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Play Ball!

March 8, 2014

They say that time marches on. Right now though, I think time is feeling a bit quiet and shy… perhaps it’s been bullied by this brutal Winter. Time is not doing anything so bold as marching. Instead, it’s creeping along at a snail’s pace, trying to go unnoticed.

We, in northeastern Minnesota, like many other areas of this vast country, have had a long, arduous winter. If we thought it would make a difference, we would fall to our knees in the snow, cast our eyes to the heavens and cry “Make it STOP! Please!”

We are soooooo tired of snow and cold. We long for Spring.

But alas, we are adults; and must set an example for our kids. We soldier on through the slush and snow, plastering smiles to our faces when needed; cursing and grumbling unintelligibly when we think nobody’s watching.

Here in the Northland, we have learned to adapt… to roll with the punches; to make the best of things, in spite of the weather. We call this area God’s Country, and most of the time, we love this place. It’s home, where we’ve put down our roots. Some go to warmer climes for the winter months, but most of us stay put.

Right now, I’d love to see a mosquito (through a window), hear the frogs croak, listen to the birdsong on the air, and smell freshly cut grass. Oh, to sit on the deck and sip my morning coffee!

But I digress…

Many here are eagerly awaiting the start of softball season with its warm temps, green grass, rain and even mud.

This year, as I gaze out upon a sea of snow, I realize that we may need to be more flexible than usual, and I begin to daydream…

Softball has begun, in spite of the snow that stubbornly clings to the field. It’s the first game of the season…

Crowds cheer from the bleachers as both teams trot awkwardly out onto the field sporting their new uniforms; caps with fur-lined earflaps, jerseys, pants, and socks. On one hand is the traditional ball glove, and a mitten (in team colors) covers the other.

The ball has been dyed green, a nod to the traditional color of the field.

The first pitch is thrown and it’s hit deep into right field. The batter struggles to run to first base; the outfielders are clumsy in their pursuit of the ball.

The crowd roars; applause is muffled by woolen mittens. The stands vibrate with the thunder of stomping Mukluks.

The runner rounds first base and heads for second…

A right fielder stretches to catch the ball, and just misses.

The ball drops out of sight, beneath the wavy white surface… the outfielders drop to their knees and begin digging in the snow in frantic search. The snow muffles their curses.

On past third base… the runner is headed for home, hurrying, as fast as his snowshoes can carry him.

The ball is finally found, and thrown to the third baseman who clumsily pivots, nearly tripping over his Bear Paws, to throw the ball home ahead of the runner…

The runner senses urgency. He dives for the base as the catcher reaches for the ball…

The umpire makes the call;  “SAFE!”

And the home crowd goes wild.

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One Comment
  1. Anna M Schrock permalink

    Keep writing Karen! Love it!
    In SE WI-we are SO spoile! 20 + here @ 8:15 a.m. March 9 2014

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