Here is a story my family likes to tell. Once upon a Christmastime, in a house where we used to live, my wife was napping on a couch in a room with many windows near the front door. There was a fire in the fireplace, a Christmas movie on television, gentle snow falling on the homes of neighbors. Across the room, Christmas tree lights glowed through ornaments both new and old. Our energetic dog slept by her feet. It was, in many ways, a perfect holiday afternoon.
You would never know it was coming, if everyone didn't already know. The sky was mostly cloudy. At noon Monday on Broadway in Fargo, the traffic was lunch-time normal. Men and women left office buildings and walked toward lunch, though they seemed to walk more slowly. Nearly everyone looked up, taking a peek at the sky. People lingered in doorways — a way to stay outside.
God love the sweet summer evenings at a baseball field. It's a game of nine against one — the type of odds that make heroes and dreams. And it's a game of beauty and grace. People use words like caress and kiss to describe the way a pitcher finds the outside corner of a strike zone, the imaginary box that changes with each batter and umpire. There is the sudden interruption of a bunt, the thrill of a double-play, an affirmation that all is well when a ball arcs up, out, and over the left-field fence.