On a rare Saturday with nothing on the schedule, we ran some errands in the morning, and after lunch mowed the lawn. Just as the kids were getting restless, we sprung a surprise on them: We were going to ride our bikes into town for the baseball game.
Now, this is a bigger deal than you might think. First of all, we live three miles from town, with gravel roads all the way. Because it’s been a wet spring, the gravel is loose and not the easiest for riding. There are some low but long hills along the way. And we haven’t been out on the bikes much at all so far this year ever.
Add to that the fact that none of our children ride a two-wheeled bike yet, and training wheels don’t work well on loose gravel. Because we do plan on biking as a family this year and in the years to come, we’ve invested in some contraptions: two “tagalog” trailers for the boys, and a double trailer/stroller for the girls.
I get the five-year-old on the tagalong behind me. He’s a good pedaler, especially when he doesn’t want to lose the “lead.” My husband, on the other hand, gets the seven-year-old on the tagalong, and then the two little girls in the trailer behind that. All in all, I’ve got an extra 50 lbs, and he has 130. Of course, he does physical work for a living and is in much better shape than me.
Anyway, we made it into town without too much trouble and parked the bikes at the ball game. Almost all of the small towns around here have “town ball” baseball teams that play on weekends throughout the summer. Our baseball field is in the city park, so as soon as we had parked the bikes, the kids were off to the playground, and only came to find us when they wanted a snack.
This is one of the things that is really neat about living in a small town. The kids knew the other kids at the park, and we could visit with friends and neighbors, all while sitting outside on a beautiful June day and watching a baseball game.
Our team played to a crowd of around 100 people. The announcer kept us apprised of the game and was sure to work in the game’s sponsor every so often. The concession stand offered the usual baseball game fare, but at affordable prices. And during the 7th inning stretch, there was a motorcycle parade that made a few trips around the park square.
After our experience at a minor league ball game, I think town ball is what we’ll watch for now. As my daughter said, “Mom let us play as long as we wanted, and then we could come eat. And then go play some more.” The kids had fun playing while we watched the game.
The hard part was the trip home. Somehow the hills got longer and higher, and the wind had picked up. My tagalong guy was happy enough to lose the “race” home once he declared that the winner was going to “bake” supper. We made it eventually, arriving home with memories of a pleasant afternoon spent at the ballgame.