Thursday, June 18, 2009

Old Flames and hot nights

After 25 years I broke my record and went to see the Cardinals play in the now not so new stadium. It was a great game with home runs, fireworks, frozen pink lemonades and for the grand finale a win for the hometown favorites. There was joy in Mudville.

But I wouldn't have broken such an established record of avoidance and sweated my butt off (okay maybe only a small portion of it) had it not been for a good reason. I do consistently turn down baseball tickets and any conversation that begins with the word "cardinal" gets tuned out. I made the exception today for someone very special. But to get the whole story I have to take you back about 25 years. I grew up in a small town in Crawford County, MO. The only thing remarkable about the place was the big water tower that had the town name, Bourbon, painted on it. Like many small town kids, I felt constrained by the small town mentality. I wanted out and I wanted to see the world. I kept wishing for my life to start, and that would never happen until I was away from Bourbon.

In the fifth grand I got hope. A new kid came to our little school and rumor was he was from some place else. I also noticed every time I saw him he had his nose pressed in a book. He was different, and I wanted to know him. It took sometime, but by the 8th grade we were friends. He spoke in big words that I had only read in books, he had lived overseas, and he seemed to know everything. I was fascinated. We even would call each other and talk on the phone for hours much to both our parents annoyance.

We grew into young adults and with our hormones raging we even dated our junior and some of our senior year. He fascinated me even more with his easy laughter and gentle humor. I never understood what someone so smart would have ever seen in me, but he did. He gave me hope that there would be life away from small town America. I had a plan we were going to both go to college, then get married, travel the world, have two kids, and then travel the world some more.

One of our favorite things to do was go to the Cardinal Baseball games together. We both got bleacher seats for being A students, so in total we could go to 4 games a season. The last time we went we got horribly lost and ended up in Bridgeton, when we were shooting for Eureka. It was funny at the time we had no idea how to find ourselves, but in the end everything worked out and all that was lost was time.

Today, we meet up to remember being lost together and I think to remember finding ourselves as being different in a place that did not value different. Oh and so he can see a good Cardinals baseball game when he is in town. It amazes me that after so much time that part of us still clicks. We talk about everything, we laugh, we laugh, and then we laugh some more. I feel so lucky to know someone so funny and charming. And I guess he feels lucky to know someone who rarely gets lost in downtown St Louis. And did I mention he has traveled, and I...well I knitted a red sock while life moved blithely on all around us at the baseball game.

Thank you Randy.

No comments: