Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Golf Gypsy Recipe

How to Shoot a 58
(A Golf Gypsy Recipe)

Mix together the following ingredients:
4 amiable and competitive women golfers
1-2 dozen golf balls for cutting corners
16 mulligans
2 long ball hitters
2 target golfers
4 putters
1 golf course to host a scramble for women
Before teeing off: apply sunscreen to exposed areas; biofreeze to stiff muscles; assemble snacks and drinks to be shared throughout the round.
Set temperature at 85-95 degrees with winds 5-10mph.
Select (if possible) a respectable golf course with a knowledgeable greens superintendent.
While playing the 18 required holes make sure teamwork is a priority and that high 5’s are shared for every great shot. Be sure to applaud and laugh out loud to ease any tension caused by a teammate who goes for it but misses a great shot. Remember that pars make you proud; birdies lift the spirits, while a pair of eagles might take you to the winners circle. Above all enjoy every brief moment with friends and walk away after sharing hugs.
Jayne, Terri, Letty, and Peggy at Southwind GC.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Golf Gypsy: Rest and Rehab

One week ago today I was on the Winfield Golf Course playing a respectable round of golf in the Kansas State Senior Amateur. Today I walked out of the doctor’s office after my 2nd round of acupuncture in an attempt to heal my body, quickly. In between these two extremes there was but “One” shot that sent me to my knees in pain. Now in reflection it probably wasn’t one of my better attempts at recovery, closer to one of my worst disasters.

Thanks to that one shot I have a new mantra complements of Harry Varden, “On par 3’s over water use one extra club to carry or two balls to finish.” He was right, and I added four unneeded extra strokes that day to my tournament score. Finding my ball across the water but still in the hazard called for a decision. Instead of taking my penalty and dropping behind the water and then hitting a premier shot onto the green, I decided I had the skills and experience to take a stance in the hazard and hit the ball, hard, out of the hazard. With my left leg on higher firmer ground than my right, which was nearly in the muddy waters, I wiggled myself into a solid stance and hacked at my pink ball nestled in the deep green grass of the hazard line. Ouch! The ball moved perhaps six inches, but my club dug into the mud bank and never followed through. The instant of impact sent lightning stings up my left side. With a deep breath I stepped up to hit the ball again, only then did I realize that my left leg would not, could not grip the ground without pain. Without thinking I hit again and a few more times after that till I holed out with a painful seven.

I’ve played in pain before, so this agony in my left butt cheek was nothing new. Not wanting my playing partners to know I was in pain, I continued to play. However, my friends (some of whom are certified “golf gypsies”) recognized something was wrong on the very next hole when my tee shot went very right and I performed the “Oh My Gosh that Hurts Hop”. Finishing out the 14 holes also required a few silent chants like, “Swing through.. stay the target.” My thanks go to Barb Gourlay, Debbie Christiansen, and Barb Bruell who were most gracious to me as I stumbled along finishing the holes, dragging that left leg and hitting the ball to the right, then to the left, and sometimes short down the middle. Many people would have withdrawn from the tournament because they are perhaps smarter than I am, but I had a goal and dream I was chasing, and it’s hard to let go of those dreams. So a few silent tears were shed that day as I felt myself shutter in pain with a strained or pulled piriformis or butt muscle.

Ice packs do wonders.
This week my body and soul is most grateful to me for a divine week of rest and rehab. I’ve learned that rehab can be golden. After finishing the tournament I promptly called my massage friends at “Bodyworks Unlimited.” On Thursday morning at 9am I was ready for a deep muscle massage. That is not the kind of massage that makes you dream of sunny beaches and ocean delights. It is the deepest of digs that lets you know where each muscle hurts and in how many places. In the end, which is where she had to dig the deepest to allow those knotted tissues to relax and lengthen, I walked out feeling refreshed, and with just enough energy to drive home, drink some “Emergen-C” and take a golf nap. Luckily, a young man named Rory McElroy delighted golfers around the world for four days with nearly flawless golf shots.

After four days on the couch with ice packs, a few hours outside with vinegar iced packs, and a whole lot of water to drink, I then sought out acupuncture. Two treatments with the needles this week, and I’m ready to take another golf nap. I’ll watch replays of Rory or of Paula winning last year’s Open. After my nap I plan to pack for the next golf tournament. So ready or not world this “golf gypsy” is planning to play golf again this Friday and Saturday. Look out Garden City, a foursome of truly dedicated “golf gypsies” is about to arrive.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rat There I Had It, Rat There I Lost It

A long time ago or just yesterday there were storytellers in this world. One young girl who loved to hear laughter and see delight in peoples eyes, decided to carry on the tradition of telling tales to anyone who would listen. So she began reading and learning folktales and myths from around the world.
Along the way she learned about the universality of the human spirit. She met truth and justice, good and evil, lies and greed, courage and fear, tasks and quests, wishes and dreams, defeat and victory in her stories. She also learned about the indomitable spirit of womankind and mankind to overcome great obstacles in their lives. Early on she leaned toward the more light-hearted trickster tales of Brer Rabbit, Anansi the Spider, and of stories where children trick or outsmart the greedy and wicked or overcome every day problems.
One day she told the Appalachian folktale "Soap, Soap, Soap" to a group of Rotarian's. It was the story about a little boy who needed a bath but his mamma didn't have any soap. So his mamma said, "Boy, you go into town and buy me some soap, and don't you be forgetten' what you're goin' for. You hear me?" Now the little boy started walkin' to town singin' "Soap, Soap, Soap," till he came to a slick spot in the road and fell. When he got up he couldn't remember what he was goin' for, so he began to mumble, "Rat (right) there I had it, and rat there I lost it." Now the little boy kept running into problems as he walked to town, not remembering what he was going after but he kept on singing various refrains until he saw a woman washing her kids down by the river. Then he remembered, "soap, soap, soap."
After she told the stories that day an older gentleman banker stopped her in the hallway, and thanked her for telling the forgetful little boy's story. Since one story always leads to another, she genuinely listened as he told his story.
"Once when I was a little boy my daddy sent me to town to buy three things: coffee, tobacco, and a sack of nails. It was a long hot walk to town, and by the time I'd found the proper walking stick, played in creek that ran along the road, and then stopped to nap under the big cottonwood tree I'd forgotten what I was going after.
I kept walking to town just knowing I would remember what I was going after, but I didn't. With my head hung low I slowly climbed the two giant steps to Purcell's General Store. "What's wrong Ronnie, you look like you lost your best friend," asked Mrs. Purcell. I showed her my money and said, "I come to buy three things for my dad, but I don't remember what they were. Can you help me, please." "Well, let's see how much money you have Ronnie, and then we'll begin to figure out what your dad likes." The Purcell's counted my money and then began to name things that my daddy might need. At last we had our list of coffee, tobacco, and a sack of nails."
"I'd long since forgotten that moment in my childhood, but your story took me on a trip back in time. I thank you for the memory and I hope you keep telling those stories." The storyteller was touched and knew she had accomplished what she set out to do.

The other day I was dressing to take Lucy for a walk and had all of my clothes in a pile, I reached for my tennis shoes and socks only to realize that I had no socks. I walked to the bedroom to pick out a pair, but when I got there I couldn't remember what I was going for. I studied the furniture and then my mind slipped into a long ago story, "Rat there I had it , and rat there I lost it." I paced around the bedroom to no avail, singing quietly "Rat there I had it, and rat there I lost it." No one came to my rescue, so I walked into the kitchen, picked up the paper and my tea and retired to the porch to relax and read. Before long Lucy nudged me and I jumped up. "Oh, yeah I was going to take you for a walk but I didn't have any socks.! Socks, socks, socks, I repeated until at last I was dressed and out the door walking my dog.
Sometimes even storytellers forget the tasks, but never the story. Socks, socks, socks!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Sometimes you just gotta laugh, in spite or despite the circumstances. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." This is one of the few Mother Goose rhymes with which I disagree. Sometimes words are intended to hurt or injure, so for those of us who take words to heart we have to learn to work through the stages of pain: soulful hurtings, followed by angry burstings, that finally settle into peaceful cravings, and at last the sun shines through the clouds opening the skies for laughter.

Today the weather is cool and my injuries are healing and my heart is laughing. I settled into my yard escapes watching the birds peck at the orange marmalade, the squirrels skitter up, down, and around the trees, and rabbits crouching hiding from Lucy whose nose is also exploring. I laugh inwardly and outwardly at some of the antics the animals enjoy. I explore my gardens looking for flowers in bloom and new ones brought in by the birds. In one garden I buried torn up pages from Alice in Wonderland that had been given to me nearly sixty years ago by my Aunt Della. It became yellowed then molded and I just couldn't keep it, so one day a few summers ago, I let it go. I tore it up and let it settle in my gardens, thinking that Alice, Lewis Carroll and Della would agree that was a proper burial.

This morning I found a corner of "Alice" still poking up through the mulch. About two steps later Lucy discovered a rabbit hole. Oh, my heart pounded because she so often brings me baby rabbits in her soft mouth, that is not soft enough. Luckily, this rabbit den was empty but we have so many more. I remembered the other day when Lucy went on the chase of a rabbit and it couldn't get out. (She's not one to kill or maim, she just chases to get them off her turf.) Th rabbit fearing for its life, kept pounding the fence trying to make it through without success. Lucy just stood and watched while I frantically opened the gate and hollered at the rabbit, "Here get out, here!" "Yea, I really did that." Guess it's just instinct. The rabbit ignored me and found another bigger hole and escaped leaving some of its hair behind. So for the next few days I left the gate open until today.

This morning I went to work to save the rabbits, one hole at a time! With enough tools I opened an escape route for the rabbits. So far I've only opened one hole but have future plans for
several more. After I cut and curled the fence wire, I laughed. "What rabbit is going to find this," I thought. That's when I made the sign. So simple, "Exit." Think they can read?

I think they can because Lucy's already reading the sign and has a clue. Laughter really is the best medicine.