By now, I’m sure that all of my readers know that I grew up in far West Texas! If you don’t know that, then you have not been reading my columns for the past twenty years! When I say, ‘West Texas,’ I mean really farrrrrrrrrrr out there West Texas. Grass was a commodity and sand was cheap. Some people opted to have a sand/rock sculptured yard instead of nursing grass to grow using the expensive utility, water. My parents grew up in the Deep South where everything was lush and green; therefore, they preferred to have grass in the front yard as well as in the back yard. I’ve spent many hours holding a water hose on my mom’s flower beds or on the Bermuda grass she coaxed to grow under the two mesquite trees we had in the back yard. Mom always planted plants that she loved, instead of ones that were sure to grow or that could withstand the bitter cold we had in the wintertime.
A “blue norther” would blow in changing the temperature at least thirty degrees in an hour sometimes, and mom would be flying out of the house with old blankets, etc. to cover her plants as soon as possible. It was always sad the next morning when she would go out to check on things, and report that the azalea plant that she had been nurturing, had turned up its heels and died during the night.
Growing up, I was raised like an only child as my two brothers were in the Navy during WWII; but, I was so fortunate to live in a great neighborhood where there were many children my age to play with. I have fond memories of playing Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Red Rover, and many other games with these little friends. My dad built me a croquet course in our big back yard. The Bermuda grass was great to play on in the summertime, and the dormant grass was nice as well in the wintertime. Mom would insist on taking in the mallets and balls in the evening so they wouldn’t get weather worn. I remember my parents inviting friends and their children over for “croquet and lemonade” on a hot summer evening. Those are such fond memories.
I’m leading up to the fact that now, I am playing croquet again. It is such a great way to spend a couple of hours outdoors. It requires very little athletic ability or exertion, and so far I’m having a ball! Fortunately, I have friends who enjoy it as well, and will let me tag along with them listening to little hints about the strategy of the game as we go along. I know I must learn all of the rules of the game so I am trying to be a good student. Two friends, Joy and Lana, have been to a special camp to learn from the ‘pros.’ They are really great to give me pointers and to show me it is ok to hit your friend’s ball out of the ballpark, especially when it’s my ball they just ‘socked!’ I took my son with me for us to play for the very first time. He was told he was to be disinherited if he hit my ball out of play another time! That is the sport of it, though.
Croquet has taken off like gangbusters in this part of the world. There are so many people like me who do not play golf, or can no longer participate in the more active sports such as tennis or golf. This is the answer for having a grand time with great friends in lovely surroundings. Not only that, I have met several new friends to invite to my next quilting meeting or stitchery!
Pictured is Karen Larsen and Mary Lou Seeger with another one of Karen’s wonderful Hospice quilts! She really turns them out in abundance!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!