Summer Days  

Posted in , ,

Summer is supposed to be a nice time when you can get together with family and friends and enjoy a barbecue or a ball game with some ice cream and an iced tea (or a beer). It's about enjoying the ability to be outside and doing things when everybody has a little break from stuff.

OK so not many people get a break during the summer from work, but it is a time when the kiddos are off school so they get to complain that there is nothing to do all summer long until the last week. Then they find about 100 things to do and complain on the night before school starts again that the summer went by too dang fast.

I've noticed an unfortunate part of my end of summer days. It's the anniversary of many friends and family that have passed on. To say that it leaves me with a feeling of melancholy is sometimes an understatement. I realized that as I'm getting older the list of people I've said goodbye to is growing (and much too quickly).

On the all powerful facebook I saw a friend from a post remembering a friend of ours that passed some 21 years ago. It was followed by a post from one of his friends talking of a friend that passed within days of that person but 2 years later. This was followed by another and another. I didn't realize it until I was reading that post that I knew about 10 people that have passed within a few days of each other and a dozen years apart.

That of course got me to thinking of other friends I've lost over the years. Not to mention family. I'm from an Italian family and one thing we know how to do is well have big families. Many memories are of older relatives from my childhood. They would all sit around at my cousins house for a family get together eating pasta and arguing. Looking back it was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

It also got me to thinking about all the things left unsaid between me and my friends and family that have passed. I am fortunate that my list is not all that long, but nonetheless there are regrets for comments not made (and even for a few made in haste).

The only point I have to this rambling post is remember that our time is short and it's precious. Use it wisely and never take any of it for granted. I received a sharp reminder of that from a simple post this morning and I will make sure I'm talking to mom and dad today. Funny how it doesn't take much to get us moving in the right direction.

Weekends At The Beach!  

Posted in , , ,

I've decided I like the fact that we aren't having a devastating summer here in California. It's been fairly mild compared to most of the country. We haven't had that many days over a hundred and now entering the "hottest" part of our summer I was ready for the heat wave to begin.

Our heat wave consisted of 6 days over 100 and only 2 of them hit 107. For the Central Valley that is a laugh. We are used to many days strung together over 100 and many of them reach the 110 mark. This year wasn't that way and I decided that even though it wasn't devastating here in the valley, the coast would still be nicer so we headed to Santa Cruz for the weekend to visit with the rest of my family as they were enjoying their vacation (Work has been so hectic we didn't get a proper vacation).

So thankfully the day we left town it was about 104 and I was looking forward to the comparative cool that was sure to come when we got over the Hill. I wasn't disappointed. Not more than an hour and a half from home the temperature dropped to a beautiful 68 degrees with a nice little breeze blowing. It was perfect with the sun shining and all. Perfect beach weather and we hadn't even reached the beach yet.

another hour of driving and we showed up at mom and dad's vacation house. This was the view I got to enjoy for 3 days (was supposed to be only 2).

We didn't need to go anywhere or do anything as far as I was concerned. The kids felt otherwise so we got to take a few trips to the boardwalk and the pier. All in all it was a great time and I can see how just a short break can really recharge the batteries.

The boys had an awesome time so now I just have to figure out a way to get a job that takes me this way on a regular basis. I could really get to like this coastal life.

Softball update..We totally sucked last week and got slaughtered, but hey we have out whole team back this week so it's game on now!!

The 40 Something Ball Player  

Posted in , ,

Well I noticed that I still have some followers so that means one of two things have happened. One you were waiting patiently for my return to see if I had anything else to say or two you were too lazy to stop following. Regardless of the reason, you are still here so I figured I could drop in myself.

Well at last post my son was playing baseball. He had a pretty decent season and he truly enjoys the game as much as dad (thank you God). We took 2nd place and that's pretty decent. Lost the championship game but the boys played their hearts out. Just wasn't meant to be this time. He is already enrolled in Fall Ball and excited as can be to get started.

I figured that I was done with my ball playing days. After all I'm almost 44 and broken down to the nth degree. What could I possibly have to prove? I figure that by now if there is something I haven't accomplished on the ball field it's just not gonna happen. So what keeps dragging my sorry old butt out there to play again? I am gonna go with ignorance. My friends tell me that it's just my first love and I can never let it go completely (that's why they made the Wii).

So a co-worker tells me about this co-ed league he is in and he says "you'll love it, it's really low key and everybody just hangs out after the games. We are just there for a little fun, nothing too serious." I'm thinking that is just for me. No serious running and no serious attitude. I forgot this is me and I'm not made that way. I play to win, regardless if it's co-ed, men's league, little league, or eventually nursing home league. I don't like to lose and I especially don't like to lose because of something I did.

First sign that this wasn't gonna be so good. The second practice we had. I realized that I still have the ability to play and as I get older I can hit the ball much further and harder than in the past (could be the extra 25 lbs.) I'm enjoying myself to no end on the field just fielding grounders and hitting the ball to the fence and then disaster struck. I come flying around (trotting) 3rd base and hit the base wrong. There goes the hammy. No big deal though, it was just a slight pull and I let up when I felt it. No real damage done. Next at bat I crushed it ( I really did) and as I'm admiring the shot down third base line as it heads for the fence I ....fall on the way to first base. Apparently everybody but me was focusing on the first base line and I tripped...down I go. Hurt the hammy a bit more, but even worse the knee is swollen like the softball I just hit. I'm relagated to 1st base in the field and a courtesy runner if I'm lucky enough to limp to first after hitting it.

Nobody really laughed at me when that happened (not to my face at least). It only took me 3 weeks to recover from something that used to take 3 days. but hey I'm still walking and I've decided that I have to come to grips with the fact that I'm not 25 anymore. I've learned to hit far and run slow. I've also learned that infield is not that bad after all even for an old outfielder. We are doing pretty good, and I'm thinking that if I can just keep from falling down anymore I might even try this again next year.

On a side note. My dad is doing really well since his transplant. My parents went on vacation last week to Santa Cruz and my dad was able to walk up and down the hills without any problems whatsoever. In fact I had more difficulty than he did. Of course I didn't tell him that and I sure didn't let on that it was killing me to walk a step ahead of him all the while telling the old man to hurry it up.

so 7 more weeks of softball and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If I get up the nerve I'm gonna take a couple of pictures of a game. That should be good for a laugh for anybody who looks at it.

Play ball!!