The grass had been mowed. The course had been plotted. and my son had been saying "Golf ball" all morning long. The day had come for the Annual Conrad Links Golf Tournament and barbeque. This is not golf in typical tournament fashion with country club sophistication but rather a gathering of friends out in the woods of Western Washington to chat, laugh, eat and chase around a wiffle ball for a couple hours.
This was Ben's first tournament. It was as if he had been waiting for this moment his whole life. A day entirely devoted to sticks and balls. And he was pretty dang good if I do say myself. He may not hit the ball with any particular destination in mind but he can certainly whack the heck out of it. Better than alot of grown men I might add. He also found another use for the golf club. It made an excellent weapon in a game of imaginary medieval war. Ben managed to find an unsuspecting victim to beat the ever loving crap out of while onlookers winced in pain and laughed their butts off. Good show! Good show!
Mari, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered with plastic balls. She had bigger fish to fry. She had her choice of dogs to boss around the property and take on endless walks to wherever she deemed fit. She had guests to charm with her attitude and independence. She had obscene amounts of fruit to consume.
I chose to sit back and watch it all from the edge of the pond. How strange it was to have total strangers come up to me and tell me they were at my parent's wedding in Hawaii over 30 years ago. Other's told me about meeting me back when I was too young to remember. They knew me before I knew me. Often I have people remember me because of my tall stature but this was different. They remembered me as their friend's little girl. I wanted to ask them for tales of my father in his younger years but couldn't muster up the courage to listen because their was a huge part of me lost in my wishes that he was there.
I saw an old friend who I hadn't seen since I was a kid. It was so weird to see someone who had been child in my minds eye for so many years suddenly in the flesh as a full fledged adult. It was great fun to listen to stories of his family and reminisce about the times us and our siblings shared around this very pond. It felt like it could have been yesterday.
In the end far too many golf balls ended up floating on the surface of the pond. Victims of a water hazard that had gotten the best of most of the golfers it encountered. The sight of the balls floating out of reach was just too much for Ben so he had devised a plan on how to get them. He would just walk out there and pick them up. Mommy wouldn't let him jump directly into the pond but he could stand in the stream, so he would just walk on out from there and get them. Too bad the stream was full of mud from some irresponsible upstream loggers. He didn't get far. Two feet in and there he stood. Sunken to his calves in muck. The plan failed. Mommy came to the rescue and freed him from his muddy shackles. And eventually, the balls floated to shore and back into his little hands. Yes, it was a great day for golf ball.