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I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. THIS EMAIL IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the “back nine” of my life and it catches me by surprise…. How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that “I was only on the first hole” and the “back nine” was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is… my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change…. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant… but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so… now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the “back nine”, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth… it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the “back nine” yet… let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the “back nine” or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life… so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

“Life” is a gift to you.
The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL!
ENJOY TODAY!
DO SOMETHING FUN!
BE HAPPY !
HAVE A GREAT DAY

Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

LIVE HAPPY IN 2013 AND BEYOND!

LASTLY, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

~Your kids are becoming you…. but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good… Coming home is better!
~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. “especially golf”!
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do,
but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.
~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”.
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”…” ???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear..
~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!!

It’s Not What You Gather,
But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN,
YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE,
SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Life isn’t about Surviving the storm
but learning to Dance in the rain.

 

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Nicklaus and Palmer

 

I’m going on retreat this weekend to one of my favorite retreat centers. Tom is retreating to his lounge to watch the Masters Tournament on TV. It will be a weekend of fulfilling moments for each of us, I am sure.

Before there were Tiger and Phil…..before digital cameras hit the retail stores…..in others words…..

A long time ago in a land called “I just love golf”, Tom came upon an ad in the newspaper about a very reasonably priced charter flight from Kalamazoo Michigan to Augusta Georgia out of Detroit for a one day excursion to a practice round of the Masters.

We were signed up to go in a jiffy! It was a very early flight out of Detroit, so we reserved a motel with airport service near Detroit Metro and left the night before our plane would depart.

Good thing, actually. We travelled by car along I-94 in an April snow and ice blizzard. Pretty precarious path. Then, in the morning we were driven to our departing terminal,  and boarded the plane (there were three in the charter group).

Then we sat there….on the ground. We were scheduled to depart second. The first charter was air-borne. The de-icer came out and de-iced the wings, not once, not twice — but three times. You know what I’m thinking about this time.

But Tom, like a golfer, trying how to figure out how to get a birdie out of a sure par, sat there ice-faced himself, waiting for the engines to rev up and fly us to Augusta.

We did get to go, but the third plane never got to depart, due to the weather conditions. By the time we deplaned in balmy Georgia, the ice-snow had turned to a steady rain, and the umbrella-group ,herded into the busses waiting for us, were now destined for Augusta National Golf Course.

I love the theme music played throughout the Masters televised event. Raindrops or not, the grounds are a sight to behold. You could almost hear that music just being on the course. I used plenty of rolls of film and can only imagine how many digitals I would have snapped, had that technology been invented. It was somewhere in the late 1990s that this wonderful opportunity presented itself to us and in many of the wondrous travels we would yet make, this still ranks right up at the top with other world-famous spots.

We arrived just in time to watch Lee Trevino’s group tee off on the first hole. We walked every part of the course. We saw and were up close with the golf stars of the day; Jack Nicklaus, Arnie Palmer (Tom’s hero), the Shark  Greg Norman,  Nick Faldo, Nick Price and many others.

After a full day of play (actually, walking for us) we met back at our bus, hitched our plane ride home and had a comfortable drive back to Kalamazoo, bearing souveniers and lots of photo memories, a few of which will complete this post.

I should catch up on just the last part of the winning round when I return from retreat and then I will get to hear one more time the marvelous theme music as the 2011 Masters comes to a close. I am cheering for Phil.

Trevino leaves the first tee.

Nicklaus & Palmer – Two Greats

Masters Leaderboard

Arnie coming out of sand.

Green nestled in sand.

Greg Norman – practice time

Walking along with Jack

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