Thursday, July 31, 2008

Evening Shadows on Bird Creek Number Nine

So, I'm standing on the tee box for the par 3 Number Nine hole at Bird Creek Golf Course in Port Austin. It's a beautiful June night and five of us are playing a round for Ladies' League. I have to hit a drive across the creek (downward) and then slightly upward to the green. It's a short hole and I usually lose a ball in the creek and have to take a drop.

Tonight is different.

Shot 1: My drive sails across the creek (thank you, instructor Brian Natzel, for teaching me how to drive and thank you, Martha Babcock, for telling me to go get lessons!) and into the left sand bunker. Hmm. I can do this, I'm thinking.

Shot 2: Out of the bunker with a sand wedge and onto the fringe of the green on the high, north side. Hmm, getting better.

Shot 3: Onto the green. Holy Cow! This is really getting better!

Shot 4: I putt the ball into the hole. I'm one over for a bogey, but, thanks to the handicap that I carry, I can subtract 2 strokes. That gives me 2 strokes for the hole and I'm now one under -- a birdie.

Now none of this takes a Tiger Woods-ish rocket scientist to figure out. It's just significant to me. For, in my first summer of taking golf seriously, I finally remember each shot and can recite the specifics somewhat. That's so cool! I can't tell you about specific plays in baseball at Comerica Park even though I watch lots of baseball. I've seen the Michigan State Spartan football team play countless times and there are no wonderful images of caught passes or quarterback sneaks in my memory photographs.

But this summer, finally, and maybe only for a few weeks, I can see the evening shadows on the Number Nine green clearly and I know that I can get a drive over that creek again and that's totally cool for someone who just about quit golf (for the umpteenth millioneth time) in early June.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Visitors at Cedar Bluff

Peter and Clay were here for several days last week. On Friday night we had a lovely lakeside dinner. The evening began with appetizers on the terrace followed by a pasta meal served in the pasta set that Liesl and John gave us for Christmas. All in all, a lovely evening. Peter flew to Japan the very next day; Clay headed home to Indiana and the fall football season at IU.

Dave and Jill arrived on Saturday after Peter and Clay left. We watched the Port Huron to Mackinac Race during the afternoon. Dinner was Honey Pepper Steak on the grill with roasted potatoes and salad. So good!

I counted 138 sailing yachts at once. The late afternoon sun made the sails glow. You can see the sailboats on the horizon in this northeast looking photo taken from on top of Cedar Bluff.

Both visits were sparkling with stimulating conversation, good food, and a grand place on the bluff to enjoy Lake Huron's views. I love this photo of Dave and Jill and their white Prius. Such a happy picture of good friends.

Friday, July 4, 2008

On The Fourth of July

'Tis more than high voiced liberty

That spells out freedom's plan.

Love that is lived in charity

Will put all war to shame.

Written by Stan Hayes, May 26, 1957

Here is my Dad's poem entitled "Memorial Day" from his book, Behind the Plow. Stan captures the essence of a patriotic holiday like the Fourth of July in this short reminder that peace is more than an absence of war. What innovative thinkers the founding fathers and mothers were! OR had people for generations chafed under feudalism, monarchy, and restrictiveness? Humanity was ready for democracy. That's what 1776 is -- a turning point, a pivotal year in history.

Happy birthday, USA! How humbling it is to live as the recipient of this ongoing democratic process.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Middle of the Year and Stan's Strawberries

Today is the middle of the year. Really!

Because 2008 is a leap year it has 366 days. July 1 is the 183rd day of the year and there are 183 more days in 2008. It seems strange to be so used to counting the years by "2000." Remember when we turned from 1999 to 2000 and you heard television news people saying "twenty -- oh -- oh" instead of"two thousand." Now we're very used to the new millenium and are almost a full decade into it. Tempus fugit, as my Latin teacher would say.

The photo with this post is called "Stan's Berries." My dad, Stan Hayes, in Wisconsin and my sister Carla picked ten quarts of strawberries at the home farm on Sunday. What a great photo! The round red berries contrast with the country green checked tablecloth. Looks like it's shortcake and jam time!