And more summer memories…

Time in the trailer has me thinking about the past more often. I find myself in various places in various timeliness, and understanding the meaning of life as a retrospective.

My mom and dad both loved baseball but in different ways. Mom loved to watch the games while Dad loved to listen on the old transistor radio. I loved being at the stadium or listening in the car; still do.

I don’t remember who taught me to appreciate the game, but it was the one thing that we could all agree on, ever. (Well, if you don’t count ice cream.) If the Indians were playing, the game was on. There was no quibbling, no changing of channels, no drama, just baseball. I still know how to score a game on paper, archaic hieroglyphics.

Dad used to like sitting by the kitchen table with the little radio, while Mom preferred the living room with me. I had my own little transistor radio, a fancy blue ball Panasonic Panapet that I got for Christmas one year. With the two radios on, we’d have a makeshift stereo effect going. We would pay so much attention to the games that the summer twilights would settle, yet not one of us noticed it. There was only the baseball, the ice cream, the crickets, the fireflies, the warm unspokenness, and the baseball…

We’ve had so many great sports announcers though the years, but none could top the smooth delivery of the great Herb Score. Like the athletes he described, he was The Natural at painting the picture and putting you inside the ballpark, inside the game, there yet not-there, all worth it. Herb was a former Indians pitcher, maintaining his excellence and love of the game by being the television voice and then the radio voice of the Indians for decades.

Herb called many highlights, few better than Len Barker’s perfect game on May 15, 1981. Herb swept us right into the excitement as Lenny worked his magic and wove a spell not only inside the Stadium but inside our house. Mom and Dad and I celebrated right along with the Indians that night, as did many others in the neighborhood, their transistors on in their twilit living rooms.

The trailer doesn’t hear much baseball — Frank’s not a big sports fan, and although he doesn’t mind when I listen, I know he’d rather be doing something else. I catch my Indians in the car every chance I get, listening and watching in my mind’s eye as if I were in the new ballpark, my heart “back in the day” when we clung to those golden moments of peace in the dark.

When the starlings return to Geauga County….

Alison was smart and posted her event on Facebook, so we have the date. March 19th is both St. Joseph’s Day and the day the swallows return to Capistrano….

Strangely, Alison and I both had birds in our respective houses that day. We determined they were starlings. Hers got lucky and escaped. We’re not sure what happened to mine.

I’ll connect you to Alison’s blog (check it out at https://old-pretty-and-slightly-broken.home.blog/ — she has a lot of fun stuff there, mostly not bird-related!), where she will regale you with the whole process she and Paul went through to evict their Birdie. They got creative, and that may be why their bird lived to fly another day.

My little guy probably wasn’t so lucky. I haven’t found Birdie, so there’s always a chance, and I also know there are spaces I haven’t looked yet.

I had taken the dog out that morning and was standing by the gate waiting for him to do his thing when I heard a noise. I stood there for a second, trying to figure out where this noise was coming from. The house is empty — and yet that’s where the sound was coming from.

When I turned my head, I saw a little black starling flying and flapping against the patio door, trying as hard as he could to get out. Leaving the dog inside the pen, I headed toward the house to see if I could help the poor thing.

I knew this would get interesting and it did. As I moved to open the patio door, Birdie flew toward the window. As I shifted toward the window, Birdie flew upstairs. And I don’t go upstairs without someone else present: there’s quite a bit of stair damage that I avoid. We’ll deal with it eventually.

I stood there for a while longer with the patio door open, frustrated and hoping Birdie would change his mind and come back downstairs. I thought about leaving the door open — but I didn’t want to have to figure out how to remove the squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, opossums, and raccoons that would have wandered in because I was trying to remove one bird! I wished Birdie well, closed the patio door, locked the house, and retrieved the dog.

I’ve been inside the house several times since then and Birdie is nowhere to be found on the first floor. I hope he found a way out upstairs or was able to fly up the chimney. Poor Birdie. I leave him in St. Joseph’s care.