Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fore Better Or Fore Worse

"For better or for worse."

That's what I promised 32 years ago today at the Pratt United Methodist Church in front of a church full of family and friends who had weathered a torrential rainstorm to be there.
Photo by Stan Reimer, Pratt
I didn't realize at the time that I was also promising "fore" better and "fore" worse. When it comes to golf, Randy is the better, and I am definitely the worse.

A little more than eight years ago, Randy decided he wanted to try golf. Shortly thereafter, he bought a used set of left-handed women's clubs for me.

He's on his second set of clubs. I am not. And I will not.

But, when you think about it, golf and marriage aren't so far apart. It takes a lot of patience, time and commitment to get better at golf ... and at marriage. I guess the difference for me is that I'm willing to invest the time in my marriage. It's why I tagged along in the golf cart March 16, when Randy was finally able to golf again. He broke his right wrist after a run-in with a bull in September, then he had back surgery in November. In mid-March, he was cleared to play golf, and the weather was tolerable.
His inaugural golf swing after a 6-month hiatus
So, I was there when he swung the golf club for the first time in months. He's not sure whether I went with him to celebrate - or to make sure he behaved.

He may not have played so well that he got a hole in one, but he made it through 18 holes of golf and was still smiling when he left. It was probably the company, right? (It might also have to do with the fact that he didn't hurt as much. The surgery seems to have been a success, for the most part!)

I was smiling, too, but it had nothing to do with golf and everything to do with him being happy. Learning to look at things and people with different perspectives is a valuable lesson to learn in marriage. Some fancy brochure at a Nebraska golf course we once visited included this quote:

In its purest form, the flight of a golf ball carries
the human spirit with it.

Soaring hopes. Rising aspirations. Lofty goals. 

You could say the same about a marriage. When you're 23 and 25 - like we were on our wedding day in 1981 - you walk down the aisle of the church and have the same:  Soaring hopes. Rising aspirations. Lofty goals.

But life happens. Sometimes you end up in the rough. You might be searching ... whether it's for a missing ball or a missing bull or something else that's missing - literally or figuratively. There are hazards along the golf course and along the marriage journey. We have to tee it up and try again. (Maybe this analogy thing isn't working out the best, since I've given up on the golf game. But I'm not giving up on marriage or in going along for the ride.)
The conditions the other day were far from perfect. Randy's home course is the Stafford County Country Club. It's not a country club in the sense of Augusta National Golf Club or even our neighbor to the east, Prairie Dunes.

The gallery is formed by the horses in the pasture to the west and the cattle to the east. With the Kansas wind blowing its way toward spring, the creaky windmill made a mockery of the "please-be-quiet-I'm-putting" etiquette on the golf course.
But the country surroundings suit us - whether on the golf course or in life.  Even if the greens aren't always so green, it's been quite a journey - together.
Happy Anniversary to my favorite golfer. Phil Mickelson doesn't even come close.
Photo by Stan Reimer, Pratt


  1. Happy Anniversary, Kim and Randy! Hope you have a wonderful day and many more happy years together.

  2. Happy Anniversary to you both. Life & marriage are adventures that are as good as we make them. Keep making both great.

  3. That is definitely true, Debora. Thanks for your good wishes.

  4. What a beautiful couple...no insult to Randy, but the bride was the real beauty, I think. Happy Anniversary!

  5. Every golfer needs a caddy "driver". I'm with you, driving the cart is much funner!!!! Pardon my grammar! Happy Anniversary, I remember that day well! Tami

    1. No doubt it is a better role for me! Yes, I do believe you played a part in our special day.

  6. Happy Anniversary Kim and Randy, Sorry a few days late but we were involved with marriage for a few days with a celebration. It was so great to have family and friends, like you two, remember us older folks. Congrats and many more years of happiness, neighbors! The McNicks

    1. Thanks, Shirley & Carol! We were glad the weather cooperated and you had a nice crowd to celebrate your 60th, though I know it impacted attendance for a few from further away. Your track record is one to aspire to - only 28 to go!

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