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still missing that vootie

May 2, 2022

Grief is a funny though not humourous thing. It blindsides you at the oddest times. Today, for example, feels like the first day of spring on the farm. We had a particularly cool April and hoped that May Day would bring warmer weather. Wrong. It was cool and blustery. We even built a chill-chaser in the wood stove.

However, after a rainy night, stiff winds blew out the last of winter. It’s still breezy, but we’ve reached 18 degrees (65 Fahrenheit) for the first time this year. I can get back to tearing down a 100-year-old cedar pig sty that partially collapsed under the 1.5 metre (5 feet) snow load winter dumped on us.

My beloved San Francisco Giants, after a 13-6 start to the season, dropped two out of three to the 6-15 Washington Nationals over the weekend. Major league baseball has a 162 game regular season, about ten times more than pro football and double that of pro basketball and hockey. So losses and slumps are a big part of the game. But this one really hurt. The lowly Nats ate up the Giants vaunted pitching, scoring 28 runs.

Here’s where the grief comes in. My longtime friend Gordon, who died in January, was a Nats fan. He would have called me today to give me a thorough ration of shit about the Giants, because that’s how guys show affection for each other. And I would have given him shit by reminding him that the Giants had swept the Nats in Washington a few weeks ago. Then we would have ended our call with a “vootie”, a sign-off we borrowed from Mad magazine 60+ years ago.

I really, truly miss that.