Golf courses and playing fields will soon magically appear

Hammertime

While I’m quite sure that many of you out there are getting rather antsy watching all the golf and baseball on television, it will not be too long before our courses and playing fields magically appear and start to turn luscious green.

Although some sports and events may be delayed a little due to the big melt, one can always find a patch of grass to toss or kick the ball around, maybe even try a few chip shots over the puddles — and don’t forget to pull on those high boots for walking.

As we all know quite well, this is that glorious time of the year when we have to keep an extra change of clothes in the porch for the kids, a bike ride might leave a mud streak down your back, and the garage sale craze will begin with great gusto.

I recall that most of us couldn’t wait to dig out the old ball glove, bat out a few flies, and when registration came for baseball or soccer it was so exciting to get that new team uniform or sweater. In my fastball playing years we used to start warming up inside the Complex when the ice went out, hit the diamonds as soon as they were dry, but we had to be careful not to throw our arms out on those chilly April days. Once the action got started back there in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s there were more than 70 youth, men’s and women’s baseball and fastball teams from the town and county —and you had to book your practise times.

As a kid my golf ranking had to be rated as that of a complete duffer and cross-handed swinger, but growing up beside the Ponoka Golf Course we loved to sneak out and whack a few balls around. One of our infamous ‘Riverside Rats’ gang members had a dog who could find and fetch golf balls, so we always had an ample supply, and then sold them back to the ‘pros’ for as much as 50 cents. Lots of us also enjoyed wallowing in the mud for a friendly game of flag football against the town team, while there were also great tennis courts, a ball diamond and a soccer pitch up on the hospital grounds.

These and many other invigorating sports, activities, and recreational events are available in and around our community, all designed for fun and exercise from dawn to dusk. Whatever activity you may choose for this spring and summer, please remember to be a team player, to respect the officials, coaches and volunteers of your game, and to appreciate those who come out to cheer you on. No matter what the result or the weather might be, we are supposedly out there for the fun and fresh air, and there will always be another day to do it all again.

We must never forget our soldiers overseas

I know that it may not be Nov. 11, but I believe that it is most important that we never forget our military personnel serving in war-torn nations all over the world. An old friend sent me this very compassionate message that highlights our pretty good lives here in Canada, compared to the day-to-day efforts of our brave soldiers.

• While we check the cellphone in our coat pockets, he clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags, because he knows he may not see his buddies again.

• While we walk down the beach staring at the pretty girls, he patrols the streets searching for insurgents, terrorists, and the constant threat of hidden bombs.

• While we relax for the family supper, he quietly sits in the mess hall after being told that he will be held over for another two months.

• While we call our wives or girlfriends to set a date for tonight, he waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

• We try to hug and kiss our wives, girlfriends, and kids each and every day, while he holds his letter close and smells his love’s perfume.

• We roll our eyes as a baby cries, while he gets a letter with pictures of his newborn child, and wonders if they will ever meet.

• We criticize and complain to our government that war never solves anything, while he sees those innocent souls who are tortured and killed by their own people, and vividly remembers why he is fighting.

• We crawl into our soft beds with down pillows and get comfortable, while on most nights he tries to sleep but often gets awakened by mortars and helicopters all night long.

Each and every day we need to take a little time to think about our troops, and to pray for their safety and that these brave men and women will be able to return home soon, to family and friends in our free and peaceful nation.

Have a great week, all of you!

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