Monthly Archives: June 2007

A Golfer I’m Not

I put off playing golf long enough, so Friday noon I met the “boys” at the first tee. One guy puts all the players’ balls in a hat, tosses them in the air, and the teams are decided based on where the balls end up. Five of the balls stayed near the center and five of the balls scattered out, so it was the insies versus the outsies. I was one of the insies, so I apologized to them before we started predicting I would be more of a hindrance than a help to my team, and I was right. Now I know why I quit playing golf for a few years.

We played a $2 Nassau, so the most our team could lose was $6 and we did. I would have a couple of decent shots followed by a really crappy one that would get me in trouble and cost me strokes. I did help the team from time to time, but not as much as I should have. My golf glove was several years old and a total rag, so the time we played 9 holes earlier this year, I threw it away thinking I would get another one before I played again. As we were ready to tee off, I realized I hadn’t bought a new one and, by then, it was too late. I played without a glove (I never do that) on a day that it got to around 90 degrees. On at least three shots, my hands were sweaty enough that the club slipped when I swung and I went from a nice tee shot in the center of the fairway to a second shot “shank” into the pucker brush. I decided to give the guys a break yesterday and today and not show up. I’ll play a couple of times by myself and practice my short game so I don’t embarrass myself as much before I subject them to being dragged down by me.

Of course I have a crappy golf day and get home just in time to watch Tiger Woods hit that ball 300 plus yards dead center in the fairway. In my prime, I used to be an average hitter. Not the longest drive but not the shortest either. Now if I really connect I can hit the ball 190 yards. I used to hit a 7 iron from 150 yards. Now I hit a 4 or 5 iron and I don’t always get there. Tiger hits his 7 iron 195 yards. It’s just not fair. I’ve always said I’m a mediocre everything. Mediocre swimmer; mediocre biker; mediocre runner; mediocre triathlete. Now I’m not even a mediocre golfer. I’m a true hacker. Maybe if I play more than once every three years I’ll get better??

I’m still off the bike for a while, so my training has gone into the pits. I signed up early for two Half Ironman races this season. On one, I can pay fifty dollars to roll it forward to next year. On the other one I can get a medical rollover to next year if my doctor signs a medical statement. I guess that’s my best bet and I don’t think I’ll sign up for Ironman Lake Placid. I’ll sit on the sidelines until I can get this hip problem cured.

Today is Father’s Day and Jean’s and my 18th Anniversary. We’ll celebrate both by going out to the cottage and pulling weeds out of the lake. Happy Father’s Day to you fathers out there. Some of our fathers are gone, but definitely not forgotten.

Just (Falling Apart And Still Happy To Be Alive) Jack

Blame It On Age

I’m starting to think that when I turned 60, my body decided I hadn’t been that good to it through the years so it would rebel. It’s not that I think I’m falling apart, and maybe I’m blaming normal aches and pains on a number, but things aren’t like they used to be. And I’m not even talking about what 90% of you think I’m talking about.   Power washing the deck last week was like opening a big can of worms. The deck was clean and ready to seal, but the old paint job on the railing has seen better days and, of course, the loose paint was smathered by the power-stream of water. So that means painting the railing and trim. I thought it might be a three hour job, but I spent two or three hours yesterday priming the bare spots. After running 6.63 miles this morning (hooray, I got past four miles after taking a couple of weeks off for an “illness” and my sore hip didn’t stop me) I went out to the cottage and painted from 11:30 until 4:15 and only got a third of it done. After all that, every muscle in my body aches. I wonder if I would feel the same if I were 45?

Friday night was entertaining as usual. Becky stopped by as she often does and Bill and Nancy came by for the free entertainment. When they came in, Becky was talking about how good an idea it would be to rent a husband for a while. She has no intention of getting married, and she wouldn’t want to take the guy away from his wife, but it might be nice to have someone every once in a while with no strings attached. We asked her what her requirements were and she said he needed to be young (apparently I don’t qualify), good looking (again I’m out of the running), a good listener (I pretend well but don’t always remember what Jean says), and had to smell good (no comment). We asked about any other attributes she was looking for but she declined to list them. It sounded to me like the “rental activities” that happen on Division Street in Grand Rapids but she insists it’s different.

I wasn’t the best host in the world, although I did mute the television so the noise wouldn’t drown out the girls’ conversation. When Bill and Nancy came in they brought a bottle of cherry wine from Traverse City. Nancy offered Bill a glass and he declined. I got myself a glass of wine a couple of hours later and Jean asked Bill if he wanted something. Apparently he did, but it wasn’t a glass of cherry wine. A bottle of Just Jack’s Kolsch hit the spot. I should have picked up on that, but didn’t. I guess I get mesmerized by the direction the conversation goes sometimes.

I need to get 10 rounds of golf in before the member-guest tournament so I’m looking for volunteers to be the official scorekeeper. Jean wanted me to play nine holes with her on Friday. She’s been working more hours and she penciled me in when the wind was blowing 30 m.p.h. and tree limbs were dropping like flies. I told her “heck no” so I’m sure my husband of the year scores have dropped farther into negative territory. I’m not worried. In 18 years I haven’t placed on the podium, so there’s nowhere to go but up.

Just (Sore And Can’t Afford a Massage ‘Til A House Sells) Jack

Cycle Of Life

Mom and brother Bob (a.k.a. Bobbie Butane) were up this past weekend for brother Bill’s memorial service in Grand Rapids. We sat out on the deck at the cottage a good share of the time and watched the world go by. On the warm, sunny days, the bluegills were on their beds, getting ready to spawn. On each bed, and there were a jillion of them, there were the male and female that were about to culminate their dating experience. All around there were a hundred of the nerd bluegills that didn’t have the nerve to ask out one of the females and looked like the guys that stand around the room at the prom with no date.

Cruising in the wings were several bass, some large and some small, and about twenty five carp. The carp would cruise back and forth for hours until “that magic moment” happened, then rush in and eat all of the just spawned, fertilized eggs. The “would be” bluegill babies were gone before their lives even started. If you think about it, the life of a fish isn’t just wandering around the lake eating worms. It’s eat or be eaten and the danger never goes away. The bigger the fish are, the more they can act like bullies and decimate the smaller, weaker fish. It’s almost like what we are doing in Iraq these days but don’t get me started down that road.

Bob and I took turns running the power washer to clean the siding, sidewalks and the deck at the cottage. We worked on Saturday from about 10:30 until 4:30, nearly non-stop. I would keep going until I ran out of gas, then Bob would take over. When he ran out of gas, I would take over, and we did that all day long. I still think that Bob was adding gas while I was running the power washer with my head turned the other way, but Mom says he didn’t. When it was my turn it seemed like it would never end and when it was Bob’s turn, the time went really fast. Also on Saturday, I caught my first mole of the season, so the day started off well. One down and  ninety nine to go.

The website I wrote about a little while ago isn’t quite finished, but you are welcome to look if you want. It contains slightly edited copies of all the “e-mail to friends” I’ve sent through the years along with copies of eulogies I’ve written and a section I call “ramblings”. The ramblings section contains TriStory, the historical record of how the Trilanders got their name and the stories we read at the next couple of Trilander dinners. There is also a section of “reader favorites” that is really writer favorites. I repeat, the purpose isn’t to show off my writing skills or the lack thereof, but it gives some of the people who haven’t been on the list since the start a way to go back and read about things I refer to in current writings like “my buddy at the YMCA in Florida”.

Visit if you want and I won’t be offended if you don’t. The website is . Not very original, is it? There are 166 separate posts and they are in date order with the latest post (this one) first. I’m still missing a couple of obits and I plan to add some pictures to them so people will know what they looked like.

Just (My Prostate Is On Prayer Lists Around The Country) Jack