Goodbye Indianapolis

This morning is finally here. We are all packed (I’m prewriting this blog so the me that is writing this sincerely HOPES that everything gets done in time…) and are pulling out of our parking spots in Fishers IN, next destination Dallas–with a quick stop in Memphis for the night. My cat is most likely crying at the top of her lungs, and my radio is turned up full blast to drown her out.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks. How do I say goodbye to Indy? As much as I have been looking forward to our next chapter, Naptown has become my home for so many wonderful reasons. I couldn’t leave without a tribute post.

For those who follow solely for book reviews…this is not one of those posts. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. For those of you who know me personally…this one is for you.

Indiana has always been my home. I was born here, raised here, and I moved to NE Indianapolis three years ago. Has it really been that long? Hard to believe. As a small town girl, the move to the “big” city was a little overwhelming at first. I had no idea how quickly this city would change my life forever.

Indy is the place where I got my first out of college job. My first foray into the corporate world. No more 20 people businesses. This is a battle through real bureaucracy, constantly changing goals and bosses and coworkers. It’s been both a curse and a blessing, and I have grown so much from working here. I’ve met so many interesting and wonderful people, and thankfully I am able to keep my job as we move across the country.

Living here blessed with me with some of the best friends I have ever had. We are so close we are like sisters sometimes–and if you have to sit next to us at a restaurant on girls night…I’m sorry…we are LOUDDDDDD. Our group has been through hell and back and we fight for each other constantly. Moving away doesn’t change a thing, and I’m so glad I have these girls at my back.

I dated here, I kissed a LOT of frogs here. And finally, I met my prince here, and we got married here. We are both gigantic goofballs, but that is completely ok with us. I could not ask for a better partner to walk through life with. R is my absolute best friend, and we will go through life holding hands walking side by side.  Dallas is just one new adventure of many we will find, I’m sure.

My nephew came into the world here two years ago, and he is one of the great loves of my life. My Little Man is the sweetest, funniest little boy and I can’t wait to watch him grow up…even if it’s from afar. And, shortly after he was born, I met R, and so I met my niece and other nephew, and my life was blessed even further. Being an aunt is one of my favorite parts of life, I gotta say.

I learned about beer here. We will miss the beer culture in Naptown terribly–don’t be surprised if we hit you up for a shipment of Indy craft at some point. You know we are going to miss it!

I learned about baseball here. We had season tickets to the Indy Indians this year and had an absolute blast. Ed and Brendan, who ran our section, were the nicest guys in the worked. And who could forget Beer Mike! There’s no other beer vendor like him. Hopefully, he’ll come visit us in Dallas soon (he has family there), and bring us some Sun King! We even got the honor of ringing the bell after an Indians Victory!

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I became HAPPY here. I learned who I was here, I learned how to be me here. Because of that, Indy is not just a city, a point on a map. Indy is the people, the culture, the environment. To all of you here who made my life what it is now, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. You can never know the size of the impact that you had on my life.

And now, because of all of this, I can move on. So, goodbye Indianapolis. Goodbye, Indiana. I will miss you. But I do not need you to hold me up anymore. I will visit soon. I love you all, so very much.

Casey at the Bat

I’m in a baseball kind of mood today. The Indy Indians had their season opener and it was a PERFECT day for it. We had our first 70 degree day here, and it was a neck and neck game the whole way. Tied 3-3 in the 9th, and then Dickerson hit a beautiful RBI single to center to score that last run to win 4-3 against the Toledo Mudhens.

 

Now tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays are visiting the Cincy Reds (my team) at Great American Ballpark. I have a lot of friends in St Pete who are Rays fans, so it’ll strike up a lot of competition today. Plus, the Rays stole my absolute favorite player this year—Ryan Hannigan, the starting catcher for the Reds last year. So I’m excited to see him play.

 

In the spirit of the day, I figured that it’s a perfect day for the best known baseball poem out there. I’m sure you’ve all heard at least part of this one growing up. I love it because it shows every single emotion that makes my favorite sport so great…and terrible, all at the same time.

 

Casey at the Bat

 

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:

The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,

A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

 

A strangling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest

Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;

The thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that—

We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

 

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,

And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;

So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,

For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

 

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,

And Blake, the much despise-ed, tore the cover off the ball;

And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,

There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

 

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,

For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

 

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;

There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,

No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Casey at the bat.

 

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;

Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

Defiance gleamed hi Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

 

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-

“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

 

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,

Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.

“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;

And it’s likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

 

With a smile of a Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;

He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;

But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, Strike two.”

 

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered fraud;

But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles train,

And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

 

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;

He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go.

And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

 

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

 

–Ernest Lawrence Thayer