It rained in Virginia this week. That kind of overflowing, cold, pouring rain that makes you stop saying, “Well, we need the rain,” because, not like this. And, now there’s mud on my pants and I have to change. That sort of rain.
So, when I grabbed the basket of massage linens and began to tote them into our basement early Wednesday morning, where the washer and dryer and friendly skinks, lizards, and wolf spiders live, I was especially careful.
Because our basement is a cellar that you enter from outside, pulling up wooden dormer doors, and going down cement steps.
If it’s raining, the steps get wet.
Did I mention that I was very careful?
Sometimes you fall anyway.
Really, that’s exactly what I did.
(Except, I wasn’t wearing catcher’s gear and there was no foul ball. So not exactly “exactly”.)
I could still be lying there in a puddle of my own carefulness. Instead, I’m just banged up.
(Caleb was fine, too, by the way.)
When you fall, it plays out in slow motion. So, in those milliseconds of disaster I saw my career crumbling into a heap of broken bones.
Actually, this is what I saw when I fell.
Wait, no … THIS is what I saw when I fell.
I’m told I could have killed myself, but really, I was just trying not to break my arm.
Once I landed on the cement – my left elbow and low back took the worst of it, for those of you who are injury-curious – and determined I was not dead, I wrote a poem.
You might remember this poem from earlier this season when the Orioles were having a bad spell.
It’s a pretty good poem.
It’s also versatile. Just change the “s” to an “f” and you have a brand new poem which celebrates rain and cement steps and nearly, but not quite, killing oneself.
Please feel free to use it whenever you need it.
I took photos of my bruises for you. They are ugly, but not quite ugly enough. I’m looking for pity here, not another lecture about how one needs to be careful when cement steps are covered in rain. The photos are more like, “Really? I thought it would have been a lot worse than that.” You’d be disappointed. They don’t help my case at all. So, nevermind.
But, my very bad, but unbroken, morning, got very, very badder as the Baltimore Orioles were swept out of the playoffs that afternoon by the pesky Kansas City Royals.
The cement steps couldn’t break my bones.
But, baseball broke my heart.
(I’ve been waiting all week to write that for you.)
Let’s cover a few post-season and World Series topics …
#1) The Kansas City Royals won, fair and square. Congratulations! You swept two of the best teams in baseball to make your way to your first World Series since 1985. That’s pretty awesome.
Whining by Orioles fans who think it’s unfair that there’s a wild card team even in the mix, because wild cards often reflect currently “hot” teams, rather than “consistently consistent” teams, were unusually quiet when the Orioles were the wild card team in 2012.
The Royals will be tough to beat … but …
#2) Go Giants.
Because, they’re almost a home team for Virginia and Orioles fans.
Big Hero of Game 5 Michael Morse? Former Oriole (and former National).
Bigger Hero of Game 5, Travis Ishikawa? Former Oriole (by way of the AAA Norfolk, Virginia Tides).
(That home run call? That’s Giants radio broadcaster, Jon Miller – beloved, former Orioles broadcaster.)
Giants reliable, reliever Javier Lopez? Grew up in Fairfax, Virginia; played for the University of Virginia.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA team), and just an hour down the road from here, has included Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy, Joe Panik, and Ryan Vogelsong (rehab, 2013).
And, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy? He played for the AAA Tides when they were in Tidewater, Virginia (and a Mets farm club) back in 1981-1982.
It’s not my preferred orange and black, but it will have to do.
#3) And, anyway, those ill-mannered Royals are dead to me.
Oh, one last thing …
After the Orioles loss, Casey Karp – Mariners fan, cat person, and author of the especially fine Koi Scribblings blog (really, check it out) – arranged for me to drown my baseball sorrows in ice cream.
I had plenty to choose from.
But, who can choose just one?
When one deserves two?
I’m feeling better already.
Thank you, Casey.
The Orioles will win the World Series in 2015.
Oh, Jackie, I am so very sorry you had such a bad accident. The thought of just how terrible it could have been makes me shudder, as you are VERY important to many of us. Please take care of yourself. I hope editor husband has been doing a bit of spoiling. And, agreed, we’ll cheer for the Giants; that t-shirt put many of us OUT. Looking forward to the 2015 season – all about Os! All shall be well.
Did you watch the Caleb Joseph fall I put in the post? That’s exactly what I did. But, I was lucky — a little bruised up, but my pride was the most injured. It’s amazing what a little ice and arnica can do. I was at work 2 hours after my “splat” fall, and just a little sore. I was very lucky … the bruises and scrapes are fading, and … well, there WAS ice cream! :)
Glad to hear you’re OK. Tell ya what, next year how’s about a repeat of the 1966 World Series? But with different results from my point of view. :-)
The Orioles beat some mighty good pitching in ’66. We’d clearly have to do that again if we’re going to beat the Dodgers in ’15. But, hmmm … if Kevin Gausman can play the role of Jim Palmer … Sure, let’s give it a whirl!
Thanks for the shout-out, Jackie, and I’ll add my voice to the list of those expressing relief that you’re OK. You didn’t say, but I trust that the friendly skinks, lizards, and wolf spiders all came running to make sure you were alright and help you to your feet, yes?
Totally with you on rooting for the Giants–with one caveat: Royals win the first three to set a new record for consecutive victories to start a post-season, then the Giants come back to win the next four to shut up those Red Sox fans who keep going on about the 2004 ALCS. Agreed?
Oh, and it was a four game sweep. I suggest you get another two pints of ice cream: one for each game. Because soothing the ache of a post-season sweep takes a lot of ice cream.
The spiders, lizards, and skinks scattered when I tumbled into the room. Yeh, I give them a nice comfy basement and that’s the thanks I get. (I did accidentally run one little skink through the washing machine this summer, which I felt terrible about. I suppose the rest of them thought the fall was my comeuppance.)
I think the two pints will hold me for a little while … but “Hazed & Confused”, the B&J Hazelnut ice cream, was awfully tempting! If the Orioles fail to re-sign Nick Markakis over the off-season … you might have to hook me up with eight or nine pints.
Thanks again, Casey! You’re swell! :)
I think it’s time you build a mud/laundry room on the main level and forget about that basement!!
I think it’s time for me to forget about doing laundry in the rain at 6:30 in the morning. I’m not quite ready to put a washer-dryer in my Yoga room … but maybe somewhere above ground! :)
I know those stairs…Well! Believe me, Jackie is talking down what out come could have been. She is lucky she’s alive. So are we, because we still get to read her blog posts :) As far as moving the laundry? I’m working on that. Love the photo of your shoes in the air by the way :)
I think those new rubber treads on the steps will keep me upright from here on out. (Oh, and not doing massage laundry in the rain at 6:30 in the morning!) Thanks, Barn Dude! :)
No, no, no…the 2015 World Series will be Pirates-Orioles. And we know how those go.
Third time’s a charm! :)
At least the slip on the cement stair didn’t end up as bad as Manny’s injury. I trust he will be back for the pennant push (one step at a time) next season. I’ll mannered Royals? Explain. The Os might need a catchy theme song; I can’t get “Kansas City” out of my head. Ben and Jerry’s– so many choices. Wish they still made Doonesberry, my favorite from when I was living in Oshkosh. I can hear that wolf spider saying, a la Bugs Bunny, “Watch out for that first step, Doc. It’s a Lou-Lou!” Seriously, be careful. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Jeremy Guthrie’s tee-shirt was a play on a Chris Brown lyric, which, in and of itself, was inappropriate. But, to insult the Orioles and their fans, when we were nothing but supportive of Guthrie during his less productive early years, was hurtful and flat out wrong. Jarrod Dyson’s trash talking about the Orioles having the heart to win (or, as he said, many in the O’s dugout were “ready to go home”) was rude, insulting, and, oh yeah, wrong.
That Ned Yost didn’t call any of his players on their trash-talking and jerkiness reminded me why Buck Showalter is such a great manager. The Orioles tend to their work. They were gracious and eloquent in defeat.
Win or lose, I’m proud of my Orioles. Every one of them. I don’t think Royals fans can say the same about some of their guys.
It makes me queasy to think about what might have happened on those steps. Our thanks to your Barn Dude on his preventive measures for future trips (perhaps that’s not the best word to use here) down to the basement.
As for the beloved O’s, do you suppose they got ice cream after Wefnesday night? Oh well, both you and they get to start a fresh new year beginning today.
Kind of off topic, but the 5 rows of Ben and Jerry made me think of it…. Is Matt Weiters the tallest catcher ever? Or was it Terry Kennedy? Or someone else? Hard to think of too many catchers that were tall. Dale Murphy comes to mind, but he converted to outfield. Anyway, it’s nice to hear of Orioles and Virginia connections to the series. It’s something I miss in broadcasters. They used to provide more detailed profiles of players like where they were born, where they went to school and what not.
I love idle baseball trivia! And, I had to find out the answer to your question. Yes — 6’5″ has been tops for a catcher. Matt Wieters and used-to-be-a-catcher-but-now-is-1B Joe Mauer are both 6’5″ (but Wiety seems much bigger). Sandy Alomar … also 6’5″.
Larry McLean, who played in the early 20th century for a handful of teams (like the Boston Americans and NY Giants), was also 6’5″ … so he held the record a good long while. Even idler trivia — McLean was shot and killed by a bartender during a barroom brawl in Boston in 1921.
P.S. Terry Kennedy was a tiny thing … just 6’3″.
Thanks for stopping by …. I really like your blog!