Posted by: Jim E | May 31, 2013

“There Used To Be A Ballpark Right Here”…The Good Old Days…And Sitting Quietly…

Time is a funny thing…we can’t make it, we can’t stop it…we just count it…as I get older the Timemonths just run by…but it’s okay with me…first, I can’t do anything about it…and second, I enjoy every moment…but, time is tied so closely with life…and it has more importance than any of us want to give it…I was just talking with someone about time and how it differs as we get older…how when asked about someone I knew or something that happened in our past…I often would say, “Oh, that was maybe 15 or 20 years ago.”…but when you are over 70 like I am…often it was 40 years ago or more…and amazing as it sounds, I still have years to play with beyond that!!!…so to repeat my first statement, “Time is a funny thing.”…I can remember things over 50 years ago…and most of that time we were already married and had kids…heavens, I am old…

I love getting up in the morning…finding out that I am still alive is always good to know…I don’t get the paper any more (too expensive for old news), even though I love to read the paper (a Pinnacle Mountain State Park 4learned behavior after years of doing it)…but since I don’t get the paper, I can’t read the obituaries to see if my name is in there or not (it was always a good feeling when I checked)…so I have to depend on “being upright and breathing” to give me the news I have always valued…but other than realizing I am still alive…I just love the morning…I know people who love to “sleep in”…after years of getting up early for work, in retirement they love to sleep later…I guess that’s okay, but for me…I still love the morning…a new day to contemplate…plan for the day and to think…

I love to sit, even for a few moments, in the living room (or is it the great room, that always confuses me)…I sit on the couch after opening up the blinds, inviting the new day to enter the room…and as I sit there, looking at something, yet at nothing…allowing my mind to wander through the myriad of thoughts, untainted by the sharp edge of today and all its happenings…it’s a pleasant and good feeling…our boys all loved early mornings too…they always got up early as kids…we wanted to get a few extra winks on a Saturday…but no, in they came to make sure we were awake…I sometimes think it made them more creative…quite a leap you say, maybe so…but they are creative, still today…and I think somehow getting up and filling their minds with more hours of life itself, makes one more creative…reading, thinking, watching the world go by…all good stuff…

If time is a funny thing…how about life itself…I remember as if yesterday, the “Good Old img030Days”…I heard my Dad say many times, “The only thing about the good old days, is they’re gone.”…I guess I knew what he meant…the Depression, WWII…all the things of his early life…though he loved his childhood, for him adulthood was not so great…hard times and the War changed him along with thousands of others…so old times were not all good…but I do remember my youth very well…we were poor, though I didn’t know it…well, I didn’t know until later…but to my folks and my benefit, I was easily pleased…a baseball glove, a basketball, a football, skis, a place to swim (in Minnesota a lake every time you turned around)…they all filled my days as a youth…and what with a great imagination…I loved my growing up years…

And in my youth I remember Aunt Edith, she live above my Grandparents in North Minneapolis…I would climb the back stairs to her house, I wasn’t allowed to go up the front Biblestairs…it lead into her living room and unless my folks were with me, that was a place I couldn’t go…but I would go up the back stairs quietly (my Mom told me I must be very quiet and act right or I couldn’t go)…so up I went, quietly…knocked on the door, she would invite me in…she was always sitting in a chair in her kitchen…the old upright chair by the window, it had a cushion and next to her was a small table…on that table was her reading material…her Bible, a pencil and a pad, other books…the light poured in the window, so the lamp on the table was not on nor needed…she would welcome me…it was quiet…and only our talking broke that silence…she was my Grandpa’s sister…so to me she was old…but quick, sharp as a tack, as my Mom used to say…so smart and knew how to talk to someone my age…she asked questions and listened to what I had to say…I always felt she valued what I said, though I’m sure she was building into my life the things she thought were important…she knew her Bible, as they say…and used it…I loved going there…and when things “went quiet”, I knew it was time to go…and left her there in that quiet…looking at something, and yet at nothing…thinking all the time…memories and meditation…

So memories and meditation…good things…not something that is popular today…people want to fill their lives with “what’s happening”…sitting quietly is not where the “action is”…but so Minneapolis Millers, Nicollet Parkmany are missing so much…I heard a song the other day, “Used to be a Ballpark Right Here” recorded by Frank Sinatra…written by Joe Raposo in 1973…I’ll add it here…but it was probably talking about Ebbets Field and the Brooklyn Dodgers…after they left Brooklyn for California…but it has been used by other teams that have moved and their ballpark was demolished…the song does touch feelings of the past…and to the young, it’s not a big deal…but to those who have many years to Minneapolis Millers, Willie Maysremember and have “time invested”…it has memories that cannot be forgotten or erased…heavens, I remember the Minneapolis Millers and Nicollet Park…I went there often as a kid…with my Dad a few times but took the streetcar there many times…I went through that main gate and into the stands…it was old…and made out of wood…the Millers played there from 1896  until 1955, Nicollet Park was then demolished, they then moved to Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota…but you know, showing how time is…the Millers were replaced by the Twins in 1960…and Met Stadium is also gone for many years…then the Twins played in the Metrodome for many years…but for the past couple of years they play in a new outdoor stadium…I guess I’ve lived through the, “Used to be a Ballpark Right Here”, a few times…and memories of Willie Mays who played for the Millers…Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski…many others…

Life is hard but life is good…something both Judie and I have agreed on…life always gives challenges but even with difficulty, life is so good…we arrived at that from living “a few years”, enjoying life even without all the fanfare that many seem to want and need to enjoy living…I Mount St. Helens recoveryread the other day how in May 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and turned 200 square miles into a barren wasteland, I remember that…but within minutes of the blast, life was returning to the worst of the decimation…birds, windblown seeds and insects…and in just a year flowers were returning to the site…plants attracted insects and small mammals…eventually those plants died leaving nutrients for the next generation of plants and animals…and like Yellowstone’s  robust return from a forest fire in 1988…so even through Yellowstone Park recovery from firedisasters like this, nature never fails to amaze all of us…it’s ability to persevere and prosper…it’s about being resilient, overcoming difficulties…it’s all about hope…making the world a better place for new life…

So it is with us…we are the only living things that can decide how much meaning we want our lives to have…Judie and I made that decision a long time ago…but the Psalmist says it best…”The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.”…But then he said with great hope…”I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:1-6…Have a great week…remember all the Lord has brought you through and to… 

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Responses

  1. Hi Jim!
    This is a great post. Very insightful. I was worried about you and your family this past week as I heard about the tornadoes and storms heading into Arkansas. Is everyone in your family okay? Have a great week!
    Take care,
    Julie

    • Julie…yup, we are fine…lots of tornadoes but all missed us…but nothing like Oklahoma…most of ours were of the garden variety…F-1 or whatever they call it…I think the East Coast is getting the storms now…probably a bit weaker though, so that is good…we did get a lot of rain…everything is so green…lots of lightning so natural nitrogen being produced and everything is green…hope you have a good week and summer…lots of daylight…I enjoy that…thanks for your comment and interest…Jim E

  2. Wonderful thoughts, Jim! It’s funny how we don’t realize most of this when we’re young, but once we get old, it’s very easy to get reflective. Perspective over a lifetime is a great seasoning to thoughts.

    • Thanks for the comment W.S….having fun reading your posts…I forget for a bit, how things go in Northern climes…we have been having flowers for a long time…but I miss being North for Spring…what a treat…I have been meaning to ask you…last year you said in one of the places the water level was so low…was it the marshes?…I wondered how that was going this year…water up, so you can enjoy the normal look of things?…I don’t know if you remember that post…but I just wondered…maybe you had a wet winter and spring…thanks again…Jim E

      • Oh yes, I remember! The wetlands areas are wet like normal again this year here in central Ohio, last year’s terrible drought is over! So glad to be back to normal, and we’ve had plenty of birds and wildflowers this spring. So all is well 🙂

      • W.S…Thanks…I don’t know why that stuck with me…but it did…I guess it’s because I spent a large part of my childhood around swamps, okay, wetlands…we built rafts, when the water was up in the spring…and fought off Red-wing blackbirds…but turtles and all kinds of Cattail dwelling plants and animals…and I do know that wetlands can “turn” to tree growing savannahs in less than a generation…so wondered…I so enjoy those wetlands…we have them here too…Minnesota as well…full of life…thanks…Jim E

      • I remember you talking about the swamps, which are called wetlands in the higher-income areas Jim! 😀

        When I was out there last weekend, the Red-Winged Blackbirds flew overhead and let me know that I didn’t belong there. I watched a Painted Turtle cross the road. A good day!

        The parks out here manage the wetlands area and keep it from turning into those bushy savannah areas which eventually might lead to woodland…they put in good work recreating the wetlands, so they don’t want it to go away too soon!


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