Cracker Jacks

“I’m leaving the office now, and I think maybe you should, too,” said my boss.  I took her up on that.  Normally I can see rain coming from about thirty minutes away, up on the seventeenth floor.  Today, suspecting there was wicked weather on the way, I had my eye on the horizon.  I looked out and it was bright and sunny, then stepped about twelve feet away and waited for my document to print, and when I looked back the sky looked like this:

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so that was fast. It was ninety-five degrees when I walked out the front door of the office building.  By the time I made it two blocks to my car, it was roughly thirty degrees cooler, and the wind was fierce. I thought for a minute, a short minute, about the eighty-mile-per-hour winds on the way, plus my leaky sunroof, plus the giant sagging oak tree in my neighbor’s yard. The one leaning over my house. Dawg is at my Mom’s, so I could see no benefit to driving home to try and beat the storm. I drove to a parking deck on Wilmington Street, circled up to the highest level with a roof overhead, and watched the storm from there.  The wind was impressive.  There wasn’t nearly as much rain as I’d have guessed.  But the sky still looked threatening as we met up to catch the Bridge Bus to Durham.

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We weren’t entirely sure there would be a Bulls game, what with the power outages and uncertain weather and all.  We weren’t even sure we’d make it, with the downed tree blocking I-40 west and all the downtown gas stations closed due to power outages, but once we got through that tangle, we zipped on down the highway to Durham, with someone else driving.  I think I love the Bridge Bus.

By the time the ten of us assembled with hot dogs and beers, the sky had done this:

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and it was a perfect baseball night.

My favorite part of any game is when they have a convention on the mound.

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I also love the little Bulls running the bases. And, you know, the yelling and cheering and crowd dancing and dodging the occasional fly ball.  I love it when your team is down by five and then scores eight runs in the sixth inning.  I love it when someone almost hits the Bull. I love the t-shirt cannon and the sumo wrestlers and eating Veronica’s french fries.  I love it when other hecklers start to heckle the heckler in your midst.  I love the seventh inning stretch. I love ballpark hot dogs.

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I took this picture at sunset, and it is straight out of my camera.  No photoshop.  No instagram filters.  This is the North Carolina sky over the ballpark, on an almost-summer night after a wicked storm.

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And the sun set for real, and the Bulls played on, and the Raleigh half of us boarded the Bridge Bus home.

Turned out to be a pretty great night.

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