Last night some of the family attended the San Francisco Giants game with a group from the United Methodist church of Los Altos (LAUMC). Our senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Mark Bollwinkel, was recognized during the game (see scoreboard photo). He’s an avid Giants fan and he will be moving to a new church after serving at LAUMC for the past fifteen years.
We loaded up the van and drove in bumper-to-bumper traffic for much of the way. Once we got to AT&T Park, parking wasn’t too bad. Sergei pushed Alan while I pushed Ben. Kyle and Kolya stayed close by. We maneuvered through throngs of people looking for the elevator and somehow missed finding it. Kyle suggested we just take the ramp walkway up to our seats. Of course this would be a breeze for Kyle who was motoring his new power chair but for Sergei, Kolya and myself – well, it was a different story. Alan and Ben laughed as Sergei and I huffed and puffed as we went pushing and turning until we got to the correct level of the stadium.
Whoa, was it ever windy in the wheelchair section where Ben, Alan, Kyle, and Sergei would sit for the game.
Kolya and I were not finished climbing yet. We had to retrace some steps to get to the section where our seats were with others from LAUMC — but first was a stop for a huge ballpark hotdog smothered with catsup that I would need to carry, in addition to my newly sewn SF Giants bag (see photo in March Brings, Part Three). The bag was already heavy with water bottles and snacks to go with that enormous hotdog. I worked to keep my balance and give Kolya verbal directions to our seats that were in the third row from the top of the stadium.
You might want to check out section VR314, row 16 at AT&T Park to see how high we were. Was I ever so happy I had made my annual March resolution to walk daily! And yes, I’m still walking daily.
After going to a Sharks (hockey) game recently with Kolya and seeing how difficult it was for him to tolerate the noise, I got smart (a rare moment) and asked to borrow noise reduction headphones from the Morgan Autism Center. What a difference it made for him to be able to better enjoy the event. After the game there were fireworks and we viewed them as we walked (much easier going down) from our places in the stadium to the van. Kolya was tolerant of this too. (Thank you Renee for arranging this for him.) I’ll have to look into buying him some of his own for the future.
Silly as this was – before the game I decided to see how much sound would be blocked out with the headphones on myself. Okay, this is really silly and ignorant on my part because I’m deaf and can’t hear anything anyway. Was I actually hoping to hear something? How was I to judge how much noise would be suppressed? Duh! I finally asked Sergei to give them a try, which was a more practical idea.
All-in-all, we had a nice evening at the ball game: we all survived the chilly and loud night, saw Madison Bumgarner hit a grand slam, witnessed the Giants seventh win of the season, took in some fireworks, enjoyed the company of people from LAUMC, and got to bed extremely late (at least for me). Today, I think I’ll skip my walk – I did more than enough last night.
Thank you Pastor Mark for taking pictures of my family at the game.