Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hard to Believe My Son's 35 Today

Hard to believe, our son Daniel turned 35 today. Gilda and I can’t believe we’re that old, er, I mean, he’s that old. Seems like just yesterday Gilda told me not to go to work one Friday morning as contractions had started and it was time to go to the hospital. Some 16 hours later Dan finally decided to slide down the chute and change our lives forever.

I did some fall cleanup today, clearing out the shed in our yard. Out went an old perambulator, one of those big baby carriages common before the umbrella stroller and other modern conveyances turned baby portage into a fast-paced affair. We hardly ever transported Dan in this baby carriage which Gilda’s sister Barbara had used for her children. Shortly after Dan was born we installed a woodburning stove in the fireplace in the living room of our first home. We heated most of our house with wood I would gather as I drove around in my Chevy Vega, a chain saw in the back ready to cut up any fallen branches I came across. I used the baby carriage to move firewood from the driveway to the yard to a temporary pile on the porch. With its big wheels the baby carriage plowed through winter snow, even when weighted down by seven or eight logs. 

We don’t use the woodburning stove in the den of our current home very much; it was time to sever ties with the baby carriage. I’m nostalgic about it, not because Dan rode in it, but rather because it evoked memories of when we were younger, a time when I played lumberjack and the cozy warmth of a fire made our home toasty.

Eddie Mathews: Do you know who he is? He is a Hall of Fame third basemen who played most of his 17-year career with the Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the 1950s-1960s. I wasn’t a Braves fan. Neither was my brother Bernie, but one of the earliest of his baseball gloves was an Eddie Mathews model. I found his old, four-fingered glove at the bottom of a pile of sporting goods I was cleaning out today in the garage. Old doesn’t begin to describe its condition. It needs new stringing to keep the fingers together. The leather is dirty and maybe even moldy, but surprisingly, not cracked. I’ll give it some tender loving care and oil it up, though I’m not promising to give it back to him, despite his B. Forseter still legible across the band at the top of the glove. 

Pressure Picks: Who do you like in Monday night’s football game, the NY Giants or the Minnesota Vikings? The Giants are 0-6, the Vikings 1-4, so it’s not as if this game is between two powerhouse teams. I ask the question because for the second year I have joined a football pool and before Sunday’s games I was tied for third place among the 26 players. I might have had more points had I not remained loyal to the Giants, and been disappointed, for most of their games (I actually picked against them one game). 

I don’t have any scientific method for choosing winners. I don’t study results or injury reports as other pickers do. Success, so far, does mean there’s more pressure to pick winners. This week I’m on track for my lowest weekly total of the season.

2013 has not been a good year for my sporting life. The Yankees succumbed. The Rangers floundered on ice. The Giants are on life support (a charitable assessment). The teams I don’t want to win are winning—I root against the Jets, yet they beat the New England Patriots in overtime today. I also don’t want the Washington Redskins to win, but they edged the Chicago Bears in the last minute today, an achievement the Giants failed to do last week. Aargh! I hate the Red Sox, but they triumphed over the Detroit Tigers to make it to the World Series. At least the Mets didn’t disappoint.