Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#9 First Round

By Jeralyn Query  2009

            My husband is retired, but he is gone from home a lot.  Someone told me he’s seeing another woman named Big Bertha.  He was seen at the Country Club, holding her so tenderly, in broad daylight, then swinging her around with all the strength he could muster.  Reportedly he then put her in a bag and put a cover on her.  When I confronted him with what I’d heard, he explained to me that Big Bertha is his 'driver'.    I didn’t know that you had to have someone special to drive the golf cart.   Right then I decided, if I ever wanted to see him, I would have to make it a threesome.   

First I had to find a set of clubs that fit me.  It was easy.  I just looked in a sports store for a pink bag with lots of pockets and a place for a bunch of golf clubs.    The clubs came in all sizes, so I wandered around the store and put together five clubs that were all the same length.  I like things to be neat.  When I got home, I set about filling up all the pockets on the golf bag.  My bag has 9 pockets, all of them necessary.  I filled them with golf balls, tees, markers, flashlight, pictures of my kids, watermelon, stamps, i-pod, parka (you never know when it might start snowing), i-pad, candy, stapler, hot dog and chips.

            My husband was reluctant to take me out on the course with him, but I convinced him that he would be glad to have me along.  The arrow pointed the way to the first tee.  (I noticed it was misspelled.)  I was thirsty so I was glad they would be serving it, and I hoped they would use dainty china cups and have “Constant Comment” flavor.   I fully expected Big Bertha to be driving our golf cart, but she never did show up. My spouse hit first, and his ball soared.  I grabbed a club (this one happened to say “Sand Wedge”), and I placed my ball on a tee right between the two large red markers.  My swing was awesome, and I lost sight of the ball.  My beloved said I fanned the ball and that it was still on the tee.  I swung again, and this time I made it clear to the blue markers, a distance of about 10’.  It was my turn again, and again, and again, and again, and again since I hadn’t caught up with my partner’s ball as yet.  Two more turns and I actually passed his ball.  This time, when I hit it, I heard him say “banana slice”.  Wouldn’t you know I didn’t think to put sliced bananas in my bag?
My spouse explained to me how to keep score.  He said that par doubled is the most strokes you can take on a hole.  Therefore, if a hole is a par 4, once you hit 8 strokes, you can pick up your ball and score an 8.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I didn’t even have to play to score, since I was always over double par. 

Figuring out which club to use wasn’t hard.   I just used the #1 on the first hole, #2 on the second hole, and so forth.  I had to go out of sequence, though, when a small snake went across my path on the 5th hole.  I just grabbed my putter and held him down until my husband could come over and “bogie” him into the “rough”. 

            Just as we were approaching a pond on the 7th hole, someone in the group playing behind us yelled “Four” and his teammate hollered “Duck”.  I don’t know how they knew how many birds there were in that lake because they weren’t even to the water yet.  I do know that just about that time, a ball whizzed right by my head!

Did you know that all golf balls have a water magnet in them?  I couldn’t get past any body of water without making a sacrifice to the water gods.  Most of the lakes had ducks on them, and I figured out that you were supposed to “duck-hook” your ball.  I did manage to hit a quacker, so I counted that as a birdie.

I got to where I was getting some distance on my shots, and now I had to work on getting them to go straight and stay on the golf course.  I noticed my husband looking at his watch frequently, and I finally asked him why he was so concerned with the time.  He said that it wasn’t a watch – it was a compass!

I definitely got more for my money.  I got to hit the ball many more times than my spouse did.  Except for the last hole.   Wouldn’t you know it – I hit that ball right into the hole on my first shot.  My husband said that it wasn’t fair and that he wasn’t bringing me next time, but I think I can talk him into it.  Besides, I still haven’t met Big Bertha. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


We discovered we had an underground spring in our driveway about half way up the hill. It got boggier each time it rained, and Mike tried dropping boulders and cement blocks into it. It had an insatiable appetite and just got worse. When we could no longer drive through it with our pick up truck, we used our three-wheeled ATV. Not only was it cheap to run, but it would go anywhere. And it was fun!

 I was still learning to ride it, when the hefty meter reader arrived at the bottom of the hill. I just happened to be spraying weeds there, and knowing he couldn’t make it up in his rig, I offered to take him to the house on the ATV. We started up the hill, attempted to cross the sink hole, and when we began to bog down, I downshifted, unaware of what the consequences of my action would be. The front of the motorcycle lifted off the ground, and we fell backwards into the mud in a stack: him on the bottom, then me, and the motorcycle upside-down on top of us. Wiggling and squirming, I managed to move the heavy three-wheeler off of me, and release the poor, astonished man. Needless to say, our clothes looked like an ad for laundry detergent, and he decided to walk the rest of the way up.

Another time, the horses got out. I was home alone, so I took off on the ATV to corral them. About ½ mile from the house, I slowly crossed what I thought was the fordable place on our creek, and then took off with the throttle wide open. Suddenly the world dropped out from under me and I realized I was stopped dead in my tracks, about 6 feet down, stuck crosswise in the creek, still on the 3-wheeler. What I thought was the creek had been a tributary, and now I had ended up in the main stream bed.  “I think I’m injured. I must be injured. I can’t be injured because no one is home, and no one knows I’m here.” Checking, I couldn’t find anything broken, so I clawed my way out of the creek, hobbled through the fields and rounded up the horses. Later, at the house, I discovered a monster bruise on my leg that took quite a while to heal!

One very dark night, about 3 a.m., it was my turn to go check on a sow that was farrowing. I couldn’t get the three-wheeler to the farrowing house via the driveway because there was so much snow accumulation, and the ruts were so deep, so I went cross-country by way of what we call “the saddle“, through virgin snow. I went up the hill from the house, and then down a very steep hill to get to the barns. Keeping the small grove of wild trees to my left, I found my way quickly. The sow was all right, so I headed back to the house. It was oh so dark out, and I had trouble finding my way, but then I saw the grove of trees on my right, and I took off up the hill full speed. But I didn’t realize there was another grove of trees much further to the right, and it was the one I had plotted my course by. (See picture.) It led up a much steeper hill, one that did not allow me access to the saddle, and the motorcycle broke through the snow that covered the bushes. Panic struck me as over and over I would extricate the ATV, and get stuck once again. I couldn’t go back the way I came because it was just too steep. But the story has a happy ending. Mike woke up and realized I had been gone way too long, and he came with a flashlight calling my name. (No, the flashlight wasn’t calling my name – Mike was!) In no time, he freed the ATV, drove it down the steep part, I climbed on behind him, and he whisked me back to the house. My Hero!

By the time we retired that ATV, it had been the victim of numerous accidents by every member of our family, fortunately none serious.