Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

Ruby Regina Witcraft

To say that I was an affectionata of golf is putting it mildly since I seem to go at everything like I’m killing snakes. (By the way, I got the word affectionate out of my Italian dictionary). Playing four or five times a week was the norm and I most liked playing with my low handicap husband. He was a very patient and available instructor so, besides being fun, it was a great learning experience. However, Katy Duke and I first started learning, the sometimes irritating game, from two Irish Bobbies on Mid Ocean Golf Course in Bermuda during the early sixties. They were very demanding and insisted we learn to play where the ball landed. Next to the rough was five foot tall poison ivy or the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, so we learned to hit straight very quickly. This was before I met my talented husband in the early seventies and when we met and married this was a mutual game we both thoroughly enjoyed. We played many courses over a period of fort years but our favorite was Twin Hills in Oklahoma City. My dear instructor is now in golf heaven and my back forbids the torque required to get any kind of accurate distance so I have also, retired from playing but keep up with it on the Telley.

The Ryder Cup was on last week and the Americans out-did themselves by winning by six points which was so much better than they did in 2008 and, had no wins since then. Not only did they win but won every event played in three continuous days by a great margin. At the beginning of the Ryder Cup, forty-one years ago, our teams only played Britain and won eighteen years in a row. Jack Nicklaus suggested making it more even by playing all of Europe and this certainly did even up the game and made it more exciting to watch.

Fred Couples was my favorite golfer for many years as he had the same easy swing and attitude that my husband had which made them very easy for a woman to physically copy. My husband and I went separate ways during a tournament in Oklahoma City as I wanted to watch another favorite of mine, Arnold Palmer. Being short I inched my way up to the rope on a tee box and was standing about six feet away, facing Arnold as he took a mighty swing and laid the ball way over two hundred yards in the middle of the fairway. He walked over to me, looked me in the eye and said, “Where were you yesterday when I needed you?” I said, “You name it and I’ll be there next time.” This was an example of what a great personality he was which amassed “Arnold’s Army” and made the game very popular in the seventies. I understand that he only made sixty thousand dollars for a win at that time, compared to over a million these days, but he was also a great humanitarian and supported many charities. Palmer had a less than picture perfect swing but he got the job done his way. There will never be another like him.

As I watched the Ryder Cup, I noticed that every player had a perfect grip and swing; for the most part, like a cookie cutter position. This allows low scoring and is reflected by the teaching at an early age. Golf equipment has also improved and surely hasn’t hurt the game and made it more enjoyable for the player and duffer watchers, like me.


Everyone has a different way of dealing with junk. We all accumulate it. Anyone who has done any house cleaning knows that it is impossible to do until all the junk has been disposed of or put away. Each week before I house clean I try to eliminate the junk that I have accumulated. I spend a day putting away junk and two hours cleaning house. I try real hard to get rid of the junk because I know that it can take over but in spite of my efforts I am losing the battle.

My problem is that I don’t know how to distinguish real junk from junk that may have some value. It could be genetic because my father made his living as a junk man. Or perhaps the blame lies with my mother who collected almost everything. Whatever it is I am trying to deal with it.

Some things are perfectly clear. There is no problem when I go to the refrigerator and see green stuff that has a bad smell and is reaching out to me. It is easy to determine that is trash and I throw it out. On the other hand junk mail is something that takes the pleasure away from receiving mail and I easily recognize it. I categorize junk mail as trash and I discard it.

The complexity of the problem arises when junk might be stuff. Stuff is junk I do not want to throw away because maybe I can still use it – for something – sometime. What I do with stuff is put it into a drawer for future use. As a result of doing this over the years my drawers are filled to capacity. If I could only recognize stuff as junk I may be able to – must I say it – throw it away. But I know that a simple act of throwing away something can have lasting results.

The stuff I save some people may consider junk but to me it is something I may need someday. Things like old towels which I wash out and save for emergencies in case we have a flood. Old earrings I never wear but I save them because next year they may be back in style. The same goes for old shoes, dresses and jackets. I still have a fake fur hiding in the closet and taking up more than its share of space. I rue the day I may be forced to part with these worn out and outdated items.

After stuff the next level of junk is what I consider things. I look at things from an economic standpoint. Things are what you spent a lot of money on but you don’t need or want anymore and you just don’t know what to do with them. They are too old to sell, too good to give away and your children won’t take them.

Some things may have a sentimental value like the teddy bear left over from when the children were young. Or they could be something I don’t really like anymore but I just can’t part with – such as the lamps with the crystal tears hanging down. They don’t fit in but I keep them because they cost a lot. Sitting in a dark corner of the family room I hope they will not be too noticeable. No longer do they inspire or provoke the imagination and I would like to be rid of them. Hope that the children would take them was lost when they admitted they always hated those lamps but they didn’t want to tell me for fear it would hurt my feelings.

Then there are all those books that sit thee year after year – collecting dust. How do you categorize books? Are they stuff or things? It doesn’t really matter to me because I don’t like parting with them. Several years ago I cleaned out the bookcases and gave away many books and they were never missed. They were my late husband, Sam’s fiction and astronomy books and no one ever read them. Except maybe Sam.

On rare occasions, my late husband, Sam, would clean out the closets. When the closets were overflowing and the drawers wouldn’t open Sam got disgusted. I hated it when that happened. I was left wondering if something I may need was gone forever. The problem was that Sam was never able to distinguish what was junk, stuff or things. Sam discarded everything – it was all trash to him.

A Poor Decision

Margaret Daniels

School supplies purchased and the grandkids have started school. Their father explained that they were not to play their electric games during the week on the days they were in school because they needed to do their homework. Also he knew that those electronic devices took first priority in their minds and their homework would not be done. But on weekends they were free to play with their electronics if they did not have any homework. Things went as instructed during the first week even though they complained about having homework to do after school.

Whenever their father dame home each child would come to give him a hug and tease him. One evening last week, every kid came to greet him except one. Their dad went to see if the missing son was with his mother. When he was not, at that point they both started to look for him.

After searching throughout the house, they found him in the square space between the sofa and love seat that had been placed perpendicular to each other. He was bent over so he could not be seen playing his game on the iPad. He was caught red handed with no way to escape over the arms of the furniture. He knew that his choice was not the correct one. Even though this decision was not the best, in his mind he thought it was OK – go figure. A strong talking to followed and the iPad was put up for a period of time. The lesson that he learned that day did not come from his school books, but it was to obey the family rules.

Wouldn’t it have been nice be a little mouse to see the shocked look on his angelic face when he was discovered?