Sunday, October 16, 2016

Golf Gypsy and the Rat Bastard Reunion

Not many people have friends who give them "rats" for surprise gifts, but I'm fortunate to have friends who know that I love to tell a good story, and so "Rat Bastard" came to me over five years ago needing a home and acceptance.

Rat tours every golf course proudly covering the head of my five wood. Who can blame a rat for admiring the scenery at PGA West where the mountains cascade into the desert surroundings and nature's critters roam the golf courses, but when she strays from the fairway in search of adventure I sometimes pinch her tail to show her my disgust with her errant shots. On moments like that I can blame the rat for a poor shot, but when she's good she's very very good and I compliment her by saying, "Great shot Phyllis," the lady who gave me Rat.  I've found that I get better shots out of her when I reinforce those great moments.  

So imagine my surprise this summer when I looked for my golf bag on a golf cart in a mass of carts lined up for a tournament, and casually walked up to the cart carrying the "Rat." But the bag was not mine. There were two "Rats" in the world. I laughed, but time was escaping me and I needed to be efficient. My partner and I hit some practice shots, putted then after announcements drove out to our tee box. At last the other two ladies drove out, and there she was, the second "Rat Bastard."  I couldn't believe my eyes and to hear the lady tell her story, I laughed even more.

She bought her first "rat" and enjoyed watching the faces of her friends when she'd throw the club cover on the ground and the tail would flop or slide just like a rat. Her friends screamed or jumped and she laughed. Our stories were so similar.

She then told me, "Once I lost Rat at a golf course and panicked. Luckily, by the end of the day someone had turned the 'ugly club cover' into the golf shop, and they called me. I drove 45 miles back to that course that evening just to get my loveable club cover. After that I went online looking for a second 'Rat Bastard' cover just in case.  I had no luck until someone in the Daphne company gave me a list of where they sold them.  Then I called each golf shop until I found one unsold rat. Now, I own two rat club covers."

So that day the rats enjoyed a ride around Dornick Hills. For the most part each rat performed with grace and humor, and their proud owners each found another soul mate on the golf course with a great sense of humor.   

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our Last Rose is Fading

Our Last Red Rose is Fading

Our little Rose grew strong and resilient
          ~in the Oklahoma Red clay

In times of drought she took in less

          ~her roots held strong

Her petals danced to the strings 
          ~of the fiddle 

Her strong canes rhythmically moved 
           ~over the piano keys

Like a butterfly born to fly
          ~music lifted her face to the sunshine

Our Last Red Rose is Fading

Her trunk once green and strong stands
     ~now brown and broken

Her vibrant red  buds and blooms bend
     ~ downward toward the earth

Some years she barely survived, 
          ~now she is weary

Watching her wilt day by day
     ~we struggle

Then a bud appears out of no hope
     ~a smile radiates across her face

There is Hope

This rose without a thorn
     ~is a rare beauty

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Golf Gypsy: His Magnificence

Three of us stopped suddenly as we neared the par three.  The talking stopped and we stood in awe and delight of a magnificent Desert Bighorn Sheep nonchalantly chewing the neatly trimmed and fertilized lush green grasses of the desert homes near the foothills of the mountains where he roams.  I slowly crept back to the golf cart and quietly retrieved my camera.  Par suddenly wasn't on my mind, but watching him eat, meander, and drift around the green fascinated me. He walked across the bridge right into our way, seeming to nod, "Oh, a camera I see.  Let me strut for you and show you who's King here at the Palmer!" 

 "I'm watching," I told him.  He stood and stared for a long time then ignored us completely and slowly climbed right up the ragged mountain side, disappearing in the rocks. 

Those of us who are fortunate to enjoy the outdoors, whether in golf, hiking, biking, exploring, or simply being in tuned to nature, are so often blessed with a glimpse of the magnificents.