I was enjoying the walk. Got to the park easy enough. The ball field was on the far side of the park, so I got to walk the length of the park. The first thing I passed was the little gold fish pond. When they first put that in there with the park being right on the shore of Lake Michigan I thought why put a pond there when the lake is just on the other side of the little hill (a "hill" to us here in the Midwest Plains, I doubt it is more than 20--25 feet high). Plus I was surprised they left the fish there over the winter, but as I was told and found out by observing, that pond can freeze solid with the fish still in it and when the water thaws out the fish will swim around as if nothing had happened. Anyway now that pond is one of my favorite spots, and I was tempted to stop and enjoy but I was a little late so I kept going.
Being such a nice day there were more then a few people there. Most of them young (and my lecherous side will add nice to look at). I also passed the tennis courts. I was a little surprised. I could have sworn that there was only 3 courts there, but there were 5. I was also a bit surprised that they were locked up so no one could use them (or vandalize them too -- after dark it isn't always nice in the park these days unfortunately). In my younger days the gate to those courts was always left open. Of course that was before the renovation and the red clay surface and new nets the city installed several years back.
Walking farther towards the park's flag I saw the flower bed surrounding it. That was a beautiful sight. Red, white, blue (and yellow???!!) flowers surrounded the base of the flag pole with the flag flying high was a nice touch.
I went down the hill there as I was getting near the baseball field K had reserved for us. As I said the park was crowded, and not being good at spotting friends out of a crowd I was starting to worry about which group to head for. So I slowed down and was looking for a familiar face while slowly walking toward the field. Finally I saw N walking with a grill.
B was there setting up his new grill too. I greeted everyone and talk to B a bit. It seems he just had a birthday and got *3* grills as presents, but the kicker is that the apartment building he just moved into has a no grill policy and he had to remove the grill he set up on his balcony.
Well, we ate and talked then K did a random drawing to pick teams and we started playing softball. (As we found out later K paid the city $25 for us to have the ballpark for the whole day -- She had to show this one family the receipt when they wouldn't leave after we told them we paid to have the ball field reserved for us.)
So we played 2 games, and it was fun. Depending on the inning and where I was needed I played 2nd, short stop, and the outfield some during the course of the games. There were a few injuries. C, the most petite girl I know (woman I should say; she is prob. only a few years younger then me, but so small I sometimes think of her more as a "girl"), was hit in the right kidney area by the ball and had the wind knocked out of her. We were all worried for a few moments when she went down and stayed down, but after she finally got up and looking at all the concerned faces around her she did a little jig to prove she was alright (she is a professional dancer), and then walked off the field and took herself out of the game.
Well, that was the most "impressive" injury. There were a few more minor ones that everyone else "walked off." (mine being leg cramps that started at the end of the first game and had me limping through just about all of the 2nd game -- K had trouble believing I wanted to keep playing, but I didn't want to sit and let the cramp get worse so I kept the muscles moving and doing leg stretching exercises when I wasn't out on the field. By the end of the 2nd game I pretty much had stretched the cramps away).
Well, we talked and rested little more after the 2nd game. K, making a point not to let on what she had ("if anyone asks tell them it's lemonade"), slipped me and a few others some champagne in styrofoam cups.
Alcohol isn't allowed in the park and there was a funny little incident. K had a pretty good buzz going when two cops came by and asked if we had any alcohol. We all said no in unison. Then K, being a little tipsy, asked the cops if they had any. We shushed her and the cops went away, but talk about stupid!
A little after that we packed up and P (K's ex who she's still on good terms with) found he had a flat tire. Well, that tire was *stuck* on the car. No one in the group could get it off. I asked if P had road service and he checked his papers. He did and it covered flat tires. So he called.
K asked if I would stay with P while he waited and everyone headed back to her place. N volunteered to stay, but K said she wanted someone to stay with him who could handle themselves in a fight and told N no offense, but she thought I could take N if the two of us fought. That surprised me some. I know I am physically big, but I am not by nature a fighter, and N isn't exactly a small person either. I was also surprised that before K left she whispered in my ear to "take care of P."
Well, P and I waited, and waited, and waited. The road service person told P someone would be there "within the hour." More then 2 hours later and well after the sun set in a very dark park P and I were still there. Finally P used the cell phone N lent us and called K. K had M (the husband of the person I call E here) come out to try and help us. M brought a sledge hammer and after shattering one end of a 2x4 against the tire with the sledge hammer the tire moved some. P flipped the board to put the good end against the tire and he finally knocked it off with the hammer. We thanked M, the spare was put on, and went our ways.
P took me to K's and we all had some Sundays that C (the one who had the wind knocked out of her earlier) was making. We talked a little more, than I came back here, put some moisturizer on my sun burns and spent more time than I thought writing this.
Now it past is time for bed. I have a feeling I will be sore tomorrow. I'm sore now and the sun burn is just starting to sting as well.
[editing note from after proofreading this: Do you know your ABC's now? I don't like using a person's name without some sort of either implied or actually stated permission, but geeze even I need a score card to read this with all the initials I used! oh, well.]