A Game 7 for the Sox, and More
“If youâ€™re going to play a game seven, you might as well win, and if youâ€™re going to win, you might as well enjoy it.” â€“ Josh, hours before the final set-to in the Indians-Sox clash for the AL pennant.
A sweet and juicy day for me. Overnight temps abruptly dipped into the 30s the last few nights here in Asheville, and today there’s no haze over the Blue Ridge peaks; instead it’s brilliant sunshine, crisp air and fall colors to rival the sugar maple shows I grew up with in Vermont.
We went to the local playground this morning, and on impulse I plopped my almost-four-months-old son Theo into a baby unit on the swingset, a first for him — I gave him a gentle push, a tentative smile bloomed on his face, and my wife and I drank in the new sight of our two small, beautiful, astounding children swinging side by side.
This past week we signed a contract to buy a home here in West Asheville, and almost immediately I began to feel a lifetime of transience and rootlessness begin to slough away. It feels good to think that I’ve found a place that I might live in for 30 years. The bosom of family, a castle to call my own, work that feel passionate about — I’ve got a lot to be grateful for, and that’s exactly how I’m feeling today.
What’s more, watching the Sox roar back from a 1-3 deficit to force a for-all-the-marbles contest tonight has fully roused my inner 9-year-old’s enthusiasm. And I do mean nine, for that was my age when I clambered on board the Red Sox bandwagon for good, during their dramatic run in the Fall of ’75 on the backs of El Tiante (who my brother writes about today), and Fisk, Carbo, Yaz, the rookies Lynn and Rice.
Today I feel like I did back then, just excited, having a good time. I remember being in a KMart or similar store, giddy, and stubbornly refusing to leave the crowd of people in front of a row of TVs watching Tiante wheel and deal and 3-hit the A’s. Of course the Sox couldn’t quite grasp the brass ring; I threw my first sports-fan tantrum as the seventh game slipped away and the Reds took the Series. And then over the next 29 years I was, in my estimation, bound to an inordinate amount suffering via the Sox and other greater, more personal anvils of the spirit. But the sun’s out now, and may the weather hold. Even when it doesn’t, I’m feeling reasonably confident that, like the Sox since 2004, I have reclaimed enough mojo to fight through the storms, bounce back from mishaps, and truly enjoy the sweet moments.