My Family (a long time ago)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Ahead

This last week has been one of the most wonderful weeks I’ve had in months. We have turned the corner from winter to spring, and spring is breaking out everywhere. The daytime temperatures are well above freezing and when the wind isn’t blowing it is actually quite pleasant outside. The trees are starting to bud, the grass has turned ever so slightly greener and flowers are starting to pop up in people’s yards. We’re even starting to reap some benefits from Daylight Saving Time, with the hours of sunlight getting longer.

One thing that happened last week is one of my all-time favorite spring rituals. I had to run out to the store for something and when I came back I heard the sound that tells me it is truly spring – peepers! No, not perverts looking in people’s windows, but those little critters that create a symphony of sound every spring. Until I hear those guys it isn’t spring for me. It doesn’t matter the date or if spring has officially arrived, if I don’t hear those peepers, it’s still winter. After a long, cold winter like we had this year, I could listen to the peepers for hours. It is one of the sounds that truly make me happy every year. I bet when I’m 90 I’ll still love to hear the peepers – that is if I can still hear then!

Another day we had a fairly heavy downpour just before I left for work and it was still raining a little as I drove home. Then, just as abruptly as spring showers start, the rain stopped and the sun came out. In front of me, looming over the highway was a very bright and colorful rainbow. It looked incredible and I kept taking peeks at it as I made my way home. Maybe it’s hokey, but there’s something comforting about seeing a rainbow after heavy rain. It makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.

To top it all off, baseball started last week! I may not be into baseball as much I used to be, but when the season begins it tells me that better things are coming – warmer weather, longer days, being outside more, cookouts, vacations, the beach! Sure, it’s going to be a while before we can do some of these things, like go to the beach, but those wonderful days are coming. There’s nothing like watching a ball game on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon in the summer, sipping a cold drink and relaxing. There are lots of good memories there.

One of the things I used to love to do while watching a game as a kid was to get out my baseball cards and put them in order of the lineup for both teams. Then when the guy came up to hit, I’d look at his picture and check out his stats on the back of the card. Just so you get the complete picture, I had full sets of Topps cards from 1968 – 1975; some in doubles, some in triples, so needless to say I had a lot of cards. How did I get all those cards when I didn’t have the money to buy them? I started out small with just a few packs and I used the doubles and triples to flip cards at recess and got more. Remember that horrible cardboard-like bubblegum that came with the cards? Dentists throughout the U.S. loved that stuff.  Anyway, my friend across the street (the one I almost “killed with kindness”) was always getting packs of cards and when a card he needed was one I had, I’d trade the one card for four or five of his doubles. By the end of the year, not only did he have a full set, I had a full set, too!  

Before I was able to go to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, I still managed to have a front row box seat to a game. Yup, I got a box big enough to sit in, got my cards and plopped the box down in front of the TV. Voila, box seats in the front row! Dad was willing to play along with my little game for a while and let me sit in the box and watch the game. However, when I asked about hot dogs that was probably pushing it a little too far. Nevertheless, I did enjoy pretending I was at Fenway watching the game live and in color. We didn’t have a color TV yet, so I really was pretending. Yes, those were good times.

I’m looking forward to many more wonderful days in the months ahead. Spring is here and like all the trees and flowers, I feel myself coming back to life. I’ll enjoy the warm sun on my face, having a burger from the grill and going to the beach. I may even enjoy a Red Sox game or two. Just not sitting in a box – I don’t have one big enough to fit me.    

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