Thursday Ritual

     It’s funny how things happen sometimes.  Thursdays have been softball night for me for a number of years now.  I could try to remember how long I have been playing…  It might have been in 2005 when we started a team with people on the Gunflint Trail. 

     There isn’t a softball field on the Gunflint Trail.  The nearest field is in Grand Marais so that is where we would travel to play.  The first year’s team was primarily past or present business owners with Clearwater, Gunflint Pines, Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Wilderness Camp, Bearskin and Voyageur represented.  Many of the women had never played ball before and claimed they were too old to play.  It was fun to have a reason to carpool, spend time visiting with each other and get off of the Trail for a night.

     The players changed a little each year.  We added some younger players when the older ones retired and some of these were from town.  I met more and more people from town when my kids started school and many of these people knew other people and the team now only has 2 of the original players with me being one of them.

     As you can probably imagine the team didn’t win too many games.  I’m sure there was more than 2 seasons when we didn’t win any unless it was by forfeit.  Even last year we maybe only won one game with talented players.  This year is a different story.

     We have only lost one game this whole season.  With the exception of 2 players who aren’t at every game we’re pretty much the same team as last year.  What has changed?  I really don’t know but the team has been doing terrific.  

     Maybe it’s because when we started the team I was one of the youngest players and now I’m one of the oldest players?  Could it be I used to play shortstop and now we have a rockstar in that place instead of me?  Maybe it’s the fact I can finally throw more strikes than balls and only walk a couple of people each game? Or maybe now that my kids actually sit down and watch the game instead of running around screaming I can concentrate on the game and not worry about them? 

     Maybe it’s not about me at all.  All I know is it’s a Thursday night ritual I look forward to each week.  The girls are fun, no one takes it too seriously and I hope I don’t get too old for it anytime soon.