April 18, 2007

Smiles and Frowns

I spent the weekend in Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE playing in disc golf tournaments. All I can say is, what a blast!

We, my Brother In Law Rich, Pete and Joe left before 6:00am on Saturday to play in a doubles tournament in Des Moines. The weather was fantastic, chilly at first, but we were in jackets for the second round (2:00pm). Both of our groups player horribly. At least the course was really challenging and quite beautiful.

Immediately after turning in our score cards we headed to Omaha. We spent Saturday night in the old freight or wharf district. A very nice area with cobblestone streets, refurbished warehouses turned into shops, restaurants, etc. Pete knew of a brew-pub / restaurant / pool hall that turned out to be a great way to end the day. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for gas only to find out first hand why Omaha has the highest per-capita number of people living below the poverty line. It's a long story, no one got hurt, but let's just say there were a few tense moments!

Sunday morning the temperature in Omaha only went down to 40 and reached the mid-sixties before the day was over. The disc golf course was amazing. Here's a shot of #3, the island hole. It was 250 feet, anything not in the grass is out of bounds. The tee was to the right of the bridge in the background.

I called Mary on my walk to the first tee and told her I was done with tournaments. The courses are just too long for a player of my caliber (I was whining basically). For you ball golfers just imagine playing from the black tee boxes when you are used to the whites. Our 'home course', Rosedale is about 6,000ft in length, the Des Moines course was 8,000 and the Omaha course was over 9.000.

By the end of the day I had withdrawn my statement, as I played well. Not good enough to win, but respectable enough to beat the four other guys in my group for the afternoon round. Also, I missed a hole-in-one by inches! It was a wonderful experience and the ride home was even more fun as Pete got us from Omaha to KC in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Normally, it's about three hours!
Last night I watched the Soprano's episode from Sunday night. I have always been a big fan of the show. It's a little sad that this is the end. Personally, I think these last episodes are as good as the show was at it's peak a few years ago. A portion of Sunday's episode focused on Johnny Sac. Johnny is serving time for racketeering but he is also battling lung cancer. Turns out that two rounds of chemo did not work, the cancer has metastasized to his brain, bones, etc.. The doctor tells him he has 3 months or so to live.

In the past two years, I have tried to avoid shows with subjects like this, they hit a little too close to home. As I watched it I sat there and thought "what will it be like for me?". Before I go any further, let me say this "I don't plan on this happening for a number of years!!!". The topic just got me wondering, I certainly am not prepared mentally, but will I ever be? It's a horrible way to die. You hang on and your body is basically eaten away as the cancer takes over. How screwed up is that? Again, I'm not obsessing about this, just another thought that I share here, nothing more.

1 comment:

John Wagner said...

"what will it be like for me?"

I think any of us who have cancer wonder about that fairly often. In fact, I imagine even folks without cancer wonder about it once in awhile. We will never know until we get there. But I think there are hints in our life of how we will handle it. Looking at how we have handled other crisis in our lives should give us an indication. From what I only know about you from mostly a "cyber" relationship is that you will handle it with bravery and grace because your faith will see you through it. And, as always, your main concern will be for your family.

I am so very glad you had a great time at your latest golf outing!

Take care, friend.