Monday, December 27, 2010

Hey batter batter!!

When Shane was about a year old, I left my wonderful job at the Grand Traverse Resort.  I didn't really want to leave, but I also didn't feel like I had a choice.  My hours would often stretch to 60 or more per week, and the boys were in day care for much of that.  Matt was working nights as a bartender, and that helped with the child care situation.

But there came a day when Matt wanted to go back to his chosen profession.  Matt was a chef by trade, and a very VERY talented one.  But the problem was, with every executive chef position Matt held in our married life, it never lasted more than 6 months.  So when Matt told me he was interviewing for an executive chef position at a golf course over an hour away, I was apprehensive.  Then when he got the position, I was panicked.  With the hours that he was working, plus the drive time, plus the hours I had to work... the kids would spend all of their time in daycare.  So after much discussion, I decided to quit my job.  I would have preferred not to, because I was making very good money and had great benefits.  But I also felt that it was time for Matt to step up to the plate, and try to support us.  I was hoping this time, it would last.

So I quit my job.  I did start a home business making jewelry and selling at art fairs, but for those first few months after leaving the resort, I just enjoyed the boys.  It was summer in northern Michigan, we spent a lot of time at the beach or at the neighborhood pool.  We also spent a lot of time playing outside in the back yard.

There were several kids in the neighborhood now.  Heather lived behind me, Jill was next door, and Heathers step brother Robert had just moved in to live with his dad.  Our corner of the neighborhood had become very close knit.  We are constantly getting together for anything and everything.  And all of the older kids loved to come to my house because of the boys and because of Magnum.  Heather and Jill would come over just to play with the boys or play ball with Magnum in the back yard.

I had bought a tee ball set for JR that summer.  He was five years old, and thought it was great fun!  He would hit the ball and Magnum would bring it back for him.  They would play like that for hours.  Well, after a few weeks, this game between a boy and his dog attracted the attention of the older kids in the neighborhood.  Tee-ball became a nightly ritual.  And it was all the kids versus Magnum.

The rules were simple.  Magnum was always the infield.  The kids took turns hitting the ball and running bases.  If they hit the ball, and Magnum brought it back to the tee before they ran around the bases, then they were out.  If they circled the bases before Magnum brought it back, then they scored.  The kids would play this for hours, and rarely score.... even if they hit it in the woods next to the house.  Magnum always found the ball and brought it back!

Eventually the game became so popular that some of the neighbors would bring lawn chairs over just to watch.  We would sit and watch, have a couple beers, and enjoy the summer evenings.  Magnum loved the attention, and we loved to see him get it!


  1. I found your blog through the pet blogger hop. I'm so sorry to hear about the sad news. He looked like a very beautiful and good-hearted dog. Would love to see some more pics of Magnum.

  2. Aww what a great game idea! I would love to do that with my dog, but she's not as reliable to return the ball :)

  3. Avalon... I am hoping to borrow or purchase a scanner for my old photos. Hopefully those will be up soon! Stacy and Ellie... I know what you mean, my rescue pup that I have thinks its more fun to run away with the ball and have you chase him!