This Friday night I am sitting outside, in jeans and a short sleeve shirt in 70 degree weather, drinking a cold beer and reading the Sport Illustrated baseball preview. All around me I hear neighbors talking and stirring, with music wafting over the fence from a party somebody is hosting a few houses over. I’ve crumpled our weekly newspaper and tossed it into our fire pit for the blaze I plan to light when darkness falls. Kasey is digging and dozing in the last rays of sunlight.
All in all, not a bad way to start the weekend! I’m saying spring has sprung.
The Midwest has been hit with a typical contrarian March cold blast, and the east coast has been hammered by a snowstorm. Perversely, the crummy, winter-is-still-with-us weather has made me think that the real spring cannot be far away, and that it’s okay to start thinking about something good that will be coming with the warmer spring weather in just a few days: baseball.
Although they fell just short of that elusive World Series win, last year was a magical one for the Cleveland Indians. The team overcame injuries to crucial members of the pitching staff and key position players and, with deft manager Terry Francona holding things together with spit, scotch tape, and baling wire, the Tribe improbably made it to the doorstep of a championship. With the players hopefully healed, and Edwin Encarnacion set to fill a big hole in the middle of the lineup, Tribe fans are dreaming that this might be the year. Hey, lightning finally struck the long-suffering Chicago Cubs last year — why can’t it strike the Indians this year?
Spring is the time of dreaming for all baseball fans. Tribe fans aren’t the only ones who are hoping that the team’s off-season moves have put the right pieces in place, that the player who had the unexpected great year last year wasn’t a fluke, and that the minor league phenom will step up and produce in the big leagues. It’s all part of the time-honored baseball process that has been part of America’s National Pastime for more than 100 years. The baseball fans who are dreaming and hoping about their teams today are just new links in a very long chain.
Let’s play ball!
There’s lots of beauty in German Village right now, with the blooming of flowering trees and flowers, too. I particularly liked this study in pinks and reds in the front garden of a house on Thurman Avenue, just down from our weekend hangout at the Easy Street Cafe.
So far this spring it’s been cold and kind of depressing around Columbus, weather-wise. Those of us who would like to announce that “spring has sprung” have had to hold our fire for a ridiculously long time. The end of the first week of May, and it’s still in the 40s in the morning? Seriously???
So, I’m calling it. With nice sunny skies and some warmth today, I’m declaring that we’re officially in “sprung” territory. Time to post some pretty pictures of flowers and get on with it!
Today two birds decided to roost for a bit on the ledge right outside the window in front of my desk. I’m not sure what kinds of birds they were — mourning doves? brown pigeons? — but I certainly understood their impulse to bask in the sunshine and enjoy some long overdue spring weather.
I would gladly have been out on the ledge with them. Today was the kind of day where, in elementary school, you’d beg your teacher to let you sit outside for the math lesson — and the kind of day where a teacher sick to death of gray, chilly weather might just say yes.
It’s snowing as I write this, and when Kasey and I walked downtown today we saw the tulips and daffodils around the Statehouse drooping in the face of the unseasonable cold. I hope they can bounce back, but some of the petals look permanently damaged. Spring flowers aren’t hardy enough to endure multiple days of snow and bitter wind and sub-freezing temperatures.
This crappy weather is why Mom counseled that you shouldn’t plant flowers before Mothers’ Day.