Golf Practice at the Driving Range

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This past weekend my husband and I spent Saturday afternoon at the driving range, working on our respective golf games…okay he worked on his golf game, while I, on the other hand, people watched. I tried to keep my mind focused on my swing, stance, and not moving my head, honest to goodness I did, but gosh darn it if the folks practicing next to me weren’t the oddest pair I’ve seen at the driving range in a loooooong time.

Usually when people go to the driving range, they tend to wear clothes that look kind of “golferish” (golf shirt, T-shirt, shorts, long pants). Not that the clothes matter, because they don’t, but it does help to wear clothing that doesn’t bind up and interfere with swing movements, thus the loose fitting shirt and pants. One of the first things I noticed about this couple was the man’s tight fitting, and rather short, cut-off jeans. As if the jeans weren’t interesting enough, he also wore a shirt with cut-off sleeves.

Truthfully, the clothing alone wasn’t a big deal. What started my mind wondering was his golf gear. Be honest, based on the description I just gave you, what kind of equipment would you have expected the man to have? Did a ratty golf bag come to mind? Maybe some mismatched golf clubs? Buzzzzz…wrong! This dude had some serious golf gear. I’m talkin’ new Titleist clubs (I’m pretty sure his fairway woods and irons were all Titleist), and a nice Adams golf bag (black with red trim).

And his wife was decked out with cool gear too—great looking Callaway clubs with an adorable baby blue golf bag. So then my mind really started spinning. The Sesame Street song, “One of These Things Doesn’t Belong Here” played in surround sound inside my head. I kept thinking, either these guys really have game or they know how to pick equipment that looks the part. Needless to say, I had to—HAD TO—see them hit the ball. There was no cotton-pickin’ way I was leaving that driving range without seeing for myself.

Rather than look like a gawker, I tried my best to focus on my own game—yeah right. Sadly, I couldn’t hit a decent shot to save my nosey life. So, back to the couple my eyes roved as I peeked here and there, trying not to look too obvious. The man was, um well…how should I say it? He was um hummmm really…uh…not very good—let’s just put it that way. His wife, on the other hand, had the most bizarre swing I had ever seen, but somehow she managed to hit the ball pretty straight and consistent.

With that added twist, my mind worked feverishly, trying to make what I was seeing compute. When nothing added up, I had no choice but to add eavesdropping to my list of the day’s bad behavior. I was shocked—stupefied—to listen to the man giving instructions to his wife. Moreover, she actually appeared to be listening for crying out loud! I was stumped by the whole display.

And then, as if things couldn’t get any stranger, the woman pulled out her driver and guess what? Darn if she didn’t smack the ball a good 200 yards. Two hundred cotton pickin’ yards!!! Goooood gravy, I’ve never seen anything like it. Unbelievable! What a great day at the driving range.



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Grandparents Are Special

I miss my grandfather. He died over twenty years ago, but I think about him often. He especially came to mind a few weeks ago when my husband and I were having breakfast at a restaurant near our home. We were seated across the aisle from a man who was sitting at a table with a little girl. At first, I thought the man was the little girl’s father, but when she called him, “Pa-pa,” I figured out that he was in fact her grandfather. The thing that struck me about watching them was how sweet and gentle he was with this little girl, who was obviously his little princess. As she yammered on in her little-girl voice he listened as if she were sharing the secrets of the universe. I remember thinking about how good my father is with my niece and nephew. He too sits and listens to them and likes it when they speak for themselves and fill him in on the latest and greatest in their lives.

A writer friend of mine, Mary Larmoyeux, writes a blog for grandparents and she always has such creative ideas for children’s activities and insightful suggestions that help grandparents to spend fun and productive time with their grandchildren. I was reminded of Mary’s blog as I sat glancing over at the grandfather who was out on the town with his little princess.

I heard her say, “Pa-pa, I need to go pee-pee.”

Within a few seconds he whisked her from the booth and took her to the bathroom, making sure to stand guard outside the door like a sentinel. When they returned to the table I heard her say, “Pa-pa, did you take my bacon?”

The older man shook his head. “No,” he said in his husky voice.

A few minutes went by and she asked him again. “Pa-pa did you take it? Tell the truth.”

I smiled and looked at my husband. This little girl was so adorable! Already she was her own little person with her own little personality, and she wanted that bacon.

We heard the grandfather say again, “No.” And she stared him down, willing him with her pretty eyes to come clean.

“Pa-pa, tell the truth. I’m not going to do anything to you. Tell the truth.”

It was all I could do not to fall out laughing. She repeated, “I’m not going to do anything to you,” and continued to wait out her grandfather.

When they stood to leave I noticed the grandfather was at least a good six feet tall, and no lie, the little girl barely came up to his thigh. Is that not the cutest thing or what? Do you have grandchildren? What type of special things do you like to do with them?

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Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Last week I was in the post office and couldn’t help eavesdropping on a conversation between a little boy and his father. I was actually ahead of them in line, but I was able to hear their exchange quite well. Before you call me nosy, let me just say in my defense, the boy was talking pretty loud. Somehow, father and son stumbled on the topic of Christmas, and the little boy rambled off the toys he wanted. While the boy described the toys he absolutely had to have, he made sure to note the ones grandma and grandpa would take care—smart kid. From the corner of my eye, I saw the kid’s wide gestures and the father’s face, flushed with amusement. The more the kid talked, the more excited the boy became. The more excited the boy became, the louder he talked. The louder the boy talked, the more his father tried to shush him. The more his father tried to shush him, the more animated the boy became, and gestured over the father’s desperate appeals.

As a few of us adults listened in, we chuckled and gave each other knowing smiles. Just as the kid had ramped into fast loud talking, he stopped—sniffed—and looked up at his father. With his young face scrunched in confusion the boy said, “It smells like Chinese food in here.”

A tiny laugh escaped from me and a few other folks standing close to them. His father smiled, shrugged, and decided switching the conversation back to Christmas was better. “So…are you gonna call grandpa?”

Ha—kids! You gotta love ‘em.




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Tattoos in Interesting Places

I know I’m probably going to draw fire for this blog post, but doggone it I can’t keep quiet. As you all know, I love people watching. Give me a park bench on a sunny afternoon, and I’ll be entertained for hours. But here lately, I’ve noticed something that has me perplexed.

The other day, I was standing in line waiting to return an item I had purchased and I couldn’t help but notice the tattoos on the woman standing a few feet away. Most of her tattoo’s were fairly tasteful, but seeing her name tattooed on her arm made me wonder about other women I’ve seen with their names tattooed on their much-too-exposed who-who’s.

Maybe I’m old school, but I just don’t get it. Why would someone need to tattoo their own name on their own who-who’s? Is there so much traffic to that region of their bodies that these women need identification? Is there concern about amnesia and the tattoo is a permanent reminder of their name. What?

I can already hear the shotguns of angry women loading even as I type this post. But I really and truly don’t understand. I also don’t understand the people who have pictures of themselves—not pictures of themselves with other people—but portrait type pictures of themselves that they frame and display at work. I could see two or three small pictures—maybe—but not a collage of various size pictures as a personal shrine. What’s that all about?

All right, I’m stepping off my soapbox. Don’t shoot me, guys. I’ve been holding my tongue and I had to let it out. I um…have a little bit more to let out later so I’ll be um…unloading next week. By golly, I’m on a roll!

What’s your take on all this?




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A Youngster Who Knows What He Wants

Last week, I had lunch at the food court in the mall and witnessed a refreshing display of good child behavior. It truly was a site you don’t see every day. I was sitting at a table eating lunch, a few feet away from Chick-fil-A, and engaging in one of my favorite pastimes…people-watching. I noticed a well-dressed man, probably somewhere in his mid-thirties, holding the hand of a boy that I guessed to be between five and seven. The man, who I assume was the boy’s father, bent down to the child and spoke to him before it was time for them to order. When the woman behind the counter asked what they wanted, the man gently nudged the boy and the boy said, in a clear voice, exactly what he wanted to eat. When the boy finished his order, his face shone with pride and he smiled at his father.

Portrait of young boy

What was so amazing about the exchange was the father’s proactiveness in preparing the boy to respond to the question when asked. Usually, when children are encouraged by their parents to give the host their order, something completely unintelligible comes out, followed by a clipped discussion between the parent and child while they figure out what the child wants. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in line and witnessed a parent-child conversation that went something like this.

“May I have your order please?” the woman behind the counter said.

“Suzy, tell the nice lady what you want,” mom said.

Suzy wiggled, crossed her legs, and did a pee-pee go away dance. “I wanna pink pony.”

“Tell the lady what you want, Suzy.”

“I wanna pink…I want Daddy,” Suzy said, and stamped her foot.

“Daddy isn’t here. Do you want a happy meal?”


“You want a milkshake with your happy meal?”

“I want Daddy.”

“I told you, Daddy isn’t here. How about chicken nuggets?”


“Sweetie, they don’t have pizza at McDonalds. Do you want a happy meal or chicken nuggets?

Suzy cried and wiped snot dripping from her nose. “Pizza!”

Customers in line behind them shifted to the next line. Eye-rolling and flame-throwing stares torched the mother and her resistant daughter while their conversation continued during peak restaurant hours.

Does this scenario sound remotely familiar to you all? I’ve seen some variation of this exchange many times. But the truth is there’s a fine line that a parent walks between teaching a child and taking charge when necessary. On the one hand, we know that our children need to learn to speak for themselves, but at the same time, the world is impatient while we struggle through the tedious process of teaching our children to communicate properly. I don’t know how the man at the mall managed to teach his son to respond so well, but I must say I was impressed.




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Ready For A New Fashion

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of the whole droopy pants and boxer shorts trend.  Who in God’s green earth started this silly fashion? At first, I thought it would be here today and gone tomorrow like the baggy M.C. Hammer pants, but it has been years now and the stupid style hasn’t let up.

I was driving to the store the other day, and I saw a young kid with his pants sagging mid-way off his rump. Underneath his pants, a pair of Wile E. Coyote boxer shorts covered his backside. I think he was trying to run to the bus stop, but he could barely move and hold his britches at the same time. He must have had at least five inches of excess denim around his ankles, and if he had let go of his pants they would have fallen down. I don’t get it. Why would someone want to walk around all day holding their pants up? 

I see these kids wearing these pants all the time and I’m always tempted to say something, but it was my mother who actually called a young man out.  My mother is all of five feet tall, but she’s packed full of spiritual wisdom. I think of her as the Christian equivalent to Yoda. She ambled up to the young man and tugged on the hem of his t-shirt. “Excuse me, young man,” she said, and tugged until he turned around. “Do you know that your pants are hanging down and your behind is showing?” 

He looked down at my sweet little momma and then at his friends who were laughing at him, and he pulled his pants up. “Yes, ma’am.”  

“Do you want me to see your behind?” 

“No, ma’am.” 

“Well pull your pants up then.” 

“Yes, ma’am.” 

Now if I had tried that. I would be dead, stuffed in a bag, and tossed somewhere along the Chattahoochee River. I think when you reach a certain age you officially receive a “say any doggone thing you want to say” free pass. Doesn’t it seem like that? And with my mom there is no fear. She’ll just say what’s on her mind and keep moving. I want one of those passes.


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The Most Unusual Hairstyle

A few weekends ago, my husband and I were out and about running errands when we stopped for a quick bite to eat at Subway.  While we talked and enjoyed each other’s company, I noticed his gaze shift from looking at me to looking at something behind me.  “That’s different,” he said. 

I was about to steal a glance over my shoulder when he stopped me. “Don’t turn around. You’ll see what I’m talking about in a second.” 

I put my sandwich down, scanned my peripheral vision, and waited to see what had distracted my husband so powerfully.  

Then I saw her. Good jiminy cricket!  A woman strolled by with her hair sticking up in spikes all over her dadgum head. Even as I type this post I can hardly describe it. Imagine someone with shoulder-length hair like mine, taking one-inch sections, strengthening them into spikes, and then hair spraying the spikes so that they don’t move. Actually, I don’t think hairspray would have held it. She would almost have needed shellac or some kind of hair glue to make the spikes stay straight. I guess someone must have considered the possibility that a poke in the eye from one of the spikes could put an eye out, because the tips of each spike were curled into little O’s.  

I could tell by the fresh shiny look of her hair and her, “I’m too beautiful for words sashaying walk,” that this woman had just come from the hair salon. Why on God’s green earth would someone pay to have their hair done like that? Did the lady bring in a picture of a porcupine, show it to the hairstylist, and proudly proclaim, “I think this would look great on me.” porcupine-xsmall4

All sorts of questions popped into my mind as I watched her pass. Most of all, I wondered how she’d sleep at night. I still can’t envision how lying down would be possible. What would make someone sacrifice precious sleep for porcupine hair? I just don’t get it.   

What’s the most unusual hairstyle you’ve ever seen?


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