The most wonderful time of the year

"The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past. It reminds us of all that was once good, and what could be again." (From Field of Dreams)

It's baseball time again!! I love it.

I didn't always love it. I grew up with two brothers who were both pitchers, and some of my very earliest memories involve climbing around on the wooden bleachers at the Little League field in La Habra. Steve, I think, was on the Bears, and Dave was on the Braves. I think. So I spent many, many Saturdays at baseball games, from the time I was about five up through highschool. I used to get so bored!

And then, on summer nights, the boys would have the game on TV, sound turned down, and the radio tuned to the game. Vin Scully's voice is as familiar to me as almost anyone's, and whenever I hear it I feel like everything in the world is right.

I can't remember a time when I didn't understand baseball. Sometimes I feel like I was born knowing the rules. I love the order of it, and how there's so much potential for the near-miraculous to happen on every single play. I love watching it, I love hearing a game in the background while I'm doing things around the house. I love going to games. I can't wait to take Judah and Micah to some games this summer, and start making memories for them. Judah already loves to sit with Nathan and watch the game on TV.

So it's opening week. The Dodgers and the Angels are both playing tonight. The Dodgers are just about to win, which puts them in first place in their division. Hey, it's never too early to start thinking about these things! To celebrate the beginning of the season, I read The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by Kinsella (Dave and Steve, have I made you read this yet? It's awesome), and I'm starting in on Shoeless Joe, also by Kinsella, basis of the movie Field of Dreams.

Oh, and also, I have an ENTIRE PACK of Big League Chew (grape) in my mouth as I write this. I found it at Watson's in Orange today. I used to do this when I was about eight, chew the whole pack at once, and I have no idea how I did it. My jaw is killing me! But it's so worth it. Next I'm heading for the kitchen to see if we have enough kinds of soda on hand to make a good suicide.