Time to hit the road for summer vacations

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The best man at my wedding stopped by my office this week. Fiser was heading north with his wife, Patrice, for a few weeks of R & R. They had already stopped to see their first grandchild and decided to surprise me and invite me to breakfast. Yes, I paid.

Their pickup was loaded with camping gear and they mentioned that they were heading for the Oregon border that night. Then they mentioned that they planned on flying up to Alaska for a little fishing trip. This wasn’t just a road trip but a full blown vacation. They seemed excited. Fiser is a high school teacher and Patrice is a nurse, so she must have saved up her vacation days to take extended time off.

I would hope that as we get older we find the time to travel, or do whatever it is that makes us happy and relaxed. I’ve made no secret that I like to travel and my permanent tenant, Sherri, likes to remind me whenever she thinks I’m the oldest person on the tour. I’ve tried to identify others that I think are older than I am, but it is becoming harder and harder to find someone in their 70s that is still travelling on the back roads of the world.

We ventured down to Ripon to watch a championship baseball game last week. They had moved the starting time to 8:45 p.m because of the heat. Ripon is a couple of degrees hotter than Winters, but they get a delta breeze that we can’t seem to find. The weather was perfect and Brett’s team won 8-5 and all was right with the world. It was an exciting game and Sherri was standing and applauding as the teams lined up to shake hands. She said it was a great game, maybe the best she had seen. I didn’t want to pop her balloon, but I reminded her that only half the fans thought it was a great game.

There is a saying that baseball is life and you can learn a lot by either playing or watching baseball. It teaches you to practice, get along with others and how to handle winning and losing. You also make life long friends and learn to have empathy for others because you have been in their shoes. If you can get a hit one out of three times you are considered a success. Try that math with any other part of your life. If you fail two-thirds of the time driving to the market, they take your car away. Try being successful two-thirds of the time when you are at work. You would spend all of your time fixing mistakes and never get anything done.

I was reading an article that they are having problems finding enough referees for kids sports because of the behavior of the parents in the stands. I’ve witnessed bad parent behavior and often wonder if they ever played the game. My solution to bad fans is to take off your referee hat and hand it to the complaining parent. An inning or two of people walking up to them with their phones telling them to look at the play again and get their eyes checked, might make them a better fan. I doubt it, but it is worth a try.

With the heat wave over, but coming back, and the beaches empty, this is probably a good time to book some time away from the Central Valley of California. For us, baseball season has come to a successful end, but for a lot of kids there will always be next year.

On a sad note, my sister-in-law Evelyn, Polk’s wife, passed away on Tuesday and Gary Bertagnolli’s funeral is Friday.

Say a prayer and send positive thoughts to both families.

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