This past Wednesday I joined 1.2 million people in watching the college softball championship game. A three hour delay to the start of the game did not discourage me one bit. I was in it to "finish" it! I believe that is the best softball game I have ever witnessed.
I played softball. Unfortunately, it was before Title 9 so our school did not have a team. I played park ball. I've often wondered if I would have been good enough to make a school team. Since we can't travel back in time, I like to think that I made the team and I was a superstar! I was a catcher for most of my years of softball (which ended when I was 22) and I have the knees to prove it!
The park was a large part of my life. As I stroll down memory lane I can see the park of my childhood.There were only two fields - King Field, but most of us called it the big field, and Byrd Field, which was, of course, the little field - it was a simpler time. There was also a swimming pool and a gymnasium, but they are not part of this trip to the past.
Strangely enough, the thoughts of my years at the park, begin with my grandfather, PawPaw. He was badly disabled by a stroke years before, but he could make it to the park and set up his lawn chair under the awning of the concession stand that was directly behind home plate. Since I was a catcher, I was very close to him. He couldn't form many words, but I could hear him laughing, his way of communicating. I knew that no matter who was sitting on the bleachers, I had a fan.
I think of Mr. Byrd "passing the hat". During the game the announcer would say it was time to pass the hat, so Mr. Byrd, who seemed to be at least 100 years old at the time, would pass a baseball cap to collect money from the spectators. As a young child, this activity would confuse me. In my childish mind we paid God on Sundays by passing the plate. I couldn't figure out who we were paying with this passing of the hat.
I can almost taste the hamburgers and fries, the best I ever tasted...no telling how many years they used the same grease! The hands full of bubble gum bought for the team, someone passing you a coke through the hole in the dugout.
I had many different coaches over the years but a few made quite an impression on me. Dot Cochran - she taught me the game of softball, her wit still amuses me today. Charlene Treadaway - she probably worked us harder than any coach. After you run a few laps for missing a ball, it becomes very important to catch it the next time. Jim Gallman - he was the last of my little league coaches. He taught me loyalty, playing through the pain and how to put the team first.
As I got older the "big field" got my attention. That is where the "older" boys played. The high school didn't have a baseball field, so all the high school games were played there. We lived close enough to hear the PA system. I headed down the hill as soon as I heard them giving the starting line ups. You may think I'm a little off my rocker...but one of the best sounds to me is metal cleats walking on pavement. I know it is cliche to say it is like music to my ears. It wasn't because it meant boys were around, ok, maybe a little, but it mostly meant baseball was around!
...and the dirt...oh the dirt at the park was the best ever! It was red dirt. Any socks you wore to the park could never be worn anywhere else. After a ballgame I would be covered in it. It just about took a scouring pad to clean it off your clothes and body. I loved it! Yes, I just confessed my love for dirt. But this wasn't just any dirt, it was park dirt. It's the dirt that held the magic of childhood, the glory days of a beloved sport, the making of life long friends.
Scarlett O'Hara had a love for the dirt of Tara. It was in her blood. I think I have the same feeling for the red dirt of the park. It's a part of what makes me who I am.
Thanks for taking this trip with me to the park.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Do you ever have conversations in your house that sound similar to this?
What do you want for supper?
I don't know what do you want?
I'm not sure, just name something?
I'm not that hungry so you pick?
What do you want?
Still don't know, so you pick.
I can eat whatever, so you name the place.
This conversation goes on at our house at least 5 times a week. It drives me nuts! In Steve's defense it is hard for him to pick something because my diet is so limited. I can't go to a restaurant and choose different things - I have specific things at various places. At Jim-n-Nicks a piece of catfish, at Full Moon a plain potato, at Milo's an apple pie and so on.....
I've always loved food - especially the southern classics: fried okra, squash in any form, cornbread...you get the idea. Most of these things, again, are not on my "things I can eat" list. So I have really lost the desire to eat. When the above conversation happens at my house, I could really be okay with a piece of cheese toast or a cup of yogurt. But Steve works hard every day and he needs a substantial meal.
Boy, I sound really negative about this, but I'm okay about it, really I am. But the dreams of California Pizza Kitchen salads are really getting annoying!
Hopefully these days are almost over. I've been on this restricted diet because of one of the chemo drugs I take. Believe me, if I try to cheat it ain't pretty! But I've had the last of that type of treatment. I will start a new one after the wedding.
The side effect with this new treatment is a rash....on your face...that resembles teenage acne...yeah.
So, if one day you see an overweight woman, with acne and a wig in line at Niki's, do NOT get in my way. :-)
Having a PET scan on Friday. We would appreciate your prayers.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Ok, so I'm not a very good blogger. I think of things I could write, but using the iPad keypad is the excuse I use. Not a very good excuse by any means. My second excuse is my frame of mind. I want to lift people up with spiritually minded things. I am a spiritual person. My belief in God is steadfast and my salvation through Jesus Christ is steadfast. When I started this blog I intended to use it as a way to express my emotions as I deal with terminal cancer. Well, honestly, sometimes my thoughts are not uplifting. I get scared, I get mad, I get sad...but I think, for the most part, I'm handling pretty well. It helps that I have a strange sense of humor. A sense of humor of any kind is a good weapon to have in your arsenal if you are battling cancer. Because of one of the side effects from my chemo, I am mostly home bound now. So me and Gracie, the best lap dog ever, spend the days looking at the beautiful flowers Steve maintains, watching the birds and cross stitching. Gracie doesn't cross stitch. Anyway, I am going to try to blog more, mainly for something to do. (haha). By blogging I am in no way disillusioned that people care what I do on a daily basis. I just like to write. Hopefully I can get some techie assistance from my hubby to add pictures to make it a little more interesting. That's all I've got to say about that. -Forrest Gump Good night, Amy Lou