Thursday, August 24, 2006

Softball 2006

For the last two summers, I've enjoyed my Monday nights with our softball team made up of guys from Blackhawk. If there's anything that screams summer for a 20-something former high school athlete, it's summer softball (especially when you're sponsored by the Great Dane). This year we were asked to play in the top division, and we gave it our all, but struggled against some of the better teams. We did have a stretch during the season where we were hitting and fielding the ball really well and a good time was had by all. In only our second year together, we're improving and I fully expect things to continue to get better.

There's two reasons I love summer softball:

1. I love playing sports and so that's great for my soul.
2. I really value time with the guys and look forward to seeing them in that context.

One of our players, outfielder Andy Dalton makes the 10th inning at the Dane something to look forward to by presenting weekly awards for great and not-so-great plays from the game. Well he took his awards to the next level by awarding season-long accomplishments. Here's what he came up with:

  1. The official Foul Ball Policeman Award – Tim Schiefelbein (don’t even get close to a foul ball on the 2nd strike if you know what is good for you)

  2. The Most Improved Player Award – Matt Cranney (he now knows which way to run on the bases)
  3. The Best Homer Umpire Call of the year Award – Garrick (Joel Dreier’s foot did come off first base!)

  4. The Most Sustained Injury Award – Jeff Miles (we all knew it the moment we saw it happen, that ankle didn’t even have a chance)

  5. The Best Slide of the Year Award – Joel Hassenzahl (or should I say Pete Rose)

  6. The Funniest Base Run of the Year Award – Matt McCallum (I would have given him a 10 if he would have kept his toes pointed on the summersault into home plate)

  7. The Best Batting Average of the year Award – Kevin Weidkamp (Total guess on my part, but on our team it always helps to miss a few games to help out your average)

  8. Most Likely to Fight His Own Teammate Award – Stan Petrie (When Cranney took him out running back to 1st base after already being forced at 2nd; actually in Stan’s defense he never got mad at all)

  9. Most Likely to never hit the ball to the Left Fielder – Rob Farrand (Until last night that is)

  10. Best Base Sliding Rash/Burn/Cut of the year Award – Greg Fisher (I think more of his leg was red the next day than not)

  11. Ugliest Catch of the year Award – Andy Dalton (Underhanded granny catch running in from Left Center; but I got it)

  12. 10th Inning attendace Award – Hans Schiefelbein (Most coveted award of the year; for his efforts Hans received 2 club level tickets to the game of his choice for the remainder of the Brewer’s season this year) Let that be a lesson to all of you for next year!!!!
Officer Stan (obviously off-duty)

The Awards and Toast Specialist, Andy Dalton

"The Gambler" Kevin picks Stan's credit card out of the hat during the Card Game. He smiles in disgust b/c his card was the only one left, so he paid our last bill at the Great Dane.

Team Photo - Summer 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lonely Sunrise

This morning I know one thing. I am not complete without my wife. (Still sounds weird: my wife.)

I guess I’m in one of the best situations if she’s going to be gone – I’m at a leadership conference with my colleagues in the college ministry along with other Blackhawk leaders. So I feel good, busy, challenged, and ambitious. But I’ve never had a night like last night when I come home to an empty house. I miss talking to her about my day, hearing about hers, and doing the daily things like dinner together. It was lonely to wake this morning in an empty bed. I have things in perspective, and I know more experienced couples might chuckle at my first night without the wife. But this blog wouldn’t be complete without this entry because she’s that important to me. Can I be thankful for being apart for these two days? Yes I can, because I need to be reminded of what I have to appreciate her when she’s gone. So Katie – I miss you. I miss your eyes and I miss your soul. Although I wish you were in my arms, it’s amazing to close my eyes and feel your presence in my life and our connection of heart and mind.

It feels like India all over again - I have to write you on this computer to talk to you. Actually, I forgot my cell at home, so I'm really hoping you're checking this like I said. Tell your dad Bono hit the ball out of the park. Tell your mom I'm looking forward to our next leadership discussion. I'll talk to you later today, but not before I go get my phone.

I love you and carry you with me always.