bunt sign

Friday, August 17, 2001

I was walking out to get my mail this afternoon and I happened to glance across the field at my old place. I can see it from the middle of the driveway, and what I saw made me glad that I wasn't there any more. At least six vehicles were parked in the area between the duplex and the fence. Sometimes I regret being so isolated out here, but I'm never sorry I don't have that much activity so close to me. All that coming and going is such a nuisance, especially since none of it ever brought welcome visitors to my door anyway. I'm well shed of it.

It's been a good week, mostly, up and down since the medical procedure Tuesday morning. I've felt a little better every day, but every day I've had a moment or three when I felt as if I'd just run into the wall behind the ivy in Wrigley Field. You think you can keep going, and all of a sudden you've been stunned and thrown backwards. Each day is better, though, overall, so I'm just putting the past behind me and marching forward (as if there were no wall at all).

Mom and I took the bus to Pacific Bell park to watch the Giants play the Braves tonight. It was a beautiful night in San Francisco, and a great game (even though the Giants lost). The atmosphere at a major league baseball game this late in the season can be electric, especially when two dominating pitchers are in command. When that happens, every pitch has the outcome of the game riding on it, and every missed chance to score is a potentially fatal failure.

Our seats were high above home plate, and it's the first time I've dragged Mom all the way up to the rim of the stadium. I think she enjoyed the game, but I don't think she appreciated the steep climb. We found one elevator and one escalator to get us to the top level of the ballpark, but we still had to get to row 16, and the only way was to climb the stairs. It might have been the second inning before she caught her breath. She was a trouper, though.

Pacific Bell Park

Sailboats in the Bay, beyond the right field wall at Pacific Bell Park.

It was our bus driver's first time on this run, and although he knew his way around the City (so he claimed, anyway, droning endlessly about his vast experience), he'd never been to Pacific Bell Park before. He had a map that told him to go one way, but the signs pointed him the other way. He decided to follow the signs, but when we seemed to be going in circles, he looked at the map again. I told Mom that I wished he would either follow the signs or the map, because combining the two seemed to be taking us in circles.

Some of us knew the landmarks, though, and eventually we got him to the stadium parking lot. But then after the game, this navigational genius took us the roundabout way. We'd been driving over the city streets for half an hour, and I looked out the window and saw that we were back in front of the ballpark. It took us forever to get back on the bridge, and I didn't get home until one in the morning (from a game that ended well before ten).

Every time he had a choice, he took the longer route. At one point we found ourselves driving through the darkened back streets of Petaluma, to get to a stop that was just off the freeway. For some reason he'd taken the off-ramp before the one I thought he should have taken. Possibly he just wanted to show us he could get us from A to B by way of LMNOP.

Pacific Bell Park

The view of the field and the Bay beyond, from the top of section 314.

Unless a miracle happens, this was the last Giants game I'll get to see in person this season. With a month and a half left, I've used up all the tickets we were able to buy last spring. Last year we were there twice during the last week of home games, but it doesn't look as if that can happen again this year. That's disappointing, because it's going to be an exciting finish.

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