There’s Something Pleasantly Relaxing About a Steady Summer Rain

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What is it about a steady summer rain that so soothes the soul?

It’s a lazy summer Saturday. Tiny droplets gently pitter-patter on the skylight in the family room. Too soft to be called a “drumbeat,” it’s a beat nonetheless. A stable beat. A mesmerizing beat.

A beat the has you closing your eyes and relaxing. You snuggle a bit as you sink into the comfortably cozy couch cushions. It’s a reclining couch, triggered by a small button strategically placed within easy reach of your left arm. An electric whir compliments the soft thud of the continuing wet beat overhead as you lean back into your leisurely morning.

What is it about a steady summer rain that so soothes the soul?

You open your eyes again, but only for a moment. The dark grayness of the cloudy skies only encourages the pleasant idleness.

You snuggle once more into the cushions. Even though you softly lay within the dry indoor confines, your body feels the warmth of the summer humidity that blankets your surroundings.

You rest easy, knowing all is well…

In a far, far, distant past I recall the joys of watching the summer rain. Not a care in the world. My brother and father beside me. My mother… What was my mother doing? Probably reading. More likely worried my father would take his young boys on a muddy wet hike, leaving her to deal with the consequences.

Ha! The joke was on her. It would take another decade when, as teenagers, we’d frolic in the summer rain, splashing in backyard puddles, tempting the distant rumble of thunder.

At least then we were smart enough to wear our swim trunks. In our younger years, we were smart enough to stay out of the rain… and especially the mud.

That joy, however, never left. In our more mature versions, we continued to appreciate a good summer rain. Only now, we didn’t want too much lest the grass grow too high before we could cut it. And, worst of all possible worsts, we didn’t want it during those days-long campouts and their associated hikes through nowhere.

But, inside, within the walls of our own home, the tip-tapping of small globes of water against our windows still sends us back to those placid times. The times of carefree nothingness. When the only concern was to find that last baseball card to complete our set. Before there was school. Before there was work. Before there was the worry too familiar to adulthood.

Yet in the warm of that seasonal precipitation, all else evaporates.

What is it about a steady summer rain that so soothes the soul?

Is it the gentle pitter-patter that softly touches all around you?

It is the warm humidity that blankets your entire atmosphere?

Is it the knowledge that the rain prevents you from doing outside chores, forcing you into the cozy environs of your home?

Is it the dark grayness of the cloudy skies that encourages a pleasant idleness that has you relaxing in your favorite cushioned seat?

It matters not, for in this moment, all is tranquil. All is divine.

Why I’m Thankful for The Sandlot

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Take a step out into the fall air. There’s a faint rustle in the stillness. Falling leaves flutter to the Earth’s floor. Their slow decomposition releases an arousing aroma. It’s the smell of autumn. It’s the smell of coming things. It’s the smell of football.

There comes a time in the late school day afternoon, when the homework is finished, that the smell beckons. When this siren calls, the boys come out.

Or at least they used to. There was once an age, well before organized youth sports, when neighborhood boys would regularly convene. Together, they would decide the game, the boundaries, and the rules. Then they’d play. Sometimes deep into the darkness. The score never mattered. The camaraderie did.Continue Reading “Why I’m Thankful for The Sandlot”

A New Beginning

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There’s nothing like strolling out to the pitcher’s mound for the first game of the season. A new season ushers in a new beginning, and with a new beginning comes new hope. For someone like me, the games may be of the past, but the smells aren’t: the sweet fragrance of the freshly mowed outfield; the gritty dryness of the dusty infield; the melts-in-your-mouth aroma of broken-in leather. With these smells, of course, bubble up the feelings of old: the promise of a clean slate; the dreams of achievements yet to be; the comradery of brothers only shared experience can forge.

Admit it. If you’ve ever played Little League Baseball, then you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever coached, then no doubt you’re amazed how a new generation of kids Continue Reading “A New Beginning”

The Annual Thanksgiving Mudbowl

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mudbowl-1434436-1598x1062Bring an old weathered football up to your nose, close your eyes, and take a good whiff. Can you smell it? Do images of sweaty muddied gruff men, caked with sweat and blood, move in slow motion within your brain? Do your muscles tighten in pleasant anticipation at the thought of the gridiron? If so, then congratulations. You are part of a dying breed, a member of a secret society that long ago closed its doors to new applicants.

Well, not exactly. Those doors  remain open today and they will forever stay open. It’s just that, in an era of prefabricated microwave cooking, no one wants to go through the Continue Reading “The Annual Thanksgiving Mudbowl”