MY CHILDHOOD GROUND RULES. I posted about the yard where we played until I was ten. There were two large maple trees, and one of the was second base when we played softball. My father established ground rules. Hitting the ball in the street was an out; my father worried about traffic. After the loss of a couple windows, hitting the ball off the house was also made an out. There were peonies some distance behind home plate. My mother loved them, and we tried not to harm them. On the other hand, there were tulips in left center field, and they never lasted very long. My father refused to make ground rules for those because—he said more than once—“We’re raising children, not flowers.”

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