Posted 6/29/22

OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer Seek and you will find Periodically, I will run into a reader or two when I am out and about who have questions related to “Outdoor Adventures” and more …

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OUTDOOR Adventures

By Brian G. Schommer

Seek and you will find

Periodically, I will run into a reader or two when I am out and about who have questions related to “Outdoor Adventures” and more specifically, probes as to how my personal adventures have been going. Recently, I experienced a small onslaught of inquiries while attending a few nights of music at the local Rotary Pavilion, which of course, has been a point of commentary on a frequent basis in this little piece of literary banter. The three most asked queries were about fishing, golfing, and baseball games. For the inquiring minds that want to know… this column is about fishing, golfing, and spending time enjoying America’s Pastime… kind of.

As a fisherman, I have been failing greatly on my intent to wet a line on a weekly basis. It has been weakly more than weekly and the only fishing I have done was on the opener at Lake Rebecca for about a half an hour. It is not that I have not had time to go fishing. I have just put another project at higher priority. I have wanted an outdoor kitchen for some time and for whatever reason, I decided that construction should be my new hobby. I have been reminded regularly of the words said to me by local contractor Doug Speedling when we were working on the Press Box project at Veterans Park. “Construction is a series of mistakes corrected,” he told me. Well, there have been a lot of corrections, but all for all, it looks pretty good and hopefully will be done soon and THEN I will go fishing. Maybe.

For those wondering about my golf game… It appears that my handicap are the bumps and bruises gotten while building outdoor kitchen and the swinging of clubs has been overtaken by the swinging of a hammer. No golf has been played by yours truly this summer, but I am confident it will, and soon. I do realize that readers like to read about how poorly I play the game and I am happy to share this fact, just to make others feel better about themselves. Comic relief is necessary and if we all just did our part to make others smile and laugh, life would be a little better in my opinion. Just know, that once this outdoor kitchen project is done, I will try to chase the little ball around the greens and jot down something amusing just for you. Maybe.

Baseball is one constant that even building an outdoor kitchen cannot keep me away from. I have been able to enjoy a handful of St. Paul Saints games and even a Class AAAA State High School game at CHS Field in St. Paul. If you have never been, it is a great place to catch a ballgame. I have also been to several Hastings Hawks games (at home and on the road) and have to say that this year’s club is looking pretty darn good. Even if you do not like baseball, do not understand the game or for that matter, dislike sporting events all together, a day at a ballpark provides an opportunity to enjoy being outside. That is, unless it is 100 degrees out and the bugs are biting every inch of your body like they did in Coon Rapids a week ago when the Hawks travelled to face the Red Birds. When the weather is nearly unbearable, you need to dig a bit to find the enjoyment factor.

The heat and bugs took away from enjoying the game. Did the players and faithful fans let that bother them? The short answer is YES. “That kinda sucked,” one Hawks player was heard saying after the victory. Yes, the Hawks won but if you can imagine what it was like to be sitting in the sweltering heat watching the game under a tree, try to put yourself in pants, a jersey, and a cap for three plus hours. Like most things in life, there are silver linings to be found if you LOOK for them and there were several in Coon Rapids that day. Children plus squirt bottles would not normally be a good combination because kids think it is funny to squirt others, especially the adults. We “scolded” them and told them “NO… don’t do it…” but you know in that heat, it felt great. Their laughter and energy, as well as the cool mist from the water bottles was silver lining number one.

Witnessing the “gender reveal” of Hawks pitcher Patrick Rough and his wife Holly’s first child by way of Patrick hitting a “baseball” loaded with BLUE paint was another silver lining. Sharing in such a joyful event with a group of people who often are more like family than just friends… well, no need to explain further how awesome this was. Not too mention, Patrick pitched a great game and earned “player of the game” as voted by his peers. Sometimes you just have to look a bit harder to find the enjoyment in life, but rest assured, whether you are fishing, golfing, at a ballgame or even building an outdoor kitchen, being outdoors will make finding enjoyment a bit easier. Now “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”