The Dudes yuk it up at the Legends of the Game. . .
Jeez, looks like summer is done. . .and this blog has turned into Huffington Post! So, let's get back on track to what the family has been up to the last half of the summer. . .which is, mainly, not much.
To sum it up: Baseball. That's been much of our family focus, recreationally. The kids have pretty much forgotten about rockets and NASA and NASCAR and are completely absorbed by what was once our national pasttime. M. and I are trying to look at the good side to all this: there are many facets to being a baseball fan, and while I. embraces mainly the aspect of enjoying baseball by playing it--spraying wiffleballs around the living room, sliding across the carpet, making high-pitched umpire calls of "out"--E. has taken a more holistic approach, appreciating the statistical side of the game (a good way to beef up his mathematics, we figure) as well as artistic (reading about baseball park design through the years) and historical (ditto books on baseball facts and trivia). We took the boys to a few more Rangers game (more losses than wins), toured the Legends of the Game Museum and toured the Ballpark in Arlington, and we're starting fall with both E. and I. signed up for fall little league--I. is in "blast ball," which is a sort of pre-K t-ball. . .and he lives for Friday night practices and Saturday morning games.
E. and I. are ready for fall ball. . .
I. delivers the cheese. . .
Not to say it has all been baseball--I had two weeks of vacation the end of September, and we didn't really go anywhere outside of the metroplex. We visited the boys' grandpa Lou, went bowling with a couple of their school friends, and went to the American Airlines museum in Arlington.
E. is back to school now, second grade, and he's been accepted in his school district's Gifted and Talented program. I. is staying at home this year (so far), foregoing pre-K enrichment til maybe later in the year. M. is working on Thursday's out of the house as well as keeping busy with her website and Mary Kay marketing assistance work (preparing newsletters and mail-outs for various sales directors). I'm still working my midnight shift dispatching job and selling old railroad slides on the side, trying to raise enough money to take a train-chasing trip to Australia next spring.
The boys and friends O. and J. get ready for some smack-talkin' bowling. . .
I. is the drama king when bowling. . .
This is really the best of times of the year, and the worst of times. Used to be, when I was a single and fancy-free young man, October meant vacation season, a time to hit the road for some camping and railroad photography in the west, stalking trains in the high deserts and passing the time between photographs with the Major League playoffs on the radio. It just wasn't fall without the voice of Jack Buck or Vin Scully broadcasting the playoffs. . .and after many years of not really following the game, it's been nice in 2007 to get back into baseball. We followed the Rangers pretty closely the last 2/3rds of the year, jumping on the bandwagon just about the time the team started their early summer climb out of sub-.500 ball, stayed with em through the all-star break and the Josh Hamilton home run derby, and didn't give up--though we were discouraged--when injuries and a faltering pitching staff dropped the Rangers back out of contention in the homestretch of August.
And now the regular season is gone, and we're rapidly chewing through the playoffs. These are the most beautiful days of the year, fall in Texas, but it comes with the bittersweet knowledge that pretty soon the Bermudagrass will finally give up for the year and the winds will push south from the frozen North. It'll seem like forever until springtime, until the grass again greens up, and until spring training.
Hope springs eternal. And we're already counting down the days.
See ya next year, Temple of Baseball. . .