Friday, March 11, 2016

All the Pretty Golfers..... their Under Armour shirts and their fashionably skinny trousers, with their carefully manscaped mini beards!

You may find this hard to believe but I went to a major golf tournament yesterday, and, second surprise --- lived to tell the tale. It was a back-handed sort of invitation. The OC had lucked into some tickets but his usual golf buddy couldn't go. With his best SEG he turned to me and asked if I'd like to go, knowing full well I'd probably prefer to stick pins in my eyes, or stay home reading, sewing, or even chasing dust bunnies. Since it couldn't be for my singleminded devotion to the game, he could only be asking me for my scintillating company. How could I say no?

I had to arise and shake myself a little earlier than usual but after a shower and some coffee I was ready. The course we were headed to is a beautiful one. In addition to famous golfers I knew there'd be beautiful trees so I packed my camera along with sunscreen, a book (in case it turned out to be incredibly boring,) lip balm and a comb.

The OC was poised and ready,

"Let's go!"

"Hang on a sec! Which hat should I bring? A big floppy one or a gardening one?"

A sigh from the OC while I go to select a hat, end up taking both. When in doubt, take two.

"Oh. Wait! I have to go!" Should have passed on the coffee, but then I'd still be asleep.

Patience was wearing thin. Teeth were grinding. Toes were tapping. The OC was probably weighing the benefits of my scintillating company against the irritation of my usual three trips back into the house before I was actually ready.

Finally we were on the way and he could relax. If I'd forgotten anything else I'd just have to manage without.

We picked up our tickets and a sheet of instructions.....

No cameras allowed...? Boo, hiss! Taking pictures was what I'd been looking forward to the most! No purses, no backpacks, unless they were see-through --- who on earth goes around with see-through purses and backpacks anyway? No food, no water much for the apple slices and water in my (not see-through) backpack.

But then we turned our attention to the golf. And, surprise, it was really interesting. For one thing, I was familiar with most of the big names because of the constant barrage of golf from the television at our house. Whether I'm actually listening or not, it seeps into my brain. And I have occasionally, in the spirit of "if you can't beat 'em join 'em," sat down with the OC and watched some of the tournaments. And for another, unlike baseball or football where I truly have no earthly idea what's going on, I do have some idea how golf is scored. Learned early in life when I used to walk around the course with my dad, caddying for him (mar dhea) when he went golfing..... Everybody's darling, Jordan Spieth, was there, along with the slew of new, really young, outstanding golfers.

Watching one of them, up close, hit his drive off the tee I whispered to the OC "What is he, sixteen?"
I overheard some young men nearby whispering to each other "Well he's a trust fund baby you know..."
Probably had his first set of clubs while his peers were still riding tricycles and mastering the monkey bars.
And all these young professional golfers, with very few exceptions, looked like they'd just stepped out of an ad in Esquire or Gentlemans' Quarterly. My sons only dress so spiffily when forced to. I wondered if these guys liked being dressed up like dogs' dinners, the better to promote sales of their sponsors' wares, or if they longed for baggy cargo shorts and loose cotton tees. I guess when they play at this level they're handsomely compensated for any such "sacrifices."

Wherever there is money and fame and handsome young men there too will be gorgeous young women dressed to attract all of the former. While the OC carefully watched the technique of each golfer in turn, making notes and filing them in a special corner of his brain, I too watched them with interest. But I was also watching with equal interest the multitudes of fans and their varied fashion statements. Sensibly shod in my sneakers, I was nonetheless impressed by some of the attendees' footwear choices. Sneakers were my choice. Walking shoes, or even sturdy sandals, would also have worked, but, faced with the prospect of traipsing around all day on uneven, grassy terrain the last shoes I would have chosen would have been (if I even owned a pair) four or five inch heels. It must be my age.....

I could make fun of such a fuss being made, worldwide, of grown men trying to hit little white balls into ridiculously small holes....but then I'd probably have to defend my own habit of buying perfectly beautiful fabric and cutting it up into small pieces only to painstakingly sew them all back together we won't go there today!

We walked and walked until I could, not only feel, but actually hear my knees creaking. Later in the afternoon we found some bleachers overlooking the sixteenth green and sat in the shade and watched the action in comfort, sipping water and licking ice cream.

We had a good day. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the shady trees providing frequent relief. I was happy I went. The OC was glad of the company, scintillating or otherwise. He's gone back today. But not me. Today I'm staying home reading, sewing and chasing dust bunnies. And yes, of course, writing.

Note: no photos for reasons mentioned above. Again --- boo, hiss! Especially when everywhere we went at the tournament there were people snapping away surreptitiously with their cell phones! 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Of Boston Ferns and Passion Vines

Oh here she is again, hat in hand, sheepish grin, more excuses for why it's a desert here, a parched, treeless, wordless, empty wasteland. And we're tired of hearing it. All those promises of mending ways, of discipline, of "write every day," even if its rubbish, if you keep writing down words they'll eventually sort themselves into coherence. Yawn.

No more excuses. A recent other social media experience sent me flying to the phone for damage control. I had tried to post pictures of a few quilt blocks and suddenly, unbidden, all my photos were laid bare for the entire world. Excuse me?

"What did you do mom?" my daughter chortled, "post naked selfies?"

 I was not amused. Here I was, on the edge of a heart attack and she laughs? But she sorted it and once again air flowed smootly into my lungs and out again. Me and social media? Like giving matches to a toddler. The wise old woman in my head nodded sagely. Stick to Blogger," she said.  So here I am.

 I bought a house plant when we first moved in here fifteen years ago. It failed to thrive in the house, possibly due to my penchant for forgetting to water.... so I tossed it out among the trees and palmetto palms --- organic --- it could only help enrich our sandy soil, right?

 Lo and behold, it came back to life! Decided this was a much more congenial environment --- the cool shade of trees, protection from the sun and, most importantly, from the water-withholding mad woman inside. I was happy that it was happy so I gave it an inch. But it got greedy and wanted a mile. Soon it was colonizing the entire shade area, bullying the mild mannered azaleas and sneaking out into the grass with a view to taking it over as well.

Yesterday the jig was up. I headed out to the shade garden and started yanking. The OC came out to join me.

" See what I've done?" I announced triumphantly with a sweeping gesture towards the pile of uprooted ferns.

"Why'd you do that?" he queried querulously. He liked the ferns and their pushy ways, had notions of encouraging their plans for garden domination....

"They were choking the azaleas," I said. "And anyway, you can be sure of one thing. They'll be back. But now, for a while, the azaleas can breathe."

"Hmm," he said.

"Hmm, yourself,"  I thought and waded into the palmettos to tackle the next project ---beating back the          passion vine that aims to do up in the trees what the Boston fern was doing below --- take over the world. We call this area our "shade garden" but what it really is is a clump of naturally growing Florida natives that was left untouched when the rest of the lot was cleared to build our house. It was the Bean's vision that saw what it could be. Over the years we cleared paths through it, plied it with mulch, trimmed the plants that lived there and introduced a few of more. An umbrella plant that the Bean added years ago is thriving there, cheek by jowl with native grasses, scrub oaks and palmetto palms. Maintaining it is more about controlling the abundance than coaxing it along.

Passion vine was an experiment. We planted it, just to see if it would grow, and when it did (with knobs on) I fell in love with its gorgeous blossoms.

But now that relationship has turned to love/hate as the passion vine struggles to take over the world and we struggle to confine it. It climbs up trees and weaves them together to form a dense canopy; it reaches out and wraps its tendrils around anything that doesn't move; it wends its way in and out of the rails of our neighbors' fence. The young stems look so frail and tender but give them their heads and they turn into wrist-thick ropes.

Yesterday was Come to Jesus day for the passion vine. We hacked and chopped and pulled, yards and yards of it, down from the trees. Me Tarzan, you Jane! The sun filtered through, casting it's warming rays on the azaleas' backsides which had not felt such balm in years, covered as they were in britches of darkness by their swaggering mates.

Tarzan and Jane stood back to admire their handiwork. The ferns have been beaten into submission, the jungle has been tamed, the azaleas have room to wiggle their toes and the sun can reach the floor. No more beautiful passion vine blossoms for a while but no more choked trees either.

Bring it on Spring! We're ready!