Monday, March 17, 2014

My Heart Belongs to the Umpire

Dear John,
 
I found this on Pinterest today and had to show it to you. You did this to me, you and Harry Caray and Steve Stone. It's a long way from where I grew up, which was SEC territory and baseball was completely irrelevant.
 
I didn't know much about baseball and had never especially cared about it. Then in the late 1980s, when we lived in South Bend, I worked third shift and you worked first. I liked to quilt in the afternoons, and the only bearable thing on television (old cable television with all of twenty channels) was baseball on WGN. So I started watching the Cubs and started learning. We went to Cubs games, you taught me scorekeeping, and the rest is history. You went back into umpiring, and I became official scorer for the Goshen Men's League tournaments and had the reputation for being the only person in Wrigley's left field bleachers that kept pitch counts when I kept score.
 
I haven't been able to watch baseball since you died, but I'm beginning to get back into it. I've watched the Cubs' pre-season games when they're been televised, and I've enjoyed it. I'm not forcing it - I'll do what feels right when the season starts. But I have hopes of enjoying it this year, as much as any Cubs fan can enjoy baseball. We excel at delayed gratification. I probably won't keep score - it would interfere with my knitting. I'm looking forward to it.
 
In other news, I've spent the day getting ready for my lia sophia party tomorrow evening. And Jen is looking after me - she came by with a bunch of groceries for me. Sneaky child - she texted me this morning asking how I made my chili. I was flattered that she wanted to make it herself, but I was wrong. She wanted to be sure I had everything I needed to make it. The groceries will be wonderful to have. But it means so much more to know that she cares. There are so many wonderful people that love me.
 
Thank you for loving me. And thank you for all the time you spent teaching me about baseball, about rules and strategy and history and scorekeeping. On our first date you found out that you didn't need to teach me about football. But my ignorance of baseball gave you plenty of occupation. Thank you for your patience, and for wanting me to be able to enjoy it as much as possible. It was something we loved doing together - watching it on television, going to Wrigley, and going to high school and little league games that you officiated. I was so proud of your work as an umpire. It's a hard and thankless job, and you were very good at it. I was proud to be the umpire's wife.
 
Adore you,
Joan.
 


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