Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Home, Sweet Home
This year winter in New England has been just short of unbearable. Here in Western Mass, somewhere between Stockbridge and Boston, there is still snow in the woods and ice covering some ponds. As I write I can see piles of snow where my hockey rink stood this winter. At One O'clock this afternoon the World Champion Boston Red Sox will take the field for the first time since last October and usher in Spring with a pop of the mitt and a crack of the bat.
The Red Sox left their spring training home in Fort Myers Florida 19 days ago in a roundabout way back to Boston and their home, Fenway Park. They flew to Japan for two exhibition games against Japanese league teams and two real games against the Oakland A's. These games were like having a dream about being on a tropical island with a gorgeous woman for two days and then waking up cold in Siberia next to a polar bear in the dead of winter. The Sox then flew to L.A. for two meaningless exhibition games against the Dodgers to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers moving to New York. They then flew to Oakland to finish out their four game series which started in Asia. Next it was on to Toronto, Canada for a three game series against the Blue Jays. From Toronto they were finally homeward bound to Boston. Two continents, three countries, multiple time zones, 11 games and 20,000 frequent flyer miles later the Red Sox will bring Spring back to us New Englander's. That is what the rest of the country doesn't get about New England's passion for the Red Sox. The Sox rescue us from the cold,dark and despair of winter. They are with us practically every day from April to October, always in the background while we are doing yard work, at the beach, attending wedding receptions or cooking in the backyard. We associate them with all of the things that are good about summer in New England. Radio, TV or Internet they are there for us, everyday, faithfully. Win or lose the sound of the Sox on the radio is as calming as listening to the waves crashing on the shore in Wellfleet or the sound of a mothers heartbeat.
This year the green of the grass and the home whites will be accompanied by another vivid color...gold, the color of the Red Sox World Series rings. If you are reading this you made it through the winter safe and sound. Now its time to start living again.