Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Snow and Softball

A couple weeks ago, Katherine asked me if our pear tree had buds yet. I had not noticed; but when I did, I saw it would not be long till blossoms would come. Soon the city lawns and country yards were full of the pear trees’ beautiful blooms. I would entertain myself as I drove trying to decide how to best describe that loveliness. I thought of “ethereal lacey virginal whiteness,” but that was too long, and I continued to try to find words to capture that spring visual pleasure.

Then Sunday on the first day of spring, I looked out the window at Woodsong and saw it was snowing. As I drove in to Katherine’s house to give her morning pills, the large fluffy white flakes coming down surrounded the pear blossoms. It was magical. The ground was warm, and by afternoon, the flakes had melted. Already the pear trees are replacing white blooms with greenery. But the beauty of that drive will be permanently etched in my brain. I will pull it out every once in awhile and enjoy the loveliness.

College softball season is going strong, and our weekends are full keeping up with our two teams. Weekend before last Saturday was softball alumni day at Texas A&M. Consequently, our granddaughter Erin was helping with the radio broadcast of their game. So we had both of Gerald’s computers going so we could see A&M, which was being streamed on the SEC channel; and on the other computer, we kept switching between Oregon’s game tracker and the radio broadcast so we could hear Erin’s sweet voice!

This past weekend on Friday night, we watched A&M on the Internet win over #4 ranked Louisiana. On Saturday both A&M and Oregon were scheduled to be on the Internet and at slightly different times, so we were excited as we settled in to watch in Gerald’s office. Daughter Mary Ellen came over to join us in the cheering.

We enjoyed A&M’s game even though they lost 6-1. At that level of play, it is hard to be too disappointed. When it was time for Geri Ann’s game on the Pac-12 channel, we could not get on. The site said to contact Dish to access; and so most of the game, Gerald and then Mary Ellen were following the written instruction to contact Dish. Unfortunately, the people who answered not only did not have the faintest idea how to correct the problem but could not listen well. (One kept thinking and saying television instead of Internet, for example, no matter how clearly she was told otherwise.) Even worse, they stubbornly would not allow us to talk to their supervisor, whom we assumed would know what to do to get us on. (This made me wonder if there is a punishment to an employee who allows you talk to the supervisor.) The next day, Gerald talked to someone who quickly helped and gave us the access we had paid for. It just happened in the midst of this frustration that Gerald switched to Oregon’s game tracker on the other computer at the exact right moment. We were able to know of Geri Ann’s three-run home run that helped win the first game in the series. (Later, of course, her hit was posted on Facebook and we could relive it as often as we wanted.) We were happy that Erin and husband Josh Simons were there to share the moment with Geri Ann. Josh has returned safely from South Korea, and they were in Seattle visiting his family.

We spent most of Sunday afternoon before I returned to Katherine’s house watching the third game between A&M and Louisiana. And A&M won the series!

For us the good thing was that Oregon vs. Washington’s last two games on Sunday and Monday games were both on television, so we watched in the family room. With the time differences, the game started at 9 p.m. here in Southern Illinois, which is Gerald’s usual bedtime. Needless to say, he stayed up. And we were well rewarded when Geri Ann came in to pitch and did an outstanding job, and the Ducks won again. Brianna is on spring break from Murray, so she and Mary Ellen were there with us watching. Texting with other households watching this second game made it even more fun.

Monday night’s game was rain delayed, so it did not start until 9:30. Very rapidly into the game, it was called for another rain delay. As the tarp was rolled out, Gerald and I figured that would be the end, and he decided to go on to bed. I stayed up and went into my office but came back to watch when I heard the announcers’ voices again. I think it was close to 2 a.m. when the game ended, and we had swept the series! Gerald woke up by this time and came down for a report before going back to bed. So if we have looked a little bleary-eyed, we have an excuse.

Today was Gerald’s 86th birthday, and I had to quit in the middle of this blog to go celebrate it with Mary Ellen, Brian, and Brianna. (Trent was working as usual.) So now I have finished what I started about softball watching. I will have to tell you about Gerald’s birthday celebration another time. I’m sleepy.

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