End of the Season

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops … And summer is gone.” – A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI

My Favorite Baseball Player

My Favorite Baseball Player

How does one celebrate the end of an era? I’m not speaking about the end of a cold war or a stagnant congress but the passing of a significant season that has been shared with others. Last month, I watched my son’s final high school baseball game.

The great gushing feeling of relief overcame me as it did at the end of the season each year. There would be no more fretting about early start times which stressed a working mom’s schedule, no more guilt over not doing my fair share in the snack bar. I wouldn’t have to endure another blistering afternoon hunting for shade with a lawn chair or another frosty night huddled beneath a blanket. My car will no longer race across the I-10 while google maps calls out instruction. There would be no more disappointment when the score didn’t reflect the team’s intentions.

But looking out at those young men, many of whom I have known since preschool, forged a sentimental twang in my gut and my throat that is worthy of Hank Williams. I stared at the crowd of moms and dads with whom I have shared, in some cases, fourteen years of bleacher seats and sunflower seeds. I heard the calls from the dugout as they encouraged each other and realized that in a very short time, their encouragement would be navigated via Skype from different ends of the continent. I thought about the parties and the poetry and the texts second guessing the coaching calls.

One of the more experienced moms once told me that “baseball is a game of failure.” A great hitter with a .300 batting average fails 70% of the time. And while there is absolutely nothing to surpass the euphoria of a great hit, it is in the other 70 percent that the character of the team is defined. It’s the tip of the cap to the defender who made the great play eliminating the need to reach the base. It’s shrugging off the scolding from parents who are trying to live out their own latent athletic careers through the young men on the field. It’s the long, silent, late night ride on a school bus. It’s attitude, sportsmanship, and conduct.

My husband, the announcer, reminded us to eat at the local restaurants that had supported our team as he fired up the final walk up songs for the men. I saw some sadness, felt some relief, and wondered if Seals and Crofts could do a remake in Nashville.

Gentlemen, You got to play baseball!

100 Percent

100 Percent

The end of baseball season has absolutely nothing to do with celery soup except that you can always count on celery to adorn the after-game platters and with only 30% eaten, you may wind up with the remaining 70% in the vegetable crisper. This is a way to embellish that 70% with flavor, nourishment and fellowship worthy of the season.

Spicy Celery Soup
Recipe from cdKitchen
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs curry powder
  • 1 Tbs ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 1/2 quart vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs butter (can sub olive oil or coconut oil for vegans)

IMG_3547

Directions:

Saute the onion and potatoes in half of butter, add the seasonings. Stir well; add celery and add broth. Put in salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.IMG_3548

Puree all in food processor or blender and season with lemon juice. Mix in the butter. Serve warm.

Enjoy with memories of seasons past.

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29 Comments

  1. Aww, sounds like those ballgames were a great family tradition at casa Tammy….

    Reply
  2. Great observations on mixed emotions!

    Virtual hugs,
    Judie

    Reply
  3. This post is a Home Run, Tammy . . . and I’m not ribbing you!

    Reply
  4. Sally

     /  June 8, 2015

    Yes, a home run to be sure. I read between tears and laughter and and embrace all the emotions with memories as vivid as hearing the encouragement and smelling the sunflower seeds. Wonderful post Dear Tammy. New beginnings now and longer commutes!
    Great job.

    Reply
  5. You must have felt such pride to watch your son play his last high school game 🙂

    Reply
  6. It is so hard to believe that the small boy who only thought about baseball is grown up and off to college. His hard work, devotion, and support from his parents have made him a great player and wonderful young man.

    Reply
    • It’s very interesting to watch his relationship with the game and for him to see the differences.

      Reply
  7. A great post Tammy; I am reaching for a Kleenex! I just happen to have two potatoes and a bunch of celery. I am anxious to try your recipe. Thanks!.

    Reply
    • The recipe really is good and was a hit all the way around. It’s a light and clean soup.

      Reply
  8. You might enjoy this post (about high school graduations) by Nicki:

    http://nickichenwrites.com/wordpress/culture/turning-points/

    Reply
  9. Behind the Story

     /  June 8, 2015

    Thank you to nrhatch for steering me to your post, Tammy. It sounds like you put a lot into your son’s baseball seasons. You described well the bitter-sweet feeling parents have as their children grow up and move on.

    I think I’ll try your celery soup. I’m all into healthy veggies.

    Reply
    • It is bittersweet Nicki. But, there is also a certain level of excitement about his new future!

      Reply
  10. Wow, I know that feeling but with different sports. There is nothing like the nostalgia of knowing that it is over and there will not be another time like it. I had that with my daughters, and hope to be around to follow the grandchildren down that lane too. The best part that we all take away from those times are the connections with the others in the game. May that stay with your son. Like the soup. Looks like a great recipe for a cool day. Take care!

    Reply
    • I am so slow these days Lucinda. Thanks for reading. Letting him go off to college has been a big step for all of us.

      Reply
  11. Aww, that’s so sad! Yes, an end of an era is always so moving. I always have leftover celery in the crisper and so I should use it to make celery soup xx

    Reply
  12. Thuis is a great spiced up celery soup to use my home grown green celery!
    Yum Yum yummmm!

    Reply
  13. HI Tammy–Great post. I detect much Nashville influenced pull and twang !
    The end of a cycle like this one brings up many emotions. Wonderful building experience for all. On to the next cycle!

    Reply
    • Yes, on to the next cycle – baseball in Montreal! A bit hard to dash to on an afternoon but so exciting for him.

      Reply
  14. Oh I am so there Tammy. My daughter did a couple solos in her last children’s choir concert including their usual ending song, We Rise Again (“we rise again in the faces of our children…”) and I thought I’d lose it. I know it will be easier next fall when I am not coming back early on the weekends (I hope, I hope…)

    Reply

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