It was a beautiful, sunny, seventy-five degree Sunday afternoon as the 13u Go The Distance (GTD) Bulldogs, rostered with kids from Chester and Mendham, took the field at Gazebo Park in Chester for their second game of the year. While the boys were excited to be playing baseball after a long winter, they were especially thrilled as it was thirty degrees warmer than their home opener the previous Sunday, a game that was further dampened by a misty rain that fell during most of the seven innings. Running around playin' ball with your buddies, as God's great sun shines down, is one of the great joys of spring.
Especially for a kid.
Many of the parents were also enjoying themselves as they sat in lawn chairs and picnicked while watching their sons play, happy to be out of the office to enjoy the warm weather. They were catching up as they hadn't seen each other since the Fall Ball season ended six months earlier.
While chit-chatting, one of the dad's noticed an elderly lady who appeared to be in her mid-eighties, about to make her way to the game from the little league field across the street. Eager to show that gentleman still exist, Ken hurried across to street to assist her as she was about to push her walker from the sidewalk to the street. Not only was he trying to be nice, but he also recognized her as a frequent fan at the same field when his older son was playing 13u ball.
In addition to having the Sub-Pub sandwich shop function as its 'batter's eye', Gazebo Park is approximately two football fields from CASH (Chester Area Senior Housing).
"Hi Mary," Ken said as he approached her and helped lead her across the street, "how are you doing today?"
"Oh, hello, I'm just fine. How are you?" she replied.
"I'm good, nice to see you," Ken said. "Have you come to watch the boys play?"
"Oh yeah! I love getting out and watching the kids play. It's so nice to see them having fun, especially when it's a beautiful day."
"I agree. Would you like to sit down, we have a number of chairs," Ken replied.
"Thank you, but oh no," she said with a smile, "all I do is sit. I need to stand, move around, get the blood flowing. It isn't only the boys who benefit from that."
"Right you are Mary," Ken concurred, "we all need a bit of exercise."
"Watching these boys play reminds me of my youth. I was 'athlete of the year' senior year in high school. I played basketball and softball. I love coming here."
"Wow, impressive," he said. "I'm glad you enjoy being here. You'll have plenty of opportunity over the next couple of months as the boys have a full slate of games lined up. Come any time."
"I certainly will," Mary said as she smiled and watched the game, intermittently talking with parents as they walked by.
Spring sure has a way of re-invigorating the soul, bringing out the good in all of us, showering us with promise and hope. It shows what is right with the world.
Stay young in spirit everybody.