Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the park… Only 3 sleeps, Thursday to be exact, until baseball’s opening day. There is something so unique about the season’s opener. It is like the official beginning of Spring and Summer rolled up into one. There is an unwritten permission to skip out of work early and play hookey from school if you are lucky enough to have tickets. There’s nothing like the excitement, the hope and promise of that first home game. We think maybe this will be the year we go to the World Series. Everything is a possibility on opening day.
There’s something to be said about the weather in late March and early April as the season gets going. I recall years ago, before the Dome was built, one opening day in particular. I was fortunate to get tickets. Of course, I called in sick at work. My teen-age daughter and a few of her friends skipped school. It was a glorious day. The sun was shining brilliantly in a cloudless blue sky. However, there was a chill still in the air. We took some blankets, got on the TTC, arrived at the ball park, found our seats, wrapped ourselves up in the blankets, and proceeded to have the time of our lives. The day was topped off with our team winning.
People complain about the Rogers Center, often calling it the concrete convertible. Sure, it doesn’t have the ambiance of a fully open air ball park. Yet, there will never be a rain out or snow out, or have a game called because of wind or cold or fog or any other bizarre weather phenomenon. Yet, as the days warm and the roof is opened , an afternoon or evening at the dome is just fine. Now, I understand repairs and up grades will be happening to improve the experience. So, in the mean time, what’s to complain when we’re always assured of a ball game.
I think Joe DiMaggio once said it best:
"You always get a special kick on Opening Day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen."
Comments are welcomed.
Noted in a previous blog was that tomorrow is not only the first day of Spring, but also the United Nations designated International Day of Happiness. The past few years I’ve been invited to speak with the sixth grades at a nearby school. Part of the workshop is focused on happiness, character strengths, kindness, inclusiveness. This year we talked about creating a Happiness Wall in the school to celebrate this month of happiness and well being. At the end of my time there, the students and staff were quite excited about taking on such a project. Contributions to the wall were not limited to the sixth grades. The wall is in the school lobby and everyone who passed by was invited to add a post. Here is the finished product. Hope it gives you some smiles.
Comments are always welcomed.
Let’s take another trip down memory lane to my teaching days. For a number of years there were several high functioning students. Learning to have some degree of independence was part of their curriculum. The school was located in a neighborhood that had a number of delis, bakeries, a couple of clothing stores, a couple of shoe stores and even an old time Woolworth’s. We had an arrangement with some of the shopkeepers. One or two students would be sent to a specific store with a list they would give to the shopkeeper. Sometimes the students were given cash to pay for the items. Othertimes the shopkeepers would just get the items knowing that staff would be in later to pay. It was a great experience for developing independence, safe street crossings and exhibiting appropriate social behaviors.
Michael (not his real name), an 18 yr. old, was one of those students. A couple of things you ought to know about Michael . He was a collector, as many of us may be. His passion was spatulas and birthday cakes. His locker was full of spatulas. We often wondered where and how he procured so many. We also figured it was best not to ask. As for the birthday cakes, he did not collect them and stash them in his locker. He just like to eat them.
Michael also had another characteristic of which we needed to be very mindful. He was somewhat of an escape artist. The wanderlust could overtake him at any time and he would leave school and go on an adventure. He had several adventures throughout the year. Some escapes were from school, while others were after school hours.
One afternoon as staff was returning from lunch break, we saw Michael sitting in the lobby looking rather peaked with a hint of green around the edges. He seemed to be sick all that afternoon. No one could figure out why, especially since Michael was not much of a communicator. After school a couple of staff members decided to go along the street to see if Michael had been in any of the shops.
When they entered one of the bakeries, the sales clerk said Michael had been in and asked for one of the birthday cakes. Being familiar with our students, she didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary. Even when he did not pay for the cake, she assumed one of the teachers would be in to do so. Of course, Michael had ventured out on his own volition and somewhere between the bakery and school, he had devoured the entire cake. Mysterious malady diagnosed. Yup, just another day at the office.
Comments are welcomed.
March has come in either lionish or lambish depending on your locale. Weather aside, there are a number of note worthy days this month. Today, for example, is Cinco De Marcho, a celebration that begins today and culminates on the 17th. (Honest. It’s a real thing. Look it up.) There’s the Ides of March. No celebration for J. Caesar. That’s followed by St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone becomes Irish. More celebration. In between Cinco De Marcho and those Ides is the dreaded turning of the clocks ahead.
This really has to stop. Seriously. I don’t know about you, but it takes nearly a week for my body to adjust. Each year this goes on, more medical persons cite the mal affects of changing the clocks. There are more car accidents the day after, more heart attacks. Why does it continue? FYI, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Arizona, Hawaii do not change. The reason daylight savings time was initiated doesn’t even apply any more. Maybe we need the Mad Hatter to do a number on the clocks and we all have tea.
The best part of March is the vernal or spring equinox. It may be no coincidence that the first day of Spring, March 20, is also the United Nations designated International Day of Happiness. When we move into Spring, even if the weather may try to tell us otherwise, there is a wonderful change in energy, a change in perspective. We joyfully leave the hunkering down of winter to step into mud-luscious Spring. There are a myriad of metaphors for Spring and you’ve likely heard them all at one time or another. Instead of offering another tired metaphor, here’s a little piece of useless, semi interesting trivia.
From the Farmer’s Almanac: “Spring arrived on the 21st during most of the 20th century. They slide earlier and earlier during the 400-year Gregorian calendar cycle. The final March 21 equinox was in 2007, even if we use Greenwich Time as many almanacs do. Now the 21st is gone for keeps. In a few more decades, the vernal equinox will sometime start landing on the 19th.”
Whatever day the equinox occurs the 20th will still be the International Day of Happiness. We not only want to be happy ourselves, but more importantly, how can we spread happiness? Spreading happiness will in itself make us happier. What will you do to spread happiness? Why wait until the 20th to start? We can make the entire month a celebration of happiness, kindness and good will.
Comments are welcomed.