Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's A Mother To Do?

With Mother's Day coming up shortly I have to think back about, and self evaluate, myself as a mother. That may not be a good idea as I am definitely an "accidental mother". There was no planned parenting in our house. I guess that kind of goes with my nickname Firecrackinmama which my youngest daughter ordained me.

There have certainly been some ups and downs and goods and bads but I hope overall my kids see me as more on the goods then on the bads. Like a typical mom I drive them nuts and can be over protective. Heck, they are all grown up and I'm still checking on them, not to be nibby but just out of habit.

My husband and I are extremely lucky as we have 3 wonderful kids and there isn't anything we wouldn't do to protect them. They all have nice jobs, are loving and keep tabs on us. We truly enjoy vacationing together, as in our next cruise this summer.

Twenty-six years ago we moved into our home. I'm wondering where the time has gone but I'm not wishing to re-live it either. I remember my mother always wishing she was living in a previous time of her life. Nope living in the past is not for me however remembering the past is great!

Amazingly enough when we moved into our present house many of the families living in the development were around our age with kids approximately the same age as ours. So there were always a number of kids around. We did the traditional things like joining a swim club, participating in community and school sports and I of course was active with the Brownies and Parents Teacher Association.

During the summer however I don't remember anyone sending their kids off to a day camp or anything like that. Most families belonged to our rival swim club so my kids and a few others would be left with not too much to do. Now that just can't be because when kids have nothing to do it leads to trouble.

We also always hosted the special holidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. If we could come up with any excuse for a party in between we would celebrate. So we had to make sure there were plenty of games and activities. Normally there was the good old badminton, horse shoes and croquet. Sometimes there were water balloons, water pistols, and the traditional games until...

We went to Disney World in 1989. That was the year after I had had back surgery. It was a big deal to all of us and we spared no expense. We purchased the full package that included all our meals, a stay at the Polynesian Hotel, and entrance into both Disney World and Universal. I remember the kids having lobster for dinner! It was an absolutely wonderful trip. I can still smell the jasmine, the soft glow of lights and feel the warm breeze of the evening. But most of all I remember the wonderful Mother's Day breakfast we enjoyed before leaving. I don't know how much they remember.

However that was in the Spring and of course it meant the summer was going to be long and without any vacation other then day trips. We live only 60 miles from the shore so that's what we did. There's nothing like having an aunt own a house only two blocks from the most beautiful beach in Ocean City, NJ. She enjoyed seeing us as much as we enjoyed seeing her. We would spend the day on the beach, go back and clean up and then head for the boardwalk. Somehow we always ended up playing a game of miniature golf.

In the old days BC (before children) my husband and I enjoyed playing the 3 par golf course not to far from us. So where is this all leading?

It's leading to another one of those brainstorms I had. We have a nice size backyard and in those days the grass was pretty good. We had a female yellow lab though that left brown spots. That didn't matter to me as they would just be another obstacle on the 3 par golf course that I was going to design and build, and I did.

I went to a local golf store and purchased the hole cups, the flags and different color balls. We had a couple of putters from my husband's golfing days and my mother's golfing days. Yes, she and the "Merry Widows" took golf lessons and would go out on ladies' day.

Then I drew the design, cut the grass to make the fairways and greens.

The first hole is to the right. It was a straight shot with the yellow pool as a water trap. The second hole seen below started right past the first green and was a dog leg. If you look closely it had not only a water trap but a sand trap as well. And of course you can see the left-over swing set and garden being problematic.

The third hole started to the left above and went uphill to the front of the "club house" as seen below. :)

The last hole was where the chipping basket is to the right of the tree. Just like in miniature golf once you chipped the ball in you were finished. I have to tell you a good story about that famous hole. The golfers in the neighborhood had to test out our practice course. They figured if they could do well here, they would be excellent anywhere else.

One day I had gone to work, the kids were in school and of course my husband was at work too. Anyhow, and this happened more then once, I came home from work and what should I find but the basket full of beer cans. Yep, they let me know they had been there and conquered the course!

This is a better shot of the the last chipping hole.

I even made score cards.

Oops water trap! No! Don't try to hit it out! Call...

Wonder Dog!

Have to confess she didn't get the ball. Instead she played in the water trap which was actually her pool.

Sometime I'll tell you the story of the time we played a night game of golf with Tiki candles. That's a great story!

Golf always intrigued me. Perhaps it's because I started working at the age of 8 selling cakes my mother made and then at the age of 12 I started to work at the local golf course. They originally started me on the 9th hole stand selling root beer, hot dogs and chips. Eventually the golf pro asked if I wanted to learn how to play and of course I did.

The following are for those golf mother's, golf widows, or whoever else might enjoy them. You can easily customize the shirts by clicking on the "customize" tab on the right. Choose from a variety of styles, color and sizes for men, women and children.

This is one of my favorites. As with each tee you can easily change, delete and/or add text, remove the images and insert yours or just leave them as they are.

After 18 holes of golf the next item looks pretty good!

Definitely need something to protect your eyes and head while out on the course. How about this?

I've always noticed how well dressed golfer are and this would be perfect.

There are so many neat items available for any occasion but golf is definitely a pastime for both men and women which means great gifts for both Mother's Day and Father's Day!

I'll leave you with these ideas but if you want more just click on my card below and have some Firecrackin Fun!

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