July 6 wasn’t a good Monday to say the least.
I had to open on my own that day and there was only one other person who was scheduled to work at my sandwich shop during the lunch rush: Tran. Tran’s a nice guy and a hard worker but he was only scheduled for a paltry four hours, leaving me alone for half of my shift. On top of it all, I was behind; our manager had come in, declared that two thirds of our prep was bad and proceeded to throw it all out.
My store opens at nine every day. On Monday, I didn’t open up until quarter to ten and even then, I was so behind I could barely keep up.
When four o’clock finally came and I saw the closer for the night, I had never been happier. All I wanted to do was go home and forget that this day had ever happened. It had been busy, so busy that I couldn’t wash dishes or do prep, so busy that I hadn’t been able to catch my breath or get a break to eat anything. So when I got to my cell phone and saw a couple of texts from my husband Prime I was a little put out. Then I read them.
We were heading to another Timber Rattlers game, as Khris Davis was still doing a rehab appearance with our local Minor League team. Also, the Rattlers were going up against the Kane County Cougars; I have a pennant from them that has a few autographs from a few of the Cougar players. This could be an opportunity to get more. My foul mood evaporated immediately.
Prime dropped by the mall with a change of clothes and got us to the stadium early. Very early. So early that the gates weren’t even open yet! But we waited near the locked gates and were among the first to get into the ballpark. Once we were in, we headed over to the visitors’ dugout, I with my pennant in tow.
I was able to watch the Cougars take batting practice, which was amazing to watch. When they were done, I managed to get a few signatures on my pennant, welcome the Cougars to Fox Cities Stadium and then made my way to the home dugout. This time, I was holding a Khris Davis Oyo figure. I wanted to get the home plate autographed.
It took a while but my patience paid off: Khris Davis came out and I got his autograph. I was over the moon. In fact, I was bouncing in place when I caught up to Prime and showed him.
When the game started, I grabbed some food. It was the first time I had felt hungry all day. In my case, some nachos hit the spot nicely.
The Cougars were ahead for a good amount of time until the sixth inning, when we got hit with some heavy rain! It wasn’t a long rain delay but it seemed to be enough to change the mood. The Rattlers were able to tie it up and we went into extra innings. At the bottom of the 11th, the Rattlers were able to pull it out. They won.
Although the game was done, I hung around and got another autograph while in the ballpark. Afterwards, I headed to the Cougars bus and nailed a few more. I told the team that I loved their ballpark–I had been there in June while in town for BotCon–and thanked them all profusely.
When I got back to Prime, I was grinning. And I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. The earlier foolishness that had taken place at my place of employment was completely forgotten. Life was good. No, life was great.
No, it wasn’t heaven. It was just a ballpark in northeastern Wisconsin. But it felt like heaven, which is what keeps me coming back, season after season and year after year.