Okay, so where did I leave off?
(And, by the way, I wrote yesterday’s post and then totally forgot to hit publish and didn’t realize it until about nine hours later.)
(I blame the heat.)
(Which is going to be my standard excuse for everything between now and sometime towards the end of September.)
After our three hour road trip/Spanish Inquisition about hamsters and Star Wars, Caroline and I arrived at Honey and Big’s house. I knew Caroline was tired from the sleepover the night before so I had already warned her that if she started to feel tired and grumpy she should separate herself from the rest of the herd and have a little down time. It only took about thirty minutes before that happened.
Fortunately, she emerged from her few moments of alone time with a better perspective on life and tattle-telling because we still had a big night ahead of us. Around 5:00 we all ate some barbecue and then headed to Olsen Field to watch the Aggies play Seton Hall.
And that’s when I discovered that an early barbecue dinner and excessive heat don’t really mix so well. I had to mind over matter myself to not revisit the brisket I’d eaten earlier. We were sitting in the same seats Gulley and the boys had sat in the night before and she’d warned me that Will spilled an entire Dr. Pepper. And then while we were watching Saturday night’s game, he spilled another one. And then knocked over a bucket of popcorn. I thought for a moment that one of my flip-flops was permanently stuck to the ground. I have new sympathy for those poor little mice that get stuck in glue traps. Our section of the bleachers was one large glue trap. With popcorn for texture. The good news is they’re tearing down Olsen Field in the next day or so because there’s no way that spot of the bleachers could ever be clean again.
The Aggies won Saturday night’s game which meant they were one game away from winning the tournament. We bought our tickets for Sunday night’s championship game and felt certain that we’d get to watch them wrap the whole thing up and head home on Monday morning. Because twenty-five years of being an Aggie fan has taught me nothing.
On Sunday we took the kids to a neighborhood splash pad to burn some energy. We lasted for about an hour before Gulley and I wanted to find the nearest deep freeze to hide in. Instead, I ran to the grocery store to buy stuff to make this Southwestern Black Bean dip that I’m currently addicted to and will continue to eat until I never want to see it again.
And while I was at the Kroger’s in Bryan, I experienced all the reasons I love that town in one five-minute period. I saw a man wearing a gold sequin shirt with a huge gold cross hanging around his neck and gold shoes walking through the produce section. Then the cashier called me “Honey”, “Darling” and “Baby” as I checked out. And then a man named Skeeter, wearing his visor upside down in a jaunty, redneck way, yelled out “No harm, no foul darlin’!” as I apologized for accidentally cutting him off with my shopping cart. Finally, as if a gift straight from God, I heard a loud “MOOOOOO” as a trailer full of cattle was being pulled through the parking lot. God bless small town USA.
After I got back to the house, the skies opened up and it began to rain. We were thrilled with the hope that the rain might cool things off before the game later that evening but only because we are idiots and didn’t think that afternoon rain plus excessive heat equals a whole new meaning to the term SULTRY. By game time the whole outdoors was like one gigantic sauna but not as refreshing.
We arrived at the field and walked up to our own personal glue trap, otherwise known as our section of the bleachers, and waited for the game to start. And by the time the first pitch was thrown I immediately regretted my decision to wear jean shorts because denim? It does not breathe. I felt like I was going to pass out.
At one point I went to the bathroom and totally had a Ross Gellar moment. Remember that episode of Friends when he wore those leather pants on a date and then went to the bathroom to cool off and couldn’t pull them back up? There but for the grace of God and a lot of pulling and tugging at belt loops go I.
We’d been at the game for a little while when Gulley got a text on her phone from an unknown number that read, “These new Diamond Darlings aren’t nearly as good as the old ones”. (Gulley and I were Diamond Darlings back in the dark ages of the early 90’s) She texted back and asked, “Who is this?” It turns out it was an old friend of ours from college who happened to be at the game.
(The new Diamond Darlings are darling. But they have a cushy existence. Back in our day we had to drive the tractor to smooth out the infield and chalk the field and we DID NOT have some sort of fence that protected us from stray foul balls. Rumor has it that they even have their own dressing room. We had to get dressed at home and then walk uphill in the snow BOTH WAYS to get to the baseball field. It’s a wonder we survived.)
Anyway, our old friend came over to visit us in section 216 and we caught up on the last twenty years. But what astounded me was when I introduced him to Caroline and she not only shook his hand, but looked him in the eye and said, “It’s very nice to meet you. I’m Caroline.” We’ve been talking about the importance of good manners and looking grown ups in the eye when you speak to them, but I had no idea she’d actually been listening. I just throw these things out there constantly and hope some of it sticks.
So when he left, I said, “Caroline, I am so proud of you. You just used the best manners and made me so proud. Good job!”
And she asked, “Is that the kind of thing that’s going to get me a hamster?”
See what she did there? She didn’t let it lie.
In the end, the Aggies lost the game and Gulley and I decided we couldn’t bear to sit through another stifling hot baseball game. We’d reached our limit. And that turned out to be the best decision because Monday’s nights game got called because of rain. I don’t really remember what rain looks like but, if memory serves, it’s wet and falls from the sky.
They played the final game yesterday. And the Aggies won. Which means they’re headed to Tallahassee to play Florida State in the Super Regional. Gig’em.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be cheering them on from Texas. There’s no way we could survive a road trip to Tallahassee.
I can’t bear the thought of a sixteen hour hamster sales pitch.