Flashback: 1950

FlashbackThe strangest thing happened yesterday.  I could have sworn I was back in the 1950’s.

It was the monthly meeting following the Lady Niners golf.  The secretary was on vacation and her substitute was running late, so I stepped in and ended up taking notes for the meeting.  It was not a big deal, as I had been the secretary for another association in a previous life.

Pen in hand, I’m taking notes, settling back into the role of scribe and not actively participating in any discussion.

There was the usual business, along with an update from our Sunshine Chair. 

One husband had died, two others were on the mend after some serious ailments, another struggling.  Sympathies had been expressed from Sunshine and the members who knew the people involved.  The chair shared an email of appreciation from the recently widowed member.

And then, we moved onto other items.

Way down on the agenda were the updates on upcoming invitationals, including one for a Twilight Tournament.  Near Halloween.  Expect some craziness. Sounds like fun. 

Keep in mind, I’m new to all this and was more focused on capturing the discussion along with the correct names of members making comments.

Then it happened. Out of the blue, it happened.

One unmarried member asked for a women’s flight for the Twilight Tournament.  Simple request.

Oh no. came the response from the back of the room. Couples. You can call the men from the men’s clubs and get one to partner with you.

And there it was, FLASHBACK: 1950.

All I could envision was the recently widowed woman, who actually came out and played that morning but thankfully did not stay for the meeting, being told, So sorry your husband’s dead, but you need to find a man in order to play in the woman’s tournament.

Good Grief.

I’m not quite sure why a male appendage would be a requisite for a woman to participate in a ladies’ twilight tournament.  Perhaps said appendage will save us from the deer that roam the course?  Or, perhaps keep us from getting lost during the evening hours?

I can’t imagine a worst nightmare than calling down a list of the men’s golfers, most of whom I don’t know, and asking their spouses or significant others if I could borrow the resident male for an evening so that I could play in a ladies golf tournament.

I wonder if some of these women have actually look around the room.  The single members, through death, divorce or personal preference, are growing. It’s a pretty sure bet, that before The Game is over, every woman in that room is going to end up alone or dead.

Most of the singletons aren’t actually seeking a partner at this point in life.  From what I can tell, we all have full lives and rather like not having to share the remote.

Meanwhile, the discussion of the upcoming Twilight Tournament at next month’s meeting should be, ahem, interesting.  I’m just happy that I won’t be taking notes so I can fully appreciate what is sure to be a colorful and lively discussion.




YouTube, CoolTube

IMG_0736A few months back, I finally joined the Lady 9ers, as in golf and not the 49er football team.  It took me a while to figure out that probably half, if not more, of the ladies are neither very good golfers nor especially athletic, and are out there for a good time.  Admittedly, we all do have a good time, laughing at our shots and scores, enjoying each other’s company and the lunches that follow our Tuesday morning games.

I’m still working on getting a handicap as I am a fair weather golfer, which means I don’t play if it’s too hot or too cold.  Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the weather has to be just right, which is asking a lot of the Sierra foothills.  It may be years before I actually accumulate ten completed scorecards within a twelve month period so I am truly legitimate.  I keep telling the powers-that-be to just give me a handicap in the neighborhood of 2,358, but evidently the highest I can get is 36.  Like that will help.

I don’t feel especially bad about my lack of golfing skills as I am passably good at a couple other things, so when an email came out asking for support for an upcoming Team Play, I volunteered for table decorations.  I have my mother’s gene; I decorate in my dreams.  A dear friend once told me You are the only person I know who can grab a old scorched pot out of a cabinet, toss a few twigs into it and have a stunning table centerpiece.  If I tried that, it’d look like a burnt pot with dead branches. In all fairness to the pot, it was a scorched antique copper pot.

Regardless, the 9ers’ team leader grabbed me and a fellow-creative-golfer-volunteer, and took us to the decorations shed that held — well, being very kind — dusty, bug infested decorations that had seen better days.  And those days were no doubt decades ago.  Then she announced, No budget and we don’t know how many attendees so we don’t know how many tables.  Co-decorator and I looked at one another and in unison said No problem.  We are both retired teachers.

Any educator will understand that dark humor.  Most years, we had no clue which classes we were going to teach, much less how many students might show up or if we’d have sufficient desks for said students. 

I remember one year when our department chair announced we actually had a budget, a real live budget.  Holy mackerel!  Then we found out each of us were getting $50.  That was fifty dollars for 150 students for the entire year.  Sigh. 

Given that background, no budget for decorations?  No sweat…a little of this, a little of that, a little hot glue, and the decorations turned out cheery and colorful.  So good in fact, that one of the officers called me shortly thereafter.

Do you sew?

I quilt. 

In my mind, there’s a world of difference. A seamstress intuitively knows how to mend a torn hem.  I reach for the duct tape.

But I do have a sewing machine and I do know how to turn it on, which meant I was qualified to be drafted for a new 9er project:  Cool Tubes to wrap around our necks and keep us cool while playing at golf.  uh huh.

She sent me a link to a YouTube demonstration.  Not so difficult. 

I called her back. 

I can handle this.

Do you have fabric?  We have no budget.

Yep, I have tons of fabric. No problem there.  um, how many do you need?

Fifty two.


Fifty-two tubes, 4 1/2 inches by 43 inches, right sides stitched together and then turned right-side out.  If you ever want to keep younger ones busy and frustrated, give them a few long skinny tubes and have them figure out how to turn the suckers right side out.  (if anyone is really desperate to know, I’ll share). 

Each tube then gets stitched into four segments, with each of those getting a quarter teaspoon of water absorbing polymer crystals, many of which evidently did not want to end up hanging around someone’s neck in a cool tube.  They are all over my quilting room carpet, just waiting for a bit of water so they can plump up and keep my toes cool.

At any rate, the 52 Cool Tubes are now completed and look pretty good for a non-seamstress.

Just don’t say anything, because she’s using these to surprise the members at some event or another down the road…

Regardless, I can get back to the fun stuff.  Like quilting. Bridge. And maybe a little golf if the weather cooperates.



Beginners Golf

I had a friend. She IMG_2453was a golfer. She is a golfer. It is her life.

We were retiring at the same time.  Her plan was to play golf for the next 100 or so years and, as far as I know, she’s kept to her plan.

At the time, just before retirement, she was fairly certain that if our friendship was going to continue in any meaningful manner, I needed to play golf.

I was game to learn even though I had never held a golf club in my life.  Actually, that’s not true.  I did take golf in high school and the coach told me to pick up the ball and throw it; it’d go farther. Those words no doubt colored any thought of my ever taking up the sport.

I did need a hobby …. or at least, I thought I did as I also knew nothing at all about retirement.  As it turns out, I am far busier in retirement than I ever was when I was working.  I’m not quite sure how I had so much free time when I had a full time job.

One spring afternoon, my friend and I met at the local golf course, where she introduced me to her pro, a very nice woman who was very encouraging and helpful, especially in signing me up for a whole bunch of lessons.  I showed up for each and every lesson and soon realized that this whole golf hobby was far beyond what I had originally bargained for.

The thing about golf is that you need clubs — a whole lot of clubs, as it turns out, most of which I have no idea when to use.  The clubs also need a bag in which to reside.  Actually, the clubs need two bags, a small one to walk a couple of very special clubs to the green — that’s where the ball eventually finds the hole — and a large bag to carry all of them along the rest of course.

There are also balls, tees, a cloth to keep everything clean, place markers, a divot tool, gloves, caddy, a visor and a whole assortment of colorful thingamajigs that go inside the pockets of the large golf bag and then promptly get lost somewhere at the bottom. But, because they’re critical to the game, you need to keep replacing them.

It’s rather like kids’ socks and the washers that eat them.  You have no idea where they go, just that you have to keep replacing the socks or, in golf’s case, the thingamajigs, in order to keep everything balanced and in its proper order.

Once properly outfitted, the bag is far too heavy to carry, especially with all those missing items at the bottom, so that means investing in a push cart for short courses and a golf cart for longer ones.

In order to actually get onto the course, you need both the proper clothes and shoes, neither of which can be used for anything other than golf and are season specific.  Women’s clothes and shoes, while a tad pricey, are very cute to wear and are easy to color-coordinate with the bag, clubs, balls, markers, tees and shoes.  My personal color preference is deep purple which goes with my silvery-white hair but unfortunately clashes with the light green golf bag that was purchased when I was a blondy-auburn.

I think golf is actually about as expensive and time intensive as owning a horse which is another activity that drains the bank account.

After taking the lessons, practicing at the range, buying the irons, woods, balls, tees and thingamajigs, I went out to lunch with my former friend.

When are we going to play?

It’ll be a while. I’m moving to La Quinta.  Maybe when you visit…

For a brief moment, I thought about wrapping my driver around her neck, except it was in the bag on the push cart in the garage and, besides, I wasn’t exactly sure which club it was.

Regardless, I was pretty sure the club was too darn expensive to even consider bending it.