Thursday, October 26, 2006

Weekend Fun

This is a story I wrote in English class right before our trip to North Carolina.

~Julie

This weekend, I am going to North Carolina. North Carolina is where I was born, because my parents lived there after they were married. Although I only lived there for a month or two, it is still one of my favorite places in the world. When we go to North Carolina, we are going to Durham, which is in the center of the state. We are going to stay there and visit a few sights. That takes me to what we are going to see there and what we are going to do.

In North Carolina, my family and I are going to go to the State Fair. We are leaving Maryland on Thursday afternoon and arriving where we are staying on Thursday night, so we are going to the fair on Friday. At the fair, we see a huge statue of Smokey the Bear, who is like the "symbol" of the fair. He talks to you and asks you questions. Then we walk through exhibits of trees and the gardens, which have different awards. After that, we are finally to the rides and games. There are almost 100 rides and games that are really cool, like the huge ferris wheel where you can see the whole fair. The fair is one of the coolest attractions I've ever been to. While we are in North Carolina, we will also go to the Duke University bookstore, because that is where my dad went for graduate school. (GO DUKE!!!) Some years we go pumpkin picking, but I don't know if we will this year. We will also go to a buffet called K&W, which has delicious food. Those are the places that we will be going.

For this whole trip, we will be staying with one of my mom's students from a long time ago and her family who we still keep in touch with. They live in the country, so there is a lot of open land around their house. We will go to most of the places that I have already listed with them, except for the fair. My mom's former student has three children, two boys and a girl. Dylan is 12, Keith is 8, and Kaylee is 4. My brother and I have a great time playing with the three of them.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Return to Lake Winds

This past weekend, on a trip to North Carolina, I had the chance to play (for the first time in a bunch of years) a little golf course called Lake Winds. The point of this story is not the golf course itself. Although it is located along the edge of some pretty foothills, Lake Winds is nothing spectacular. It is a home grown track where it is not always easy to tell where the fairway ends and the rough begins...every golfer knows what I'm talking about!

What is special about Lake Winds, for Desi and me, is the memories it holds. It was in Durham that we got our start together as a couple, in that little yellow house on Lawndale Avenue. During those years, one of our favorite regular activities was what we called "Happy Friday"--nine holes of golf at Lake Winds after work, followed by dinner at a restaurant of the winner's choosing.

Here are some of the cool and funny things that happened along the way...

On the tee of the 6th hole (as you can see, a picturesque spot), Desi looks down the hill and sees some four-legged creature walking up the fairway toward us. (Like many days at Lake Winds, we were out there "in the wild" all on our own). The best she can do is utter to me (as usual, oblivious to everything but the shot I am about to hit): "There's something coming at us!" Well, we watch for a few minutes, until the "predator" decides we don't look all that tasty, and heads back into the woods. Was it a wolf? A bear? (A family pet?) It is forever left up to our imaginations!

This next one also happened on the tee at number six, and it is also classic Desi. Here's the setting--a summertime evening, the wind is picking up, the dark clouds are gathering. You know the scene...it was right out of "Caddyshack" ("I don't think the heavy stuff's coming down for a while yet.") Well, we have just both busted drives right down the middle of the fairway (a rarity!), when it becomes all too obvious that we need to get out of there immediately and hoof it back to the clubhouse...fast! Desi yells at me over the impending storm: "Leave the balls!" What's in her mind is that she doesn't want that good drive to be wasted. As soon as the storm passes, she reasons, we'll head back out there and pick up where we left off. Only one problem...after at least a half an hour of sitting in the car, the rain is coming down harder than ever and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Eventually, we give up and head to Golden Corral. And to this day, we are both convinced that those golf balls are still sitting pretty right where we left them!

Now, Desi could play some golf in those days (and her swing is coming back, based on some recent efforts I've seen). One example should suffice:

On the 4th hole, Desi smacked a nice drive up the fairway, and then hit an equally nice iron right at the flag. Thinking that she would have a nice look at birdie, we were both surprised when we reached the green and her ball was nowhere to be found. (You may see where the story is going, but neither of us did in real time.) We spent a couple of minutes poking around in the rough behind the green, thinking the ball was struck so well that it must have carried past the pin. Eventually, and running out of options, I sauntered over to the flag and peered into the hole...Bingo! There it is! For years, the ball Desi used to record her one and only eagle stayed in her purse.

Funny thing is, that ball was really scuffed and beaten up, just like the golf course itself. It just goes to show you...It's places like Lake Winds where many of our fondest memories are forged. Here's to hoping that each of you encounters a Lake Winds or two (or twenty) in your lifetime!