigo, if you are going to flirt with AG here -- talk American. AG has an American only policy.

Snag said...

Heh. AG said "big wood."

Anonymous said...

AG wishes she were riding some pine.

Anonymous said...

Chuckles Anon, get a life!

AG doesn't ride wood. She clearly wears the pants in family.