Tag Archives: life

The Tiny White Ball

Living on a golf course has always appealed to me. Sitting on my patio
in a padded chair enjoying the vistas: green grass and trees.
An unobstructed view of the sky and clouds, especially
the large puffy ones slowly passing by taking the form of animals.

Golfers though are less appealing. They stream past my backyard
in little white carts, their bags of clubs hanging on the back.
You can hear the golfer chatter. “What’s this, three-hundred yards?”
“Nice Jack, you’ve got to be happy with that!” “Shit, sliced it.”

I sit quietly and watch as they bend over, carefully balancing the tiny white ball on the tee.
Occasionally it rolls off. Sometimes they swing and miss. Always they jiggle their hips
and take three or four practice swings. I’m not sure if that helps their game or
is just a nervous habit like quarterbacks stomping their right foot before the snap.

I face the tees for the seventh hole. I can see the flag in the distance. Having
observed these golfers for some time now, I would suppose it’s a par three. The golfers
who appear somewhat accomplished seem to get on the green with two strokes. Most
are not so accomplished at golf though they do curse with great confidence.

There are six sets of tees, each sitting atop a grassy knoll at increasingly impossible
distances from the flag. Each tee is color coded, a spectrum of six colors.
The tees closest to the hole were once known as ladies tees, in modern times
the better term may be beginners tees. Who wants that? They are rarely used.

The middle sets of tees seem to attract the most golfers. They play a safe distance from the dreaded beginner’s tees and for many are a full stroke in front of the most difficult tees. I see it often. A younger golfer, with swagger, walks to the professional tees and drives
his first shot nearly to the beginner tees, showing impotence to casual observers like me.

Then there’s the human element of watching these aspiring athletes each day. The lady who stepped from her cart, lifted her driver from the bag then tripped over the rope protecting
the grassy tee knoll from careless cart drivers. “Damn rope!”, “Are you okay honey, I don’t know why they put ropes out here?” I do. I can see the rope clearly from a hundred feet away.

For the most part I just sit and enjoy the scenery, the golfers are a part of that. Without them the view would be static, with only the movement of trees in the wind. They add color and are often colorful making their comments. Sometimes they wave, but mostly I’m invisible to them
as they search the distance for the tiny white ball which will not be found lying near the hole.

The Word of the Day is So

Having moved beyond the intellectual confines of my career in finance, I now have time to ponder the great questions of our time. Like for instance, why do people overuse the word ‘so’ so darn much? Do they not realize in conversation it makes them sound like ignorant hillbillies from Kentucky or West Virginia- or perhaps Idaho? I mean seriously why must you be so sorry or so happy or so sad? Just be sad or sorry or for God’s sake be happy.

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Cooperative Ditch Digging

A few years back I was on a consulting engagement visiting a co-op in a very rural area of the Missouri Ozarks.  The town only had one motel and I’m being generous calling it a motel.  It was a fishing camp on a river and its marque board advertised water-beds in every room.  I didn’t check into it, but I believe they might have offered an hourly rate.

As it turned out, the motel was one of the few things the town had going for it.  The town was so small not only did it lack a stop-light, it had no restaurant either.  So what’s a traveling consultant from the city supposed to do?  Fortunately my planned stay was just one night.  After a day of consulting the client offered to take me to dinner.  I said, “Where are we going, there’s really nothing here?” Continue reading

Fable of the Ungrateful Child and the China Doll

china doll

Before writing, family history passed from generation to generation through complex storytelling.  Thousands of years ago it was easy enough to tell your children not to throw stones at the lion.  Much more effective was the passionate telling of a story, around a camp fire, of what terrible things happened to the little boy who threw stones at the lion.  Through storytelling not only would the child understand the cause and effect of such behavior, he would also be provided a tool to instruct his own children when the time came.  In current times we have plenty of opportunity to learn through books and film that a certain behavior will have consequences.  Yet, storytelling remains an important part of passing a family’s culture and experience through the ages.

One Christmas during the time our family was living in Japan my father bought two handmade porcelain china dolls for his brother’s two pre-teen daughters.  The dolls were fairly expensive and unique.  He lovingly packed them in shipping boxes and mailed them to his brother’s home in Oregon along with a letter to each niece.  My parents were excited about the gifts they had sent their nieces for Christmas and hoped the girls would appreciate and enjoy them.

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