Thursday, June 17, 2010
South Africa: Days 8-9
Trying to keep the glass half-full here.
Been a long couple of days, post-game reserve. A 4 a.m. wakeup call, a long ride in a van, a couple of flights, a couple of delays, a lot of metal detectors, a freezing cold hotel with no shower, many cups of bad coffee, and the overall tension of something going on in another part of this country that I have no control over (yeah, "that"), but which occupies a lot of my brain.
But, as the kids like to say, it's all good.
The last few days sort of bring me back to my days as a baseball beat writer, the unusual rhythm of life on the road. I think Bill Bradley wrote about it in his book "A Sense of Where You Are," which I read as a young kid. He was describing the life of an NBA player. Something like this: A cab, a plane, a cab, a hotel, a game...repeat. Days turn into weeks, I find myself looking repeatedly at my watch, not to see what time it is, but to see what day it is. Scarce little time for this blog, but hope my handful of followers are checking out my real work at this little site.
Those who know me, know nothing means more to me than my family. As we near the end of Week 2 in South Africa, I continue to relish the experience, but also have to fess up. My son Tyler turns 14 on Saturday and I won't be there to celebrate. He's about to graduate from Manasquan Elementary School, and I'll miss that, too. My son Beau made Little League All-Stars and has begun to prepare for the Districts. This is the time of year when my sons run home from school, sling their backpacks in the door and ask me if I can throw them batting practice. It pains me to not be home with them. And, of course, that's not to mention my wife Linda who has to bear all the responsibilities of making sure they're prepared for their final exams, on-time to practices and games...and, of course, able to participate in all those "kid things" that go on at the close of a school year. Lin's pretty amazing at keeping it all together, but it doesn't erase the pain in my heart when so much of this goes by while I'm away.
A long drive through South Africa awaits me tomorrow, about five hours with my new driver, Jan ("Yon"), and hopefully back in JoBurg in time for "that" thing I'm stressing about.
Glass is half-full, trip's about one-third over. Peace all.