I am still soaring from my recent jump out of a plane. Never did I ever think I’d be brave enough to do something like that. But when Mac reminded me that I was brave enough to start this trip ALONE, I knew jumping out of that plane was a whole lot safer.
Now, as my biking friends and I pedal our way to St. George, Utah, I think about other things I’ve been afraid to try. I know instantly what my next adventure will be.
I ride up alongside Martha and say, “Will you and Bart be playing golf in St. George?”
“Why yes we will. We golf wherever there’s a course and whenever we can. Will you join us this time?”
“I think I will.”
“Good. Like I said, I think you’ll be great at it.”
I think to myself, “I wouldn’t count on that, but I at least want to give it a try.”
We get into St. George around 1:00 p.m. With all of us helping to get our camp site setup, we head to the grocery store to buy tonight’s meal. I buy the ingredients for a mock crab pasta salad, a nice accompaniment for burgers.
While I make my salad in the fifth-wheel, Carol offers me an iced tea. I’m ready to tell her I’m not much of a tea drinker, but decide this might be another thing I could learn to enjoy. I accept her offer and take a sip. It is unbelievably good, no bitter taste yet not overly sweet.
“OK Carol, what’s your secret. I don’t usually like tea, but this is really good,” I say.
She smiles and says, “I infuse fresh citrus while I’m steeping it. It adds the sugar and somehow cuts the bitterness. It’s an old family tradition.”
“Well,” I say, “it’s a keeper.”
My salad is a hit that night, but my mind continues to wonder how well I’ll do on the links tomorrow. I doze off, dreaming about that hole in one.
The next day, all of us head to the golf course. Bart gets me setup with clubs that fit my height. Then he gives me a quick lesson on what clubs to use and why.
I think, “This isn’t so hard. Why did I fear playing golf so much?”
I tee up my first shot. Using the information Bart gave me, I pick a 5 wood and set my stance for my first swing. I raise my club behind me with the confidence of Tiger Woods. My arm comes down, my eyes look towards where I want the ball to go and BAM! A big chunk of sod goes flying leaving my lonely ball sitting on the tee.
Bart says, “You do know what you did wrong?”
I think back to what he had told me earlier. I chose the right wood, I stood with my feet apart, I swung the club back behind my head bringing it back around at the same arc and…
“Um, I took my eyes off the ball.”
Smiling, Bart says, “Correct. Now let’s try it again so we can finish this game and get back to camp for more of Carol’s fine tea.”
I wonder if he truly means iced tea or if he’s referring to the iced tea we used to drink on vacations years ago. That tea was a little more adult-beverage than Carol’s tea.
I set my feet again, swing the club back, and bring it back around while keeping my eye on the ball. WHACK! The ball goes soaring. I lose track of it, but Bart doesn’t.
“Good golly, woman. I think you’re going to get a hole in one!”
He was right. There was my ball landing on the green just past the hole. It started rolling back towards the hole as we stood there watching it roll ever so slowly. PLUMP! I’d done it. My first hole in one. Of course, it was my last hole in one and the rest of the round was pretty sorrowful. I ended up scoring a 110. Bart tried to tell me that was a good beginner’s score. I knew differently, but I didn’t care. I had tried another thing that I had avoided for years.
Much to Martha’s surprise, I didn’t enjoy golfing as much as she did. “I like walking the course with you guys, but I just don’t think gold is my forte.”
That evening, Bart answered my silent question about what sort of tea he was referring to. His drink of choice that night was Long Island Ice Tea. I went to bed knowing that God had given me these fine friends to help me come out of my shell even more than I already had.
And in my real life, like skydiving, golf has intrigued me, but I doubt I’d ever get that hole in one. And to end with a score of 110 would seem fabulous to me. I’m quite sure golfers behind us would be wishing I’d just leave the course. So I don’t see myself taking up golf any time soon.
I do remember my mom learning to golf with my dad. They went to the local golf course and my mom did get a hole in one on her first swing. They enjoyed the time together, got to know some of the other golfers, but eventually the golf green fees became too much on Dad’s meager salary. They found other hobbies to do together, like fishing, that not only was cheaper but could provide food for their family.
More importantly, my parents realized the importance of doing things as a couple. I’ve known a lot of married women over the years who complain about their husbands being football junkies. Many a Monday morning at work was filled with complaints from these women that their husbands sat in front of the TV all weekend watching football. I asked one of them why that angered her so much. Her comment was, “Because he wasted the whole weekend when he should have been with me.”
“Did he not allow you to be in the room with him?” I asked.
“No, he actually did ask me to sit with him, but I hate football.”
“So did he force you to sit with him then?”
“No, I went in my sewing room and made curtains for the house.”
“So you were doing what you wanted and he did what he wanted, correct?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point.”
“So what is the point, that he needs to do everything your way?”
She had no answer for me. I do realize that guys can sometimes spend a little too much time watching their favorite sport on TV, but if a woman would realize this is their chance to be with their guy for hours, she’d be rewarded in ways she probably couldn’t even imagine.
I’ve learned to love baseball, a sport I despised for most of my life. Now I can’t wait for baseball season to start. It’s no longer a dreaded season that lasts way too long. Now it’s not long enough for me.
How you look at something determines whether you’re going to enjoy it. If you look at being with your guy all weekend watching sports and eating good food a waste of your time, then it will be. But don’t condemn him for doing what comes natural to a man. Go off and do what you want to do like my co-worker sewing those curtains. Granted, she was mad at her husband, but when I pointed out that he allowed her to do exactly what she wanted to do while he watched football, she softened. She lives in Texas now. I can’t imagine her not being a Cowboy fan.
So try looking at all the different ways one can view a situation. You can see a glass of tea as something bitter, you can see it as something refreshing, or you can see it as that drink that could put you under the table if you drink too many of them. Life is what you want to make it. The choice is yours. God bless, and let’s keep going the distance.