Posts Tagged With: cold

A Cold Day for Clemson Baseball in Rhode Island

A Cold Day for Clemson Baseball in Rhode Island (and an Excellent Day for Gamecock Basketball in New York City)

Yesterday, March 24, the fourth day of Spring, I drove to Kingston, Rhode Island, from New Canaan, Connecticut, to watch Clemson University play Boston College in baseball. Boston College’s home field was a mess, we were told, so the game was moved to the University of Rhode Island.

As a Clemson fan and a baseball fan, this was close enough for me, a two-hour drive, each direction. I took the day off and headed up I-95 to watch a 1 p.m. game. We were having a warm spell, about 39 degrees with a wind chill making it 30ish. I wore long underwear, a beautiful orange and white checked Clemson Tiger Paw shirt nobody ever saw, a pullover Clemson jacket, an L. L. Bean outer coat, a Scottish wool scarf with some orange in it, a Clemson baseball hat, a Clemson stocking cap, and some New England rated winter gloves. It was not enough.

The University of Rhode Island has 16,000 students compared to Clemson’s 21,000. The town of Kingston is much smaller than Clemson, however. You must drive on a sorry two-lane road to get there. Intended ironically, considering the size of the state, the campus theme was BIG, as in “Think Big.”

My buddy Larry Abernathy, who was Mayor of Clemson for 28 years, went with Clemson City Council members to other small towns (with major Universities) around the US to compare town and gown experiences. I’m glad he never wasted time in Kingston. Clemson does town-and-gown about as well possible, thanks to a good mayor and fine Clemson Presidents, especially R. C. Edwards, Jim Barker and Jim Clements.

The baseball game was scheduled for one p.m. but was mysteriously postponed for an hour because of weather. So I walked around the hilly Rhode Island campus to get in a three-mile walk. Much smaller campus than Clemson, but with a very traditional quadrangle and granite buildings. A few modern buildings. Nothing very exciting. Not very Big.

The baseball “stadium” was a joke, not Big, so I can’t imagine how bad the Boston College field must be to have the game transferred to Kingston. The smallest high schools in South Carolina have more seating. The field was green and nice enough, but one small set of movable aluminum stands was all that existed for the fans. A few brought their own folding chairs and the rest of us stood and walked around to stay warm.

When the sleet finally started (yes, you read that correctly) at 2 p.m., the umpires said, “Play ball,” and the game was on. Clemson is the better team, ranked number six in the nation right now. The collegiate national player of the year, Seth Beer, is an outfielder for Clemson. I met his parents who were there in the cold to cheer their son and Clemson. We had two runs after four batters. After two innings we had five runs. Final score was 8-2. Attendance was announced as 107 but that may have included both teams.

After the game, I found a beautiful, old, local bookstore and bought a couple of John D. MacDonald novels, then drove to the coast, just a few miles away, for some seafood. The bookstore owner had called ahead for me to make sure her favorite restaurant was open: Champlin’s. It was. This is a fish-camp, picnic-table type establishment, and, since March is off-season, I had the entire place to myself. I watched the fish and lobster boats return to the Galilee Port in Narragansett. I ordered fried oysters and fried scallops, more grease than I’ve had in six months. I paid for it on the two-hour drive home with a tummy that was desperately unhappy.

When I retuned to my apartment, my day ended with watching the University of South Carolina Gamecocks obliterate the Baylor Bears. It was a nice ending to a cold winter New England day.

Categories: Baseball, Holiday, Humor, South Carolina, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

First Weeks in New Hampshire

It’s cold. It snows. A lot. The wind blows. If you don’t shovel the snow frequently, it piles up.

I came. I saw. I shoveled.

In New Hampshire, snow does not appear to slow anything or anyone down. Well, it slows me down. Dean Smith’s Four Corners never stalled as much as I do. But really, snow’s not that bad. So far.

All the locals are kind enough to tell me we’ve had an easy, mild winter. Light snow. Two inches twice. Four inches once. I’m grateful. May this gentle weather continue.

People go to work. They go to church. They go to the grocery store. They play tennis. Indoors. I suppose they get their nails done. Any business that closes for snow will go out of business. Life moves on in New Hampshire.

Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how painless it has been to adapt. So far. The temperature’s been above freezing only a day or two since I arrived (It is 9 degrees this morning), but if I dress appropriately, I’m fine. I prefer walking outdoors in twenty-degree weather than on a treadmill. The sidewalks are cleared immediately just as the streets are, so there’s no slipping and sliding. The scenery is a winter wonderland. I saw a small herd of deer running through the woods a few days ago. Icy rivers are a new experience for me, fascinating. I may tire of this beauty, but not yet.

Shoveling snow has been easier than I expected. I dreaded the process, but snow is lighter to scoop, by far, than South Carolina red clay. I can clear a fairly large amount of snow in 10 or 15 minutes. Much longer is less fun. Removing the crunchy ice that is pushed into the driveway by the highway scrapers is undeniably work. Still, it’s the price of living in this part of the world. Snow and ice must be accommodated, like hurricanes in South Carolina and earthquakes in California.

This is a good day and this is a good place to be alive. I’m happy to be here.

Marion D. Aldridge

363 Dartmouth College Highway

Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766

January 19, 2016

PS: Many friends asked me to keep them posted about my six months in New Hampshire. I will continue to publish my blog, but putting pictures on Facebook is a hoot. A snapshot of the clear space where I just shoveled snow is gratifying and worth something, but that same area covered with a new thick blanket of snow 24 hours later is priceless! So friend me on FB or, if you are a friend already, check out my photos. Lots of white precipitation in these parts. Snow. Snow. Snow. And cold. And windy.

Categories: Health, Humor, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Beating the January Blues


January can be bleak. 

Christmas holidays are over.  When any Big Event is completed, our bodies and emotional systems can do strange things to compensate for the change. The adrenaline rush is gone.  After the birth of a baby, it’s called postpartum depression.  Recent years have added PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) to our vocabulary.  Hyper-activity often precedes extended sadness.

For most of us, Christmas is a glorious occasion—family in and out of the house, gift-giving and receiving, parties, celebrations, shopping. 

Follow your manic activity with some of the shortest days of the year, add cold weather and due dates for Christmas bills, stay inside more than usual, get on the scales to see the damage done by your Christmas eating, and you have a recipe for gloom.

Here’s some good news.  The days are already getting longer!  The winter solstice happened weeks ago and there is more daylight every morning.

More good news:  The animals are friskier at the zoo when the weather is cold than at any other time of the year.  In the Northern hemisphere, July and August are hardly inviting months to frolic outdoors.  If a tiger enjoys January, why can’t I?  January is a great month for extended hikes.  Invite a friend.  You don’t see as many flowers, but you don’t see as many snakes either.  The ragweed is gone.  You see bright red holly berries and cardinals.  The sky is still blue and the pine trees are still green.  

Winter food is fun.  Soups.  Yay!  This week is Restaurant Week in South Carolina.  Sally and I look forward to going to new restaurants during January every year.  Restaurant Week is a great marketing tool by the food industry and we take full advantage of it.

 Last week, we discovered a bag of blackberries in our freezer.  My grandson and I had picked them this summer.  After one huge helping of cobbler for everyone, he and I fought over the last piece.  We finally divided it the way my mother made my brother and me share a candy bar.  One of us cut it in two and the other got to choose which piece he wanted.  You may think I should have been more generous with my grandson.  You would be wrong.

January can be dismal.  But the last time I checked, I am in charge of my life, so as soon as I become aware of an inner January yukkiness (a highly technical term that Freud never used because he spoke German), I begin to take action. Sometimes I’m able to thwart the melancholy.  Sometimes, not so much.  But I always find something interesting in our freezer.  I think that’s why they call it comfort food. 


Categories: Diet, Family, Health, Holiday, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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