Today’s catch-playing partner had to cancel due to work obligations.
I understood completely. Life happens. Work happens, too. I tried not to be overly worried as partners confirmed for both Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s still open. Not really sure what I’m going to do about Easter, either. Maybe head to the sunrise service at Hammons Field, but there’s a forecast for snow. It also happens. I don’t know if people who attend sunrise Easter services at a baseball field actually anticipate being asked to play catch.
Mom texted to let me know she was available until 5. But if I played catch with Mom today, who would I play catch with on Mother’s Day?
I posted a quick plea for catch-playing help on Twitter which was re-tweeted by one of the many popular inanimate object accounts of Springfield, The Tumbler (@SGF_Tumbler). The Tumbler is a fascinating piece of art on the square that gets flipped and turned different directions quarterly. I once hid a book on OLC Free Book Friday in / on the Tumbler. I was honored to have help from a neat statue.
I also posted a message on Facebook and found a volunteer — Tammy.
Tammy is the grant genius at The Library Center. She helped me on multiple occasions when I worked at OLC.
She is also the organizer of events and community chaos. Last weekend, The Library Center hosted a “How To Festival.” There were 32 presenters and more than 700 people turned out for the event. Tammy had asked me to share stories about “How To Get Your Book Published.” I re-titled the session, “How To Fail 100 Times and Keep Going.” Unfortunately, my scheduled slot was the same time as Kaylea’s music festival performance. I couldn’t miss the violin.
“We substituted ‘How To Play Chess’ for your session. It worked out just fine.”
Additionally, Tammy is a reference and resource librarian. She helped me while I was writing Dreamfield, reading one of its earliest drafts. When I struggled, she encouraged me to keep writing. Every writer needs a Tammy in their corner.
Today, Tammy was a catch-playing resource. Compared to some of the questions she’s heard, I’m certain “Wanna play catch?” is rather dull.
“The last time I played catch was with you, when you presented here a couple years ago.”
That was before my ankle surgery. That was before six of Tammy’s ankle surgeries.
Today, both of our ankles are strong and cast-free. We shared stories and broke no windows playing catch outside Mudhouse at The Library Center under the watchful eye of Jessie, the branch manager. I’m pretty sure Jessie spent the whole time laughing at our stories. Her laughter was both welcome and contagious.
Maybe I should start a catch-playing comedy act. (Come up with your own punch line.)
And just in case you need a reason to celebrate: It’s Opening Day Eve!