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Sunday, April 30, 2017


I was not fussy as to which 'ball game' I attended, but I was hopeful to at least attend one.  There was a contest.....! Although I would not use the word 'addicted', I do find it difficult to break with my habit of entering contests, daily.  Originally, I entered those I in which I was interested, but one of the sites suggested that in order to win, it was advisable to enter all contests, therefore, putting yourself in a loop, which gave you a better chance.  I do not hold with that philosophy on all sites, but it has caused me to be less judicious with my applications.  However, despite always quoting the opposite to my children, and any that were put in my  charge, to me, it is not the 'taking part' but the 'winning' that counts, and I am happy with all that I manage to obtain.  

Having never attended a rugby match, the offer of tickets to see the Austin Huns was rather appealing, and I entered the contest every day for a week.  Baseball, on the other hand, is not really my sport, but my husband is a fan.  Had he not 'done his best', in practice, as a young boy, his (dare I say, egotistical) teacher would not have been called 'out'.  Being beaten by a mere child did not endear my husband to his coach, and Dana, therefore, was not picked to play in the forthcoming match, where the scouts were scouting for players to be groomed to become professional.  Apparently, Dana was worthy of the call, and was in the local paper many times, for his 'excellence' on the field.  Not becoming a professional player has never been an upset to him, but the appreciation of the game has never wained.  When I saw the contest for an 'baseball exhibition match', I entered, thinking that he would enjoy the experience.

Monday was an exceptionally busy day, but I found the fifteen minutes needed to break away from work and enter my regular contest sites.  I made up the time at the end of the day, as we did not leave the office until eight!  Thankfully, Tuesday started a little slower, and I was able to make my way across the river to the radio station, as I had won the tickets to the rugby match! 

The call that alerted me to the fact that I had won the tickets, was quite amusing.  The young man on the other end of the line was taken aback at my enthusiasm.  "Wow, that's amazing!" I shrieked, genuinely excited by the win.  "Yes, it is", he said, sounding as if he had just told me I was to have teeth extracted, without pain relief, and I was highly delighted.  My choice was twofold.  I could attend the match against the New Orleans team, on the first Saturday in May, or the one against Richmond, this coming weekend. "Richmond as in England?", I asked, wondering why an English club would be coming to Austin.  "Yes, Richmond, UK", he replied.  That would have to be the match to see, I thought, and responded likewise.  

With four tickets in my hand, I left the radio station feeling quite excited.  I knew Dana was not particularly keen on the idea of attending the match, but Jerry had expressed an interest, and I would have to see if he wanted to escort me.  Samantha's lack of interest was somewhat less than Dana's.  The match started at five, and would be over by six thirty, so I would not be 'out' for too long.

Dinner had been partly prepared on Tuesday morning, and leaving the office at 7:30 was not too much of a problem.  We would be eating later than I would usually prefer, but it would not take too long to finish off what I had started some thirteen hours earlier!  "At least we are thirty minutes earlier than yesterday" was not really considered compensation!

Wednesday morning was busy. Joe had been away the previous week, and I was in much need of coffee.  The company was good too!  Gail pulled into the parking lot, just before me, and just after Joe.  We entered the 'shop' together, and enjoyed an hour of scintillating conversation before I had to travel across to have my nails decorated.  

"Hey, Tracie?" was the question following my "Hello" as I answered my phone, expecting a recorded message telling me that my car warranty was about to expire!  I responded in the positive, and was told that I had won four tickets to the Baseball Expo!  I was suitably excited.  I would not have to collect the tickets, but would be emailed a letter, which I should take to the box office, and I would then be granted access.  The only problem was that I did not give my full name, when entering the contest, and they had to have it in order to process the prize.  I was quite surprised, but then remembered that one of the forms had denied my entry as it said I had not completed it properly.  I found that the only way I could enter was to put my email address in the phone number section, my phone number in the name section, etc etc.  A glitch on their part, and my refusing to quit, was what, perhaps, won me the prize!  

However, when returning to the office, I found that the 'game' was not a 'game', but an exhibition of Baseball memorabilia.  It was the 'Hall of Fame Mobile Exhibition', and was only at the Dell Diamond Baseball Ground until Saturday, and it was open until 7pm each day.  That meant that we could only go on Saturday, and that would jeopardize the rugby match.  To forego either would go against the grain!  As the tickets for the exhibition had to be picked up by me, I could not give them away.  ID was required!  I stewed for a while.

Thursday and Friday were very hot days.  I had contemplated going swimming instead of walking on the latter but Samantha needed to go to the supermarket.  My regret of choosing to go walking continued into the afternoon, and then I made another regretful decision, by remaining at the office, with Dana, instead of taking him up on his suggestion of going home, swim, then collect him once finished.  The pool was calling me, and I did not answer!

Saturday was meant to be stormy.  However, the heat had not subsided, despite the wind picking up.  We had been experiencing very high gusts for days, although the breeze was also very warm and did little to cool the temperature throughout the week.  

Samantha and I went out on our usual Saturday adventure, and when I returned home, Dana was still at the office.  With the possibility of an outing later in the day, I chose to acknowledge the calling from the swimming pool, and walked down to the water.  It was wonderful!  I swam for about fifteen minutes, and then read a chapter of my book, that had not been opened since last year! (My previous visit a couple of weeks ago did not allow for such frivolity!)  I returned home and found my husband waiting to take me out!  

We arrived at the Dell Diamond stadium around four thirty.  "Do you have tickets?" asked the attendant.  I showed her my letter. "Oh I am so sorry. I have bad news.  The box office is closed as we are closing at five."  I must have looked a little confused, as she read my facial expressions.  "You wont be able to see the IMAX presentation, but you can see the exhibits, but you must be out by five!"  We assured her that it was not our intention to watch a movie, but to see the memorabilia.  We were granted access, without ID!

The 'virtual reality' tour was not impressive to my husband.  His introduction to the technological invention to which I have become enthralled, was not a hit!  The picture was fuzzy and the experience limited.  Mine did not work at all!  He was guided by a very enthusiastic lady to another chair and a more expensive headset. He tried to resist, but she insisted he could not leave until the experience met her satisfaction!  It was still not particularly impressive to him, and whilst he thanked her profusely, he was not interested in spending too much time in this arena.  She finally let go of his hand and allowed him out of the caravan!  The rest of the exhibition was much more to his satisfaction.  'The' bat that Babe Ruth used to score his many home runs, was behind a pane of glass as was Joe DiMaggio's cap and Jackie Robinson's 'retired' shirt. A Honus Wagner playing card, valued at more than three million dollars, was exhibited in the next car.  (Apparently) The greatest short stop, who debuted in 1897, Honus Wagner is considered to be, by many, the greatest all round player!  Most of the names were not familiar to me, and others of whom I had heard, I would not remember unless prompted. However, the first two mentioned above, I believe, are probably household names. 

I attempted to have my picture taken with those famous names, but could not get the 'stand' right.  In the event, the picture looked as if someone was throwing the bat at me to remove me from the field, which would probably be nearer to the truth than me joining in the game!

Taking us about twenty minutes to see the whole exhibition, we left just before it closed.  Dana was impressed!  I was delighted!  He said it was better than going to a match, to actually see the 'tools' used by his childhood heroes.  This was music to my ears, as my husband is not easily moved!

We drove from far north to far south, and arrived at the Austin Hun's Rugby Club just as they broke for half time.  It was still very warm and we sat with the sparse crowd and waited for the second half to begin.  There were several spectators on the field, taking part in a half time 'fun' kick, and the crowd were cheering.  The English team were apparently beating the Huns by a considerable amount, with the Austin team yet to score, the whistle blew for the second half.  Within a couple of minutes, Richmond scored another 'try', and the Huns were not looking as if they could recover.  The crowd, however, was not giving up, and the encouragement was being shouted from the stands.  The commentator took the time to let the crowd know that whilst the Huns had not lost a match this season, they were no match for the English team.  However, the English team was founded more than a century earlier than the Austin team, (fifteen years before Honus Wagner was born,)  and is the second oldest English club.  Richmond scored several times in the second half, although the scoreboard was not updated! However, the Richmond side were at somewhat of a disadvantage. The heat was definitely not conducive!  I think I was the only English person in the stands, and found it hard not to cheer when Richmond surged forward again, and again. The Huns did not give up, and on one of the last plays of the game, one of the team managed to stop the 'umpteenth' try by England, but alas it was in vain, as they picked up the ball and scored again, just prior to the 'full time' whistle blowing.  The score was a rather impressive 'something' to the Huns' nothing.  

Dana was suitable impressed!  I was quite delighted that he had
enjoyed both outings!  We were invited on to the field to form a line and 'congratulate' the players, by 'hand slapping' as they walked through the aisle of supporters.  The Richmond side came down first, and joined the walls, to 'slap' the hands of their rivals. Dana was in the thick of the crowd, as if he had been to each match of the season, and this was the norm for him.  I spoke to a Richmond player, who thanked me for taking the time to come and watch.  I told him that I had never been to a rugby match before, and having lived in Austin for thirteen years, it was rather amusing to think that my first experience would be here!  He was very gracious.  I found it equally amusing to be watching the sport, wearing a pair of short trousers, sleeveless shirt, and flip flops.  It was over ninety degrees, and this is technically a winter sport. Winter in England, of course, is vastly different to that in Austin, and typical attire would be long trousers and a thick coat!  Hats are always optional!

Dana and I left the field and headed out towards Central Austin. 
We enjoyed dinner before heading home after what was a very pleasant afternoon!  

The two prizes had been claimed, and used!  Although I have won things that were perhaps more valuable dollarwise, these were priceless!  

Sunday was a lot cooler than the rest of the week, with a strong storm taking away the bulk of the heat, as well as a couple of trees! We walked around our complex in the morning, and surveyed the damage.  I would not be swimming during the day, as apart from the temperature being a little on the chilly side, the pool was rather covered in debris.  I am hoping for a chance to swim next week, but it is, until Monday, still April, and the season has taken off early.  

With a 'first' under my belt, and new experiences always on the horizon, I am looking forward to the new week. Despite having to work, I know that something will crop up that will be interesting or worthy of ............ another story!

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