IT’S . . . SUMMERTIME!!

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet . . .  (of course, that has since been upgraded to “softball, brats, hummus, and river cruises”)  But Memorial Day weekend means it’s “Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!”  That calendar guidepost where, according to our parents, the lakes are now warm enough for swimming; and women can now wear white without creating a rift in the space-time continuum.

May 25

[The longgggg weekend began with our weekly “whoever shows up” Wednesday dining at the golf club.]

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. . . then we had to leave early because it was time for BAT’s semi-annual visit to our fair city, beginning at Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale.

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[BAT and his wife Brenda are road warriors who make Alexandria their only Minnesota stop as they travel America’s highways and byways.  They have performed here for I believe five years now.  They schedule five performances where BAT will play for four straight hours, no breaks, and segueing from song to song.  Amazing!]

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[It was also “wine down Wednesday” at SAWA, meaning with a food order you can get a bottle of wine for half price.  Needless to say, this is not a wine we order on regular basis!]

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[Goodnight, Jami and Danny!  Toward the end of the evening, BAT sang Friends in Low Places.   Danny at one time worked in a bar long enough that he grew sick of that song – so it was all the encouragement he needed to call it a night!  Ha!]

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Then, Good night, to table mates, Kathy and Erik!]

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[Ruthie takes a final shot – that’s Brenda on the left.]

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May 27

[A little tasting at the golf club where we voted on a member-chosen red and white wine for the season’s menu.  Out of a field of ten, what’s not to like?]

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May 28

[BAT’s first of back-to-back days at Carlos Creek Winery.  The weather was iffy, so performance was inside.]

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[You all know this one, right?  Piano Man . . . “and put bread in my jar!”]

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[This turned out to be a great day and venue for a really fun performance.  The place was packed all day, people always waiting for seats to open up, so the sing-alongs were performed with gusto much to the delight of the fans . . . and for BAT!]

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[Did someone mention sing-alongs?  Plus, we were enjoying the latest bottling of Vintner’s Blend, which is 75% Minnesota-originated Marquette grape.]

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[Dave and Karin in full voice as we get ready to exit the scene – BAT received a deserved standing ovation from the assembled masses.]

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May 29

[Back to the winery in the morning for an all-day doubleheader.  Anthony Miltich, an all-time “local” favorite, had the 10 – 2:00 shift, and BAT followed on from 2 – 6:00. Fortunately we lucked into an absolutely beautiful day for sitting outdoors.]

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[Since Anthony retired, he has a little longer drive to get to us now.  He used to come from Fergus Falls to perform, now it’s from The Cities (well, northern suburbs takes a bit of sting out of the trip)!]

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[They did a complete switch at the changeover – Dave and I helped as roadies, moving BAT in and Anthony out.]

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[Hi, girls!  Having fun yet?]

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[Dave airing the dogs.]

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[We were joined during the afternoon by Judy and Dwaine Berger, and in the last hour by Helen and John Etnier, our first sighting since we all got home from our Europe trip.]

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May 30

[Remember the “softball” part?  I picked up old high school buddy, Brad, recently returned to his old hometown, for the section semi-final v. Sauk Rapids-Rice, the No. 3 section seed (our Cards were No. 2).  As you can see, another bright, sun shiny day here in Vacationland USA (thoughts of, oh my, sunburn came to mind as we plopped down in the bleachers) for the noon time start on Memorial Day.]

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[Now that you have the roster immediately above you, you know that’s Kelsea (1) heading out to right field and Allison (3) to 2nd base.  Our sitting position gave me a better angle to shoot to the right side of the field.]

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[Pitcher Caley (16), who won the opening round game against Little Falls, warms up with catcher Rev (14).  And that’s Calley (2) in center field.]

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[Rev’s throw down to shortstop Zieg (4).  You can follow the flight of the throw!]

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[Ellie (12) on first with Kelsea in right.]

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[And the first pitch . . . ]

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[No runs for the Storm in the top of the first.  A team meeting decides that was a good thing.]

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[Batting lead-off for the Cardinals – Allison.  Had to chuckle at these photos because I didn’t really notice at the time – she’s a bit into batter’s box foot gardening, à la Joe Mauer.]

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[But when she’s ready . . . as I recall, she stung the ball her first three times up, and I thought she should have been credited with 3 hits (a hard shot at a close-in 3rd baseman was scored an error).]

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[Then Zieg, a natural rightie bats leftie in the two-hole because she’s usually in a bunting situation.]

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[We had heard about first baseman Ellie’s amazing power statistics this year – 6 homers in the team’s last 8 games, averaging about 2 RBI’s a game. So I tried to photo each pitch of her first at bat – on one swing I heard her connect and immediately looked up from the camera to see the ball go over the right center fence – 210 feet away – on a line. Great, compact power stroke – the Cards were off to a 2-0 lead!]

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[And the team comes out to greet her.]

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[Then Calley . . . ]

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[Then Rev . . . ]

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[Then Kelsea . . . ]

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[Head level, eye on the ball, good extension and follow through . . .

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[Great swing, Kelsea!]

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[Hayley (13) . . . kinda felt like I was short changing those who played on the left side of the field and batted right handed.  Just couldn’t get a good look at them through the screen.  Hayley hit well and played terrific left field defense in the two games I’ve seen.]

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[I must have missed DH Lauren (11), another rightie, because we’re back to Allison.]

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[Then Zieg, a switch hitter.]

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[Ellie . . . didn’t see too many strikes the rest of the game after her homer.]

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[This looks like Amy (5) . . . ]

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[The 3rd baseman, another rightie who plays on the left side. Like Hayley, both hit and fielded well in the two games I’ve seen.]

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[I unfortunately got several shots like this!  Oy!]

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[Here’s Rev again, just another good all-around, multi-sport athlete.]

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[Zieg, had a rough day at the plate but came through in our last at bats.]

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[Caley pitched the first four innings, only giving up two runs with good clutch pitching because the Storm were putting a couple runners on base every inning.  Then 8-grader Ally (6) came on to pitch the last three innings.  With the game tied at 3 in the top of the 6th inning, the Storm loaded the bases with no outs.  Young Ms. Albers proceeded to strike out the next three hitters, and that essentially won the game for the Cards.]

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[By holding the Storm scoreless in the top of the 6th, you knew the Cards were going to score in the bottom of the inning.]

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[Ellie . . . this was in the 5th?]

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[And Amy, now in the 6th?]

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[And Lauren rifled one down the right field line for a hit.]

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[Then back to Allison.]

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[I think she on purpose swung and missed on strike 3 knowing it was going to be a wild pitch – she made it to first and the runner on 3rd scored the go ahead run.]

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[Back to Ellie.]

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[Ooops, was that a strike out?  It looked like it was going to be a really big inning for the Cards – 2 runs were in and the bases were loaded with only one out.  But that was it.]

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[Ms. Albers pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 7th and the Cards were winners.  A good win against a tough pitcher.  The Storm had 13 hits, the Cards had 8 but made the most of them.]

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[Attempts at photographing the post game celebration were thwarted by the chain link.]

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[Then it was time for the Super to take the three of us for a cruise in the convertible, an activity sure to aggravate my developing sun burn.]

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[We stopped out the golf club for an outdoor lunch, and then proceeded to the northern parts of Alex Brad hadn’t seen for many years.]

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[Past Rotary . . . ]

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[And the theater . . . ]

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[And Geneva.  All-in-all, a pretty decent weekend.]

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Summer bachelors like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be.  ~ Nora Ephron

Up Next:  Europe . . . track meet?

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One Response to IT’S . . . SUMMERTIME!!

  1. g. says:

    I’m envious of the lake scene. Remember those summer breezes in Alex. Love it!!!

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