Columnist Treena Mielke

Family: When rain cancels ball game

The wild roses are out, blooming in roadside ditches, their gentle beauty softening barbed wire fences and simply creating beauty everywhere they show their shy, pink faces.

I have always had a peculiar fondness for wild roses, Alberta’s own wildflower, planted with loving care by a higher power who has the great and wonderful gift of creating all things good and beautiful.

That being said, the hailstorm that swept through my resort town the other day was far from beautiful. In fact, it was quite horrible, and I cringed every time I heard the ping of a hailstone.

That is a lot of cringing!

Anyway, it seems my beautiful, magical flower gardens which had only just started to show their perfection to the world will survive. True, they look slightly worse for wear, similar to myself at the end of a long and weary day battling the storms of life whatever they may be. But, a few days after the storm, they seem to be bouncing back.

Bless their little flower hearts.

The petunias that marched in a delightful candy coloured lane down my front sidewalk are gently pulling themselves up to full attention and the pretty little faces of the moss roses that cover many of my pots and flower boxes are shyly peeking through once again.

In keeping with the burst of beauty this season brings and the slow release of the chains of COVID that has held us all captive for far too long, ball season has started.

I love it. I love hearing the staccato crack of the bat and the absolute poetry in motion that occurs when a fielder makes an amazing catch. I love the rush of adrenaline that comes when sliding into home and the umpire yells safe.

Correction.

I used to love it.

In my younger years I played a lot of softball and then when slow-pitch became a craze, I played that, too. I was happy on the ball field, but, even when I was not playing, I would find myself in the stands, watching. I remember working in my flower garden and hearing the staccato crack of the bat across the road at the ball diamond, and before I knew it, my flowers were abandoned, and I was sitting in the stands with my youngest child, cheering on the home team.

Last week, one of my grandsons was playing in Sylvan Lake. The first game of the season.

So, I loaded up grandpa’s wheelchair and grandpa himself got settled in the front seat and off we went to watch our grandson play.

It was a ball game kind of night with the scent of wild roses and lilacs heavy in the air. Grandpa got settled in his wheelchair and I found the right team, finally identifying them by their red and white uniforms.

“Grandma,” my daughter yelled. “Over here.”

And so, we settled down to watch the game, happy as could be.

That was when we heard the first staccato crack, but, unfortunately, it was not of a bat connecting with a ball. It was of thunder. And then, right on cue, the lightening flashed. And before we knew it the heavens opened up, not with a chorus of angels, but with a deluge of rain.

And so, it poured.

And, before the game even got underway, before we got to watch our grandson in action, the game was cancelled.

And that was that.

And so, we took our wet and bedraggled selves back home our tears mingling with the rain.

I am kidding. Of course. We did not cry. Well, grandpa didn’t.

But when I crawled into bed that night, I was comforted by the fact that wild roses and barbed wire exist in perfect harmony and flowers somehow manage to survive the harshest of conditions.

And the ball season will not stop because of one rained out game.

And, God willing, I will surely live to see my grandchildren play another day.

Treena Mielke is a central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.