Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Curmudgeon thinks about heading to Florida for Youngest Son's last Spring Training Trip

One thing security consultants tell us consistently is that we should never, ever announce on line any plans to be away from hearth and home -- or post vacation pictures on Facebook or Instagram while we are still on the trip -- or do anything else that might tip off would-be burglars that our homes are ripe for ransacking.

But this is an anonymous blog -- very anonymous -- so I don't think I'm taking much of a risk in saying that Long Suffering Spouse and I are seriously talking about taking a trip to Florida next month to watch Youngest Son's last Spring Training Trip ever.

Youngest Son is a senior in college this year and he pitches for South Janesville College (at least that's the name I've given his school here) and, well, there's not much chance of his name being called in the 2015 MLB Draft. It's not that he's a bad player -- he's a very good player, and scheduled to be the number two starter on his team -- but his fastball has never broken 90 mph. These days, for a right-handed pitcher to get drafted, he almost has to have a fastball that hits the mid-90's with some regularity. Even Hall of Famer Greg Maddux hit the mid-90's when he was in the low minors. (Of course, it wasn't until he cut the speed to below 90 -- and allowed the ball to move -- that he began his climb to Cooperstown.)

But -- much as I wish it could be otherwise -- I think Youngest Son is OK with the prospect of having to hang it up after this year. He'll graduate on time (I think) and then do his student teaching and then, hopefully, start a career teaching school and coaching baseball.

In early March, when many of his classmates are scattering to warmer climes for the bacchanalian revels of Spring Break, Youngest Son and his teammates will fly to the greater Orlando area, there to test their skills against other D-III schools on actual baseball diamonds, in weather that should be appropriate -- and surely better than the freezing conditions in which most of their regular season games will be played. Spring in Wisconsin! It's a dangerous time -- can't run the snowmobiles across the lakes as much -- but you can tell the weather's changing because the snow falls less frequently. In each of the last three years, the team-building activity for the South Janesville Team upon its return from Sunny Florida has involved shoveling mounds of snow off their home field.

I want to see the kid pitch. I want to watch a game without worrying about frostbite. I want to go to Florida.

Surprisingly -- even though it would mean having to take a week off from school -- Long Suffering Spouse seems to like the idea. She keeps asking impertinent questions, though, like "how are we going to pay for this?" I don't have any good answers to such questions.

So we're talking seriously about traveling to Florida in March. And I run the risk of leaving our house open to burglars by announcing it here.

Of course, I used to think that no self-respecting burglar would ever take anything from our house. Just one look inside and most burglars, I thought, would turn and leave, possibly dropping a dollar or two as a donation.

But the house is less chaotic since Younger Daughter and Olaf and Granddaughter #1 moved out. Our messes are more localized now: The area around my desk looks like the nest of a giant Pack Rat -- and the dining room table is buried beneath papers that Long Suffering Spouse needs for school. Burglars would still be unimpressed with the shopworn conditions of our living room furniture, and the threadbare carpet, but might venture beyond hoping to find something of value.

Good luck to them.

Of course, all of this could still fall through. I guess I won't believe it can happen until it happens. But that's the plan under discussion right now.


Kacey said...

We (the husband of 61 years and I)have been spending our Winters in Florida for 12 years, but this year we find ourselves freezing our behinds in Ohio. Our #1 daughter was diagnosed at Thanksgiving with breast Cancer, so we are staying here to help her through the bad week after chemo. She has two good weeks after that bad one before it is time for another dose. So, she goes back to teaching her third grade class and we wait for the next bad time and snow storm. The 83 year old Dad is out scraping ice and snow from her front walk. We would do anything for her, including missing our beloved Florida, which could easily be our last one. Of course, you and your long suffering spouse have to go see your son pitch and get some sunshine to utilize your Vitamin D.....because that's what parents do and you will always be happy that you did. He will judge how much you loved him by things like this....long after you are gone.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

just do it!

smiles, bee