Well, it’s snowing again in Central PA. This isn’t the usual March way of signaling spring. That’s the quick, fluffy dusting some of us refer to as “onion snow”. It disappears quickly, ushering in a new season of rebirth.

No, this is the real thing, which seemingly hasn’t stopped since Thanksgiving week. The insult added to this latest injury is yet another temperature dive tonight, perhaps into single digits.

Meanwhile, professional baseball has migrated to sun-soaked Arizona and Florida. Seeing games on TV this week has a dual effect on me: for one, baseball is returning; but secondly, looking out the window reminds me that it isn’t returning nearly soon enough.

I’ve been fortunate to join the escape to Spring Training only once. Within 48 hours, that trip will have been 27 years ago.

It’s easy for me to recall details of that migration, because 27 years ago today Mindy and I said “I do” at a church altar in Middletown. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature soared to near 70.

It was a perfect day to share with our Creator, family and friends. What followed was a perfect week on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only could we walk on the beach every morning, but we could enjoy our love for baseball each afternoon. I remember wooden bleachers in Dunedin, where friendly Canadians (who also migrated for obvious reasons) shared conversation and snacks. In Clearwater, Harry Kalas, Rich Ashburn and several players were not only accessible, but cordial.

Plant City offered a terrific strawberry festival and a Rose. Pete was getting out of his car right in front of us as we were walking toward the gate.

At St. Pete, we spoke with Steve Lake in the parking lot. In my haste to take a picture of Mindy and Steve without delaying him, I covered the lens with my thumb. So we have a great snapshot of a smiling Mindy with my thumbprint! (For those born more recently, film cameras were highly unforgiving.)

We’ve grown a lot since that amazing adventure. We’ve promised ourselves that we need to return.

We understand that access isn’t quite the same as in 1988. But at least the weather will be a lot closer to the sunny blessing we received on our wedding day than to the snow piling up on our driveway today.

Brian Williams
From Deep Short