Summer of ’21

Good morning, class. Good morning, class. Class? Class!? SHUT UP! Thank you.

Now Sister Rosetta has informed me that your assignment for the last two months has been to write an essay entitled How I Spent My Summer Vacation.  Who would like to read theirs before the class?

 Young man in the front row, please read your essay.

What did we do this summer?  Other than getting to our little slice of heaven here in NH, we haven’t travelled yet from our cottage this summer – and we definitely didn’t look for a job.  We have our trailer parked at the Slowsky RV Campground and Pawn Shop, a very select campground that fits one trailer and sleeps two.  We used it when the kids were up this summer, as we wrote about previously.  Clearly the highlight of our summer was having the kids here.

Being as this is (sort of) a travel blog, we did travel to NH from GA.  But if you are looking for other interesting places to travel, you won’t find it in this post.  Three of our four readers just logged out and resumed their TikTok sessions.  That leaves you.

Those of you who travel probably worry about home security when you are away.  We are fortunate in that we keep our house protected by a reputable security service:  Moe, Larry and Cheese LLC.   It is a great comfort knowing our home back in Georgia is being carefully watched over by our crack security team.

But what else did we do?  I for one played golf.

Those who know me know that I am no stranger to bad judgment.  Proof is my continued throttling of the game of golf.  Any self-respecting sot would have given up by now, yet I persevere.

I play golf with some life-long friends; we have known each other for hundreds of years.  We get together weekly, play a round of golf, and maybe get together for a drink afterwards.

But first, let me explain a little bit about my golf game.  I suck, and that is not false modesty.  For all the years I have played, I really haven’t shown demonstrable improvement.  Karen keeps asking me why, if the game is so frustrating, do I keep playing?  It feels awkward and a bit demeaning to admit I am dumb as a rock wall, so I tell her I am on the cusp of making some remarkable improvements.  Like using a scoring pencil with an eraser.

When we play, one of my friends has a super accurate watch that gives him the precise distance to the pin. He’ll say, in a somewhat whispered voice, like he was broadcasting at the Masters, “You’ve got 167 yards to the pin, looks like a 3-degree incline, and winds out of the southwest at about 5 knots.  You’re going to need your 170 club.”  I have a complete set of decent enough clubs in my bag, but I don’t see a one that is labeled 170.

When I go to the driving range to practice my skills, I could blindly grab any club from my bag and hit a ball from 100-120 yards, assuming I haven’t skulled the ball 12 yards or driven it into the Coke machine.

When my buddy asks me what my 170-yard club is, I look down, think deeply, then bat my best Tiger Woods lashes and sad eyes, and say, “David, that would be any combination of two or three clubs”.  He smiles, and thinks to himself, God help me.  I could have the numbers on my clubs ground down like they do on illicit handguns and my game would not change.

During Covid last year, there were no places open to go have a drink après golf, so we started to bring cocktails and snacks with us, some folding chairs, and sit in the club parking lot to entertain ourselves.  Well, the club caught on and threw our asses out.  Since then, we have found a Plan B that is a little more discreet and works nicely for us.  We will sit there for an hour or two and solve world issues.

When I get home, Karen will ask me how was my game (I think we can all answer that), and what is new with the boys?  The conversation goes something like this:

Karen:  How is everyone?

Me:  Good. (They could have malaria for all I know)

Karen:  Who played?

 Me:  I don’t know.  Jerry.  Or Jimmy.  Not really sure.

Karen:  What did you boys talk about?

Me:  Uhhh, I don’t know.  (No, seriously, I don’t know.)

Karen:  Didn’t you spend four hours playing golf and then another hour or two just talking?

Me:  Ah, yeah…

Karen:  OK.  So, how are so-and-so’s kids?

Me:  They have kids?

And so it goes.

Which brings me to my next point:  Why is it exactly that women are attracted to men?  I believe we have proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that women are smarter than men.  And for me personally, I was not included on the handy or handsome distribution lists.  My understanding of women is on par with my understanding of golf.  FORE!

Golf aside, here in New England where the weather is mostly cool (often in the 70’s, sometimes in the 80’s and rarely in the 90’s) what a remarkable summer this has been – without even going anywhere.

The New Hampshire seacoast, as short a span of 15 miles as it is, continues to please and amaze us – all easily available to us by car or bike.

Speaking of bike rides, Karen and I went on a guided bike ride through the old Pease Air Force base and the Great Bay area.  Pease is no longer an Air Force base, but now serves as a multi-use business park and airfield.  The Great Bay area is a 1,000-acre wildlife refuge managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service dedicated to providing refuge for local and migratory birds and other wildlife – really pretty.

Part of our guided bike ride took us through some of the now-defunct Pease weapons storage areas.  I am not sure how comfortable I am that nuclear weapons were stored in 12-foot-thick bunkers.  I am not a nuclear engineer (I can hear the collective sigh of relief), but my guess is that 12 feet of concrete would lessen the result of a nuclear explosion by – what – zero?  But that’s just me.  We had a nice ride.

Unlike last summer, we got to appreciate the myriad of little things that we couldn’t do last year – like going to a restaurant, go into a store mask-less (seems that is changing), and see people – most importantly our kids!  Yes, this was an amazing summer.

I already wrote about our kids’ visit, as that was clearly a summer highlight.  We biked, ate a bodacious amount of fresh fish, tomatoes and corn-on-the-cob, watched chipmunk holes, did some modest gardening, fed (non-stop) the bird feeder, watched the fire pit and some Red Sox action, and really just kind of hung out.

One of our joys is seeing friends here in New England.  Just fabulous.  Naturally, we miss our peeps in Georgia, but we will be back soon.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder – or something like that.

And this summer I found a cool little brewery (Great Rhythm Brewery) near us in Portsmouth that has a nice vibe, has some good brews, and sits right on a coastal mill pond for a little ambiance.

While we haven’t traveled this summer (and that is one of our joys), we have had a fabulous time, seeing the kids, getting to know old and new neighbors, seeing old friends, and quite simply – enjoying.  Hope your summer is going well and you have a great Labor Day weekend!

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