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Sep 14, 2009


Baseball season has started. 'Fall Ball' is the title of the season's activities, and the town is busy and buzzing with the sport. Usually, when a child is signed up for baseball, he will have two practices per week, and then two games at the weekend. It is a big commitment because the games last for two hours each. Preparation has to be made: the rest of the family comes along to the game bringing chairs, hats, blankets in case it is cold, cold drink in case it is hot. The weather is changeable, so you never know what you will get. Even with a very consistent climate as we have here, September can bring surprises. The boys involved in baseball have to arrive at the baseball park about an hour early, in order to practice. They generally carry a bag, inside which you will find: a baseball glove (or mitt), a ball, a bat, a hat, and drinks. They stretch, run up and down the field, practice throwing and catching, and then listen to instructions from the coach. As the boys get older, they become more knowledgeable about the game, faster, and stronger. The games become more interesting and competitive. All goes well unless the weather does something unusual. Coming from a rainy country, the kids are used to playing in the rain; it's really no big deal. If you come from a very dry area, like Wenatchee, rain can seem quite intimidating.

Grammar notes.

Useful vocabulary: intimidating, commitment, consistent.


The boxer looked intimidating. He was very muscular and hairy.

She took her commitment to her family seriously: she took care of her grandmother for three years.

The sauce is not consistent. Some of it is smooth, and some of it is lumpy.


There was a downpour the other day during a weekend baseball game. I loved it, but, I think, most people found it irritating. The coaches kept on calling a time-out, which is when the game stops for a while. The players would run into the dug-out (their shelter), and get dry and rest. It is difficult to play baseball in the rain because you play on hard soil, and what happens to that when it rains? Mud, mud, and more mud. So, even though this English girl was secretly loving the rain and feeling very at home in it, the players, coaches, and referees were frustrated and impatient. The sight of an umbrella is quite rare in this town, and their random colors cheered the look of the baseball park. Well, our team eventually won the game, and everyone went home to get warm and dry. People talked about how awful the weather was, but I think that it made the day more interesting. A friend of mine during the Summer was going to take her daughter to a swimming lesson, "It might be cancelled because of the rain," she said to me. I looked in the sky and barely saw a drop of water anywhere. Gosh, what different ideas people have about the weather. I suppose it is all to do with your childhood and expectations. "You people are soft," I once said to my father-in-law, "a bit of water in the sky, and you have to run home and cancel everything!" If we cancelled for rain in England, we would never do anything!

Grammar notes.

Vocabulary: awful, to cancel, impatient, and the subjunctive.


The play was awful. It was poorly written and the actors were amateurs!

I had to cancel my appointment with the dentist in order to go to the doctor.

The train was late for the third time this week. Everyone on the platform was very impatient.


If the train had been on time, noone would have been grumpy.

If I were you, I wouldn't talk like that to the principal.

When the town grows more, the counsel might build a theatre.