I’m not asking for sympathy, but last week was a lot to deal with. And when it was over, I really needed some R & R. Some of it I have already described (trips back and forth to downtown Dayton to pick up surplus paper, Ryan’s new Jeep, the truck breakdown in Akron, Adventures in Stamping). But I didn’t tell many people (I didn’t even tell my son until yesterday morning) that I fell off the truck’s liftgate last Monday. I’ve come close before, but that was the first time I came crashing on my side to the blacktop. Could have been much worse – nothing broken, no bruised ribs. But I ended up with three nasty bruises in other places to remind me not to do that again.
As soon as the Akron show ended at 4:00 Sunday afternoon, I went into vacation mode. The work wasn’t done yet – we still had to tear down the booth (that took until 6:15) and I had to drive back to Dayton (that took until 9:45) and unload the necessary stuff for the Spring Spectacular (that took until 10:30) and take the truck to Marco Lane, transfer the luggage to my car and drive home (that took until 11:15), turn the suitcase upside down and then repack it and clean up some loose ends at the house (that took until 12:15), get a little sleep (that took until 3:30), drive to the airport (that took until 4:45), park the car, take the shuttle to the terminal, go through security and head to my gate (that took until 5:15). And then life slowed down . . .
When I landed at the Atlanta airport, my friends Ben Andrews and Jack Stubbs were waiting to pick me up, and we drove to Little Ocmulgee State Park near McRae, GA for three days of golf and relaxation.
There were 12 of us staying in three cabins – the picture at left is not ours, but I got a kick out of the one-raccoon welcoming committee as we drove past. The picture at right is the view of the Little Ocmulgee River from our cabin. Once we checked in and grabbed a quick lunch, it was off to Wallace Adams Golf Course on the state park grounds for an afternoon round.
I got a major kick out of the sign on the first tee – it seems like there are warning signs practically everyplace I go these days. With the Ohio winter we have just escaped, I had only played nine holes all year before we got to Georgia, so I was shocked when I shot 80 the first round. I knew it wouldn’t last, but it was certainly fun while it did. Somehow, the hole kept getting in my ball’s way . . .
Monday evening, we went to the lodge for dinner and then came back to the cabins for a friendly card game (ironically also called Golf).
Tuesday morning, it was back to the lodge for breakfast – and confirmation that we were indeed in the South. Yes, those were grits on the buffet . . .
The golf course was really pretty, with moss hanging from some of the trees and LOTS of pine trees. There were pine cones everywhere. We saw two workers out on the course each day whose job was to pick up pine cones with those long trash grabbers and drop them into a bucket. When the bucket was full, it got dumped into the bed of a utility cart. And the next morning, the area that had been cleared was full of pine cones again.
Tuesday morning, we saw a lot of this – lines of white foam (maybe three or four across each fairway). My first thought (smart-alecky, but it was my first thought) was how nice it was that they shampooed the fairways. The foam was actually to mark where the fertilizer tractor had just run, so it wouldn’t overlap on the next pass. But the globs of foam were just about golf ball sized, so it make it really hard to find the ball during the morning round.
We played two rounds on Tuesday, and then repeated the evening’s activities from the night before. With one exception – I sent my homemade ice cream freezer along with Jack, so I turned a freezer of ice cream. Along with the German Chocolate Cake that one of the wives had sent along, it made for a nice topper for the day.
One more round on Wednesday morning started in the early morning shadows. That’s Jack taking a practice swing, with Brian Roberts watching. Once we finished, Ben and Jack took me back to the Atlanta airport (after a stop at a roadside stand for some fresh Vidalia onions). I flew home Wednesday evening, and Jack delivered my clubs and ice cream freezer to the mail center on Thursday morning when he got back.
It was so much fun with a really great group of guys. I came home tired, but my batteries are at least partly recharged. Plans are already being made to do it again in the fall – I’m sure I’ll need it again by then.