Every so often there is a weekend so epically awesome it makes the daily grind of working for a company not worthy of the dedication I give them somewhat worthwhile.
This past weekend was such a one. Thanks to my awesome wife, I was able to spend Friday hanging out with two of my longest-term, closest friends.
There is just something cool about having friends so close you can go three or four years without seeing one of them and within three minutes of meeting up again be ribbing each other as if you had talked yesterday.
And meet new friends who fit right in...James, I am looking your direction. See, I have to tell a story on James here.
Before our golf outing, reported in the previous post, we all got together to hit a bucket of balls.
The way it works is, you put a bucket under the spout, put the little token in the slot, the balls come out of the machine into the bucket and you go pretend like you are working on your game while really just swinging with obscene force to see how far the ball will go.
So James walks over, and just about the time Kyle tells him, "there are buckets to the left" you hear Billy shout "bucket" and then hear golf balls hitting the pavement.
Seems in Iowa, they have machines that provide the buckets...so James did not know to put one under the spout and they were bouncing all over the place.
It was hysterical and James was pretty good natured about the jests hurled in his direction.
When we then were playing 2-on-2 basketball, my legendary competitiveness was a frequent target of their comments.
Oh, yes, when it comes to competition, I want very much to win.* So I used to play harder than any of the rest of them, and since we have been such good friends for years, there was a lot of trash talking...including one phrase that was part of my lexicon as a teen, but I have not used in years.
It came back to haunt me as whenever I made a drive, Billy would pop off with, "shot babe", which was kind of a hallmark expression when I used to do things I thought were spectacular.
These days, considering my age, weight, and lack of mobility, I could pretty much say it when I got out of a chair...
Sitting around watching the Rangers take the yankees out of post-season contention with two old friends did my soul a lot of good. I have made no secret of the fact it is a bit sad to me that the realities of life mean neither my friends nor I have the time to just "hang out" and watch games together anymore.
Don't get me wrong...I love watching games with my wife (when she is here) but there is also that special something about watching games with people at whose house you grew up nearly as much as your own, who "get" the game and...well, you just watch it differently.
Both ways are great and I wish I got to take part in both a bit more often.
Then today I drove out to St. Helens and, much like most trips to St. Helens, it was bittersweet. Dad was too ill to attend church so I again did not get to visit him.
But I did get to hear Billy preach for the first time since I used to put together young people speaking nights back in the day, and after that, James, Billy, Rick, Phillip, Tracy and I got together at the local pizza joint for almost three hours just talking and joking around.
By the time I got home this evening, I was completely refreshed and ready to return to the workaday world.
Sort of. Thanks to having the awesomeness that is the Goose for a wife, I am unretiring and going to take one more stab at playing mens league basketball, and the first game is tomorrow night.
Should be ugly. A horror show. If anyone wants to get in the mood for Halloween, you should watch this train wreck. This is the type of thing that should be pod-cast or vlogged. It will be hysterically bad.
* Previously true. I have mellowed with age and now have been known to deliberately lose from time to time, and also to take some scoreboard thrashings with equanimity.
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