It’s 6:30 am and we are off to Kyle (touted by Wikipedia as the fastest-growing town in Texas, which also makes it a strong candidate for the ugliest – lots of big box stores and pop-up housing.) My nephew’s team, the Texas Gunners, will be playing the Triple Play in the Battle of the Basement. (Winners get to sleep in. Losers play at 8:30, and the team meets for warm-ups an hour earlier) The Gunners have beaten Triple Play in two previous games but we must not be overconfident.
We arrive at the ball park. My nephew and brother stride off toward the dugout with the duffel bag full of gear. My sister-in-law and I note the rain spangling against the windshield and decide to huddle in the SUV for a few minutes longer.
Twenty minutes pass. The rain is still spatting against the windows, but we unfurl ourselves from the SUV, add a couple of layers of warmth from the back seat stash, and make our way to the bleachers, happily sheltered under a tin roof. The other parents are cuddled in sleeping bags, or afghans, or double layers of fleece. One family has brought a tent, which is pitched under the tin room for added protection.
First inning. The wind picks up. And up. The sky grows darker. And darker. My nephew distinguishes himself as pitcher during the first inning, and the second. Rain continues. Wind increases. 25 mph, says the weather app on my smartphone. It is now the third inning, and my nephew’s pitches are getting wilder.
“Will the game be called on account of rain?” I ask my brother through chattering teeth.
“Nah. Only if there’s lightning. If there’s lightning they have to stop and wait for a half hour since the last thunder clap.”
As if on cue, there is a bright flash of lightning. A long roll of thunder. The umpires blow their whistles. The teams retreat to their respective dugouts. The parents shiver beneath their blankets. The kids seem immune to cold, not even donning their team sweatshirts as they wait out the interval.
A half hour passes. No more thunder. The teams resume the field.
Bad news: My nephew’s team loses again. They are eliminated from the tournament
Good news: They don’t have to play again. We can go home and get warm.