I'm not really sure where this is going to go, but I had to write about it.
Some days are just better than others. I slept in until 8:00 a.m. this morning. I had a cup of coffee. I watched as a Blue Jay plucked seeds from the birdfeeder in the backyard. There's something about a late autumn morning in northern Colorado that's sinister, but exciting. Gray, yet blue. Calm, but stormy. I can't explain it effectively, but today was one of those mornings.
A quick drive up the Poudre canyon led me to more of the above. I had the good sense to borrow a pair of neoprene waders from my Dad to fend off the cold water flowing down the Poudre. I looked a bit goofy, I suppose. Dad's feet are about 25,000 times bigger than mine. My old-school Norwegian stocking cap, complete with ear flaps and a missing tassle on top, adorned my thinning hair, mainly because the cap has brought me good luck on the river.
No exception today. The hat worked. I caught six trout on a day when I figured I'd catch nothing but pneumonia. All small. None "picture-worthy." Just fun.
The miracle for today, however, came in my victory over my 10 year-old nephew Cameron in a heated Playstation baseball game. Cameron routinely kicks my butt in all varieties of Playstation games. And the cool thing about the kid is that he always pays me a compliment. "You're getting a lot better, Uncle John," he'll say after handing me a 7-0 shutout in Playstation soccer. "I just got lucky, Uncle John," he'll say after thrashing me 35-7 in Playstation football.
I don't know how I did it, but tonight, some of the fur/lint from my lucky Norwegian cap must have stuck to my hair. It was the bottom of the 9th. The Playstation scoreboard read 8-8. Cameron had Dontrelle Willis on the mound, while I had Alfonso Soriano at the plate. Crack! Single!
Mark DeRosa fanned two fastballs from Willis. The third pitch came in on the lower right corner of the strike zone. Boom. Over the ivy fence at Wrigley Field.
As I leapt from the couch to do my geeky Uncle victory dance, Cameron calmly placed his controller on the floor and stretched out his hand in a conciliatory, gentlemanly gesture, waiting for me to give him "five."
Kids are cool. That's why most of my best friends are kids.