It’s Thanksgiving morning at my house in Oak Bluffs. A second cup of coffee and the Macy’s Parade. I never expect the text messages but I’m thrilled when I see the names of Sharks baseball players pop up on my phone. Young men who have called my house their summer home are reaching out to me on this quintessential family holiday.

How did we get here? And why, long after the sound of the wooden bat hitting a line drive has faded, am I still part of their family?

For years I have given over a guest room to a Sharks baseball player. It all started almost 10 years ago when I was working the concession stand at the Shark Tank (our ball park). I knew the team needed housing and that some host families had three, four or five players, but I never considered it for myself. I love my solitude. Just me, my cat, and reruns of Law and Order.

But then I met Mike McFerran, a nine-foot tall pitcher from New York. Actually, Mike is only six feet, nine inches, but since I’m five-foot nothing, the comparison seems about right to me.

Mike needed a place to stay and somehow found out I had guest rooms. Without any preparation, without any time to consider the pros and cons, without asking other host families for advice, I welcomed Mike into my house.

A quick trip to the grocery store for cereal and a gallon of milk and I was all set. Two days later I found the empty milk bottle artfully crushed in the trash can. He must have spilled it, I thought, and he didn’t want to tell me. No harm done. I ran out and got another gallon. Two and a half days later, same thing. No one is that clumsy I said to myself. Certainly not a college athlete. I asked a friend about it. She had two growing boys. She is still laughing.

After that whenever I was in Stop & Shop, Cronig’s, Cumberland Farms, Reliable or near a cow, I got milk.

That first summer went by in a blur of laundry (he did his own); home games (I cheered for him like he was my first born); and long travel days (his — not mine). Mike proved to be an easy-going, adaptable young man. The perfect housemate.

My fondest memory of that summer was when four of Mike’s high school friends came to visit him for a few nights. I said it was okay. I was working one full-time and two part-time jobs so I knew at best we would be ships passing in the night. I left a note on my fat-free yogurt (store brand) saying it was off limits but everything else was up for grabs. As I suspected I hardly saw my adjunct house guests. When they left I found a quart of Dannon, fat-free yogurt in the refrigerator with a thank you note attached. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.

I have wonderful memories of every player. Tim Bickford, a catcher from Connecticut, who arrived at my house with a batch of homemade, chocolate-chip cookies. My laundry tutorials that will stand them in good stead — especially the player (my lips are sealed) who used fabric softener instead of detergent in the wash cycle because he liked the way it smelled. The pans of baked ziti that disappeared (think milk) as fast as I could make them. Rob Nadel who had my name and his gratitude immortalized on a brick behind home plate. Noah Johnson, a pitcher from Virginia Tech, who this summer stole my cat’s affection as effortlessly as he strikes out batters. The families I got to know when they came to the Vineyard to watch their sons play. The signed baseballs I keep on a shelf in my studio.

A question I am often asked is have any of my Sharks gone on to the Major League. Yes. Two have been drafted and of course I’m very proud. But when a former Shark tells me he just finished graduate school, or got a new job, or started teaching I’m thrilled. In some small way I was part of that success.

The journey keeps us coming together again and again through the years. Whether it is a ‘like’ on social media, an emoji on a post, or a text message on Thanksgiving, I am reminded how summer baseball made us family.

Anna Marie D’Addarie lives in Oak Bluffs.