Thursday, October 10, 2019

Life Lessons from Golf

Note: This was an expedition back at the end of August. I wrote it awhile ago but never posted it. Still, I want it in our blog book, so I'm posting it on this blustery day when the weather does not suggest a leisurely golf game at all. It's my usual sense of impeccable timing.

Jill's and Eric's pastor from back when they lived in Omaha had this to say on his DailyCraig post on Facebook recently:

Golf is a lot like life.
1. It’s best done with others.
2. You get good and bad breaks. Deal with it.
3. You don’t have to win to enjoy it.
4. Your most important shot is the next one.
5. Perfection isn’t possible.

 Craig Finnestad, Water's Edge UMC, Omaha, NE

No. 5 was my sticking point back when I was attempting to learn the sport. I know I'm not going to be perfect at anything, but I really hate being bad at "stuff," including golf. One of the fundamentals of golf seems to be that you have to keep trying until you get better. I obviously wasn't patient enough for that. However, while playing golf is not for me, I do enjoy going along for the ride. (See Rule 1.)
"Painting" setting on my camera
At the end of August, after a rain kept us out of the field, that ride took us to Sand Creek Station in Newton. Randy has golfed there several times before and was anxious to share the unusual course with me.
This time, the "ride" seemed to include a caboose. In reality, we couldn't really ride the rails on this historic train car. But Randy couldn't resist climbing up for a closer look. And he wanted me to send a photo to the kids of him swinging his club from the caboose. I think it also got shown to his in-town breakfast buddies.
While the caboose is firmly ensconced in the parking lot, there are plenty of trains that rumble near the 18-hole course. Newton is a railroad hub, and it's evident with the frequent bump and rattle as trains ambled over the tracks. Don't they know that golfers insist on quiet for their golf swings? (I always roll my eyes a bit about that. As a basketball player (OK, basketball bench sitter), I was always told that you have to tune out crowd noise while shooting a free throw. Since I was lucky if I got into the game with 20 seconds or so to go, I didn't ever have to put that principle to work, so what do I know? But I always find pro golfer's insistence on total silence a little primadona-ish.
To get to Hole 1, you drive under the railroad tracks.
The caboose is visible from a few holes on the course and serves as a colorful backdrop.
While Randy enjoys golfing, I enjoy the scenery and the other "visitors" to the golf course ...
... like this heron ...
... and this cute guy.
But I also appreciate being able to sit in the shade of the golf cart and read my book. With an afternoon away from home, I don't have to feel guilty about reading when I should be writing or cleaning or doing laundry or any other more productive activity.
It's also fun to try and come up with new photo angles and ideas for photography shots, including playing with light and shadow.

One of my favorites that day was the pyramid of practice balls with a train in the background.
I should have taken a picture of the contraption the groundskeeper was using to build the pyramid (but alas, maybe another time).

Randy had a good golf game. I read more of a good book. (Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. I recommend it.) I captured some cool photos. As they used to say on the society pages of the weekly newspapers, "A good time was had by all!"


  1. What a great way to share the day. I'll miss the butterflies, but I do love your new header.

    1. Thanks! It was what I call "the other side of sunset" (facing east).