365 Challenge- Day #31 Grow

GROWDay #31- Grow

“The Beauty of a Diamond~ through the eyes of a coach”  written by Dan Clouser

Dan is a friend of mine. A boss of mine. A mentor of sorts. He also employs my son. My son, Nick plays baseball for Dan for several years as well.

This book is a story about Dan, and how baseball has affected him personally and professionally. The life lessons it has taught him along the way. It is an easy, gentle read yet it’s message is heard loud and clear.

It was interesting to read it and shows how Dan grew from a naughty little teen aged boy into the quiet , unassuming man that I know him to be today. Dan is one of the most generous men that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He owns Berkshire Baseball. Berkshire Baseball “raises” young men and teaches them that life isn’t all about baseball. It teaches about character, too. Life lessons.

The past few weeks have been trying at best in this household. Our community lost a young man who decided he was left with no other recourse than to take his own life. To say it has not affected my own family would be a gross understatement. The weather here has given us a few minor inconveniences as well.

My son, Nick has never ever given us trouble. We have rarely had to discipline him.We have been so fortunate. But these past two weeks we have had our hands full. He has had some “growing pains.”He has not been thinking straight.  He has made some simple bad choices. He is a boy of great character and strength and I try to remember that once upon a time many a man, like Dan,  had been lost and found their way, too.  I know that he will get back on track. Boys do that. I read Dan’s book and several others like his when I need that reassurance.

I’ve never been a teen age boy ( haha) but I know that they grow and change and push a whole lot differently than girls do. The good news is that they do change, and carry on, and learn, and GROW.

Day #31. GROW.

 

 

 

The Sort of Hope Who Likes Pink

How the color pink affects us physically and mentally:
Stimulates energy
Can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate
Encourages action and confidence
Pink has been used in prison holding cells to effectively to reduce erratic behavior

Every year my son’s baseball organization- Berkshire Baseball- plays in a tournament to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. The boys proudly wear their pink shirts and swing pink bats ordered just for the day. We moms help in this effort by donating baked goods to sell, make bbq and soups or the like. We have all helped to raise thousands of dollars every year for the cause.

These  photos are just a few of my favorite pictures from last years’ event. I did not know half of what I know now about my treasured Nikon nor how it really worked last year at this point. I say this for a reason.

This event is an effort near and dear to my heart as my best friend is a breast cancer survivor having been diagnosed at the very young age of 36. I watched her battle breast cancer with such amazing grace. Sat with her through all of her chemo treatments. She is one of my inspirations. Her strength gave me the strength I needed (continue to need) to fight my disease.

I now personally know at least 5 women who have battled breast cancer. Some have beat the monster, some have battled valiantly and yet still found that this life held other plans for them. Like my disease, there is no known cure for  Breast Cancer. It is incomprehensible to me that in this day and age, we cannot figure out a way to abolish this disease or at least make it less deadly.

What a difference this past year has made for me as an artist, a photographer.  Maybe someday, with our help,  that year- those 12 months- will make a difference for the countless number of women who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

{ I will come back to this post after we finish our tournament and upload some of my new pictures.}

The Sort of Hope Who Went to Berkshire Opening Day

*all rules for photographing balls were followed* I happened by the SeaDogs vs Spinners and found this shot.

The “I’m at a baseball game again” sort of Hope

There are three things in my life which I really love:  God,my family, and baseball.  The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.  ~Al Gallagher, 1971

That’s the way things are in this family, too. In fact, in my kitchen hangs a wooden sign that rather proudly announces to all who enter ” We interrupt this family for baseball season. ”  Only thing is, baseball ‘season’ now runs Jan- Nov. But hey, we are at least off for December. December flies by so quickly we barely even notice that we aren’t playing.

Good thing I love baseball. I have always loved baseball. Long before I met my husband, my father and I would sit in our living room, with one of those big round metal Good’s Chips cans in between us, happily crunching along  as we watched the Phillies play. Tug Mc Graw was my favorite back then. Mike Schmidt. Pete Rose. (Am I dating myself?) I am a disappointment to the sport I love, though. I couldn’t remember a single statistic if my life depended on it. My brain simply won’t work that way. If you know anything at all about baseball, you know that you must be able to come up with any given stat at any given moment. You must know a batters’ avg against every pitcher from every team in all sorts of weather and under every circumstance. You must know what he ate for dinner that night , too. What type of bat he prefers, and where he shops.

Oh wait..

When I found my husband he was traveling our country playing men’s major fast-pitch softball. He was quite the baseball player in HS , too. Which his father would be more than happy to tell you about. That’s another thing I’ve learned (at least in this family) about baseball players, have they got the stories! Every game is relived countless times and no detail is ever forgotten. Every player gets better as time goes on, too. No one ever struck out and everyone always threw strikes “back in their day” (which confuses my brain sometimes how it is possible to have such perfect pitchers and perfect hitters at the same time).  It amazes me that the world isn’t filled with hundreds, nay, thousands of senior citizens who are all retired major league ball  players that have thrown countless perfect games and are all tied for the major league batting titles.

But my husband was good and so was his father ( as was mine) so it would only stand to reason that our son would be a natural, too.  By the age of 2 my son had full catcher’s gear. He could throw a ball before he could walk. He was “wow-ing” people in little league already. I love to watch him play.  I love to watch him do what he loves just as I loved watching his father play , too. They both give it all they’ve got and play with a passion that is obvious to anyone who watches. I’ve never washed one clean uniform after any of their games. “Dirty baseball players” – that’s a whole other blog.

I always feel like each season is going to be my favorite. High School, Legion, Fall Baseball. His freshman year of high school he was on the Varsity team and the team won Districts. That was a pretty special year. I fell “in love” with his first Legion team this year , too- the Oley Topton Patriots. Called them my “Summer Love” Those Patriot boys were something special too. So much talent, so much heart.  It was a very sad day for me when that season ended all to early. Now Nick is  playing for an 18U Showcase team with Berkshire Baseball. Traveling. Sadly I was forced to miss his first travel weekend because of a treatment but I’m hoping to catch the next one.

We have big dreams for our son. What parent doesn’t? We are hoping for a scholarship for him. He has good grades..works hard and plays harder. More importantly to us, he’s a great kid. But there is nothing he wants more than to play baseball. So if that’s what he wants, of course we want it for him, too.

Somewhere along the way, my love of watching he and his friends play this game that they love turned into my new hobby that I love. – Photography. I was about to pack it all in the other day when a father of one of the boys from my Summer Love wrote to me to thank me for sharing my photos and showing baseball “my way” and allowing his family from far away to follow his son’s Legion season.

Sooooo, for now, I will stick to sharing my love of baseball with you, with everyone. Jan-Nov. It’s hard to quit. I ‘ve tried before but 99.9% of the time I’ve failed. When it rains.  Whether I’m away or “at home”.