There is a gilt about certain summer days. On Friday I ran hard into home plate and was overcome by hugs and high-fives at the climax of a truly great softball game. People were laughing and swearing and my sister tried to tackle me on the field. She didn't do so well, as she disects DNA for a living, and I lift kegs, but still.
My family takes fouth of July very seriously. It is our excuse for a reunion, so the early days of July were a roster of arrivals from all over the country. The highlight of the day itself is the baseball game, and it is prefaced by the Annual Fourth of July Team Name Debate, and the Annual Fourth of July Argument Over Soft Baseball vs. Softball. This year the discussion was over Hunters vs. Gatherers, House Elves vs. Clothes, Crunchies vs. No Crunchies, Tube Anenome vs. Rainbow Nudabrank, Stem Cells vs. Antisense RNA, etc. Consencus was reached when my cousin jpg.ed a poster of two celery sticks and the slogan "To Crunch or Not To Crunch," a referance to whether one prefers her potato salad with textural variety or not. Factions are divided.
The game itself was intense. Crunchies (of which I must say I am one; honestly, they are the only thing I like about the potato salad, given my reaction to mayonnaise) were down 8-0, but we were rallying hard. We came back by the bottom of the ninth, and I was up to bat. I let a few balls go and smaked a line drive to middle left and made it to third with the tying run batted in. My sister Esther was up next. She popped one into center that was neatly caught by my cousin's wife, and in the confusion of an out I ran into home.
Afternoon sunlight and giddiness drove us to the swimming hole where I floated on my back for a long time until i was beset by 7year old girl-cousins.
Dinner for the 4th used to be lobster, but my cousins Betsy and Dan moved to Savannah, and now we have "low country boil" also known as "frogmore stew." This involves a number of really large pots filled with (gradually) potatos, corn, shrimp, sausage, and garlic. Also Spice and Spice 2. There are certain "secret ingredients" involved which I wholy disprove of. Those I know for sure are cayenne, celerey seed, corriender. The whole mess gets boiled to tenderness, then strained, and dumped onto newspaper-covered tables to be picked apart niblet by niblet. Some people parcel it onto plates and sit to eat. Others stand and vulture-pick, dipping into cocktail sauce and mashing garlic onto bread.
I ate so much. So so much. And I was the belle of the ballfield. Should I mention I was dressed in my very best "A League of Their Own" outfit? Y'all would love the pics.