Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

My Happy Place

Today, as I sipped coffee and pondered possible blog subjects, I suddenly knew exactly what to share.
Autographs from Whitey Herzog, Warren Spahn,
Adam Wainwright & Kyle Lohse, David Freese
and Colby Rasmus
We in Cardinals Nation are in dire need of a lift, and this weekend my baseball joy was renewed! Clearly not from a spectacular showing by our Redbirds as they continued their downward spiral and a shockingly unwavering ability to lose games to the lowliest of teams, the spirit boost came instead from the simple exercise of redesigning space.
We just completed a lengthy and much anticipated project in my household. And on Sunday I was finally able to put the finishing touches in my new favorite nook.
Most families have it – the place that never quite has a purpose other than “catch-all” – a room or a corner that collects random boxes, papers and clutter.  In our house it was the back bedroom.  Once it was a child’s bedroom, then it morphed into an office of sorts – consisting of a hand-me-down desk and file cabinet surrounded by odds-and-ends, our kids’ never-ending art projects and the dreaded pile of papers without a home.
My dear husband, who is the smartest, handiest but also the busiest guy around took on the task of carpentering a built-in desk, cabinets and a 10-foot-long work surface along the back wall (in his spare time – of which he has none.)  Every piece of clutter and errant paper now has a home and my chaos has been replaced with zen.
This morning I dropped the kids off at school anxiously anticipating the pleasure of returning to the peace and quiet of my new paradise.  Here in my own little corner of the house, in small town USA, far from any Major League venue, I am happy.  Why? Because after hours of framing pictures, preserving keepsakes, and finally pounding nails into walls and arranging the displays, I am surrounded by baseball memories lovingly collected over the past four years of my short love affair with the game.
My Wall of Fame
Including Dad’s childhood glove autographed by Warren Spahn, Ed Mathews and Del Crandall
Baseball is a hobby that has forever changed my soul. The glorious sights and sounds of the game. The intrigue of discovering something new about the heralded pastime. The triumphs and tragedies of a long season. The players I have had the opportunity to meet. All these fan experiences have built the foundation for my devotion.  My passion is hardly unique as countless fans for generations have similar emotions about the sport. However, this weekend’s exercise of revisiting the highlights of my own baseball history reminded me that at this point in the season when my team is losing and the fun seems gone, the joy of baseball can survive.
2009 AAA Championship Game
It is a beautiful sight now. My baseball treasures have a new home, moved out from boxes and reunited from their various perches around the house.  My husband is glad to have his bedroom a baseball-free zone again, and a former junk room has been reclaimed in the name of home improvement. With just a glance, I can revisit memories of Spring Training adventures, AAA championship games, autographs and a growing stack of baseball cards that have found their way into my possession. And most importantly, irreplaceable family memories have finally been appropriately protected and preserved.
Spring Training 2010
Adam Wainwright, David Freese
and Kyle Lohse
The demands of day-to-day life (and baseball schedules) have the ability to dishearten and discourage. But a trip down memory lane reminded me that the enjoyment of this baseball hobby cannot be ruined by a slump or a bad season.  Baseball is simply bigger than that.
May you too find your ‘happy place’ until our boys regain their footing!
GO CARDINALS!  =)

3 responses to “My Happy Place

  1. Anonymous August 31, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    >Your own little Memory Hall of Fame! Love it. Everyone needs a 'happy place'.

  2. jhadley August 31, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    >Erika, Wow! That is incredible! Does your hubby have any bros? hahaha What a wonderful collection and you have put it all together perfectly, Martha Stewart! So happy for you to have such a Happy Place. May I come visit? Soon? And maybe live there? Hhaahahahahhah! I kid. Not really. Wonderful piece! Love ya,Jacqueline

  3. Anonymous August 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    >For the record…. The space is 11' 4"! Glad you like it;), "hubby"

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