June 2003

New York, New York.

Of course John wanted to see his family in Massachusetts. But what was the main motivation for his early trip north? His Astros were playing the Yankees and Red Sox in interleague games. And John hadn't been to Yankee Stadium ... so his quest became ours. Peter, John and I drove down to the Bronx on a humid, cloudy day.

As we made our way down the ramp off the Major Deegan, I saw a parking lot sign: $10. And because the stadium was right there, a short walk away, my mind couldn't quite absorb this seeming disparity. But it was true — every lot/garage by the stadium: only $10! And get this Red Sox fans: the tickets were only $18! So New York wins this one: much more reasonable costs for going to a game.

Not knowing the lay of the land, we pulled into a multi-level parking garage right next to the stadium. So far, very easy — maybe too easy? We had a seat in the upper deck, with a great view of the field and environs, a fun atmosphere. Lots of school kids were at the game, apparently on year-ending field trips. The girls screamed for Derek Jeter like he was a rock star, and everyone was dancing with the music. Yes, lots of loud music between innings and on-field action; commercials, features and contests playing on the JumboTron —so much noise has invaded baseball cathedrals also.

We enjoyed the game, though John lamented the Astros' loss. Since we stayed to the end we paid the price: shuffling along with the large crowd down the ramps, then sitting in the parking garage for 45 minutes before we could emerge. And the capper: it was rush hour in NYC. So getting onto the highway was another marathon wait. I amused myself by taking pictures of Bronx architecture and graffiti. We made it home 5 1/2 hours after the game ended. A long day, a good day!

Still waiting for the sun.

So activity had picked up, but the cool/damp days continued. Our golf tournament was pretty low-key this year. A few of Kurt's friends, John and Peter played at Blackstone National Golf Club on a cool morning. They actually got the round in before the downpour began, then had a post-round meal in the clubhouse. A bunch of good guys ...

Before John headed home after his short trip, we all took in one of Joe's T-ball games. I was proud to see my cute nephew looking like a pro out there. Good fundamentals in the field and on the bases — Go, Joe, Go!

And of course I had to remind the kids of Uncle John's famous faux pas as a little leaguer many years ago. I was the big sister watching the game when a ball was hit to John at shortstop. He bobbled the ball, then threw wildly to first base. The PA announcer's booming voice stated, "Double error on the shortstop Carnovale!" To this day, John disputes that — "There's no such thing as a double error!" I agree, but the embarrassing announcement was made for all to hear. Poor John.

Can this month be saved?

My sister-in-law Tina's birthday is June 21, the first day of summer. She said she couldn't remember a colder birthday ...

Then, after that bleak rainy weekend, just another of so many — suddenly, finally, it was summer. It was as if Mother Nature said, OK, enough complaints ... So you want summer, eh? I'll give you SUMMER!!

And the heat wave began, in the last week of June. Four days in the 90s, with haze, humidity and unhealthy air. Hah! we said, BRING IT ON. That's how deprived we'd been, that this brutal heat and humidity were welcome.

On the weekend the kids, Tina and Mom (up from Florida for the summer) came out to the lake again, this time with more hope (after the last visit on soggy Memorial Day weekend). The sun shone, the temperature was in the optimal 80s and yes —I believe — fingers crossed —we finally have a summer. Erin and Kelsey are getting very good at kayaking, and even Joe, in the too-big-for-him kayak, did great paddling around.

After water fun and a cookout, the kids wanted to go to the Shelter to see all the cats I'd been talking about. So off we went ... you can guess (and see) how crazy everyone was over the gang, especially the kittens! 'Mummy, pleeeeease, can we have this one?' Poor Tina, I'd set her up for that. But she was diplomatic, not saying no forever, just not now. Good mothering job — what a psychologist/diplomat/enforcer you have to be.

It was great seeing how sweet and gentle Erin, Kelsey and Joe were with the cats ... I do like these kids. And they even got into browsing at a local antique shop on the way home. Can I pick nieces and a nephew, or what?


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