Monday, August 8, 2011

Combat Croquet

About 10 or 12 years ago Tommy and Matt tweaked the game of croquet and dubbed it "combat croquet."  We have a very hilly backyard.  They designed the course so that most wickets are on the edge of a hill, which makes it very difficult to get the ball through the wicket without rolling it downhill.  Their way of thinking (and the battle cry) is "anybody can play croquet on level ground."  Then they added two extra wickets that come with monopoly-style "chance" cards--everything from "lose a turn" to "one free hit of another player's ball" to "take an extra turn."  Oh, and you play with two croquet sets.
Just about every year, we have a group of people over for dinner and then a game of combat croquet.  And each year, we try to add a few "newbies" to the mix.  We hosted the combat croquet evening last Monday.  It had been several years since we'd done so.  Everyone had a great time!  The pictures hardly do it justice, but you'll get the idea.

We start with dinner (on a level surface).

Then the fun begins!

Choosing colors.

Behind the fence.

Battling back up the hill.

Levels of the hill.

In the rough.
And where are the ladies, you ask.  We know better than to get in the way of men in competition.  We sit back, relax, visit, and watch the guys try harder to keep someone else from winning than trying to win the game. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


You've heard this joke, haven't you?  One of the nice things about getting old is that you can hide your own Easter eggs.  Something similar happened to me this year.  Although, I'm certainly not old and it wasn't Easter eggs, but flowers.

When the snow finally melted off my front flower bed in May, five small green stems poked their heads through the dirt reaching for the sun.  I remembered planting bulbs last fall.  But, for the life of me, I had no idea what kind or why.  You see, I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening; so I always plant the same thing.  Petunias.  They grow well here, don't require much upkeep, provide plenty of color for the front of the house, and are hearty enough to survive my touch.  These were definitely NOT petunias.

I watched and waited hoping for a clue.  The stems grew taller and taller.  No buds.  Still taller--still no buds.  June gave way to July.  Finally, long slender buds formed.  And took forever to open.  Two weeks later, when they finally did, lo and behold--stargazer lilies!!

And it all came back to me! Last year after my mom died, two dear friends gave me a basket of the lilies.  They had no idea that stargazer lilies were my mom's favorite flower.  I enjoyed them in the pot until all the blossoms were gone then transplanted them to the front flower bed.  It's the only place in my yard that gets direct sun, which is what the little tag in the pot said these particular flowers needed.

Somtimes being forgetful can bring surprises like finding Easter eggs you hid yourself.  And, sometimes forgetfulness brings wonderful blessings.  The surprise of a beautiful flower.  The memory of my fantastic mom.  The thoughtfulness of two special friends.  God is so good!