Indian summers are typically defined as a period of unusual sunshine and warmth when it's really supposed to be falling leaves and crisp chills. Today, LP and I made indian summer a state of mind by manufacturing the spirit of outdoor sportsmanship on the last day of September.
We had talked about building a Baggo set for each of us this spring, and because the summer tends to run away with the best of us, it wasn't until last Thursday that we decided today would be the Big Day for backyard carpentry. We had a grand plan: print instructions from someplace on the Internet, bring it into the nearest Home Depot, lay it down on the counter and calmly ask for for all materials to be measured and cut to size. Perhaps even have them put it all together so all we needed to do was take our raw Baggo sets home and paint them (LP: Northwestern "N" and purple/white theme, me: Cubbie "C" and Cubbie blue theme). Comfortable with this schedule, we settled down to a fantastic brunch at Glenn's Diner and jabbered about how we'd be all done in good time for LP and Scottie (Lee)'s dinner reservation at Spring for 9pm and for Scottie (McAcvoy) and Julia's BBQ tomorrow.
Two hours later at the Home Depot on Lincoln and McCormick, we picked our plywood boards and 2x4s for the frame (the more expensive options -- handcrafted = premium). Everything started off well, but like a heavy bag of cornfeed falling on our heads, they told us they could only do straight cuts, so we'd have to rent a jig saw for the hole in the board. Then over in paint, they told us we had to prime our plywood, then apply at least two coats of glossy white before painting on our design. Simply put, we would've been able to complete our Baggo sets in one day -- only if our day had started at 5am.
Like a shortstop waiting to relay a perfect fire to home for the tag-out, Ira and Andrea were at home with their to-die-for array of power tools and more than happy to host our tomfoolery. Armed with cold Coronas upon our arrival, Andrea took charge without much opposition from either of us and cut beautiful holes in our boards. We then ground the edges to straighten the curve and sanded them down smooth. By this time, it was dusk, the Coronas were being drained, and it was time for LP to start getting ready for dinner.
On my way home after dropping LP off, I talked to Scottie Mac who declared that he built his set in two hours. I suppose that's how it goes for someone who pretty much built his house on his own. But he doesn't know how to make ice cream.
Speaking of building, later that evening Sara and I watched "Field of Dreams." Funny how corny baseball movies from the 1980s end up being quite tolerable and even enjoyable. Love is blind, they say. There's no crying in baseball, but there sure is some of it watching baseball movies. Just one piece of coaching advice: you always want to watch a movie like that with a good ball player. That's just how the game is played.