I like golf. I love assembling flat pack wardrobes. One of those statements is true. One is not. More about that later.
Fall is a season of giving in Canada. The trees are giving their last leaves to protect lawns and streets from the coming snow. People are giving treats and gifts, for Thanksgiving, for Halloween, or for Diwali, and are already turning their minds towards Christmas. And, the clouds are constantly giving us rain to ensure we’re thankful when the sun finally shines again.
It’s David’s birthday. Kai can’t wait to give him the present he chose yesterday. “It’s a new Skylander for when we play on the X-Box,” he explains. Then, just in case dad is getting slow with his advancing years, he clarifies – “we can share it. I’ll go first, and then you can have a turn when I’m finished.” I briefly wonder whether this three-year old take on giving is more universal than we are prepared to admit. Nah – we’re way better than that.
We slip into the morning routine – I drive David to the skytrain, picking up the morning coffees on the way, and then the regular question “what are we going to do today?” Kirsty replies that she has an appointment at 11:00, but that’s all. “I was thinking about giving you and mom some time to yourselves today. I called my friend D and she would love me to bring Kai to visit for a few hours.” Hmm – such a sweet thoughtful girl.
I look out the window and realise that, against all odds, I am starting to acquire that uniquely Canadian skill for telling one kind of overcast sky from another. David has told me that Canadian weather at this time of year has fifty shades of grey. Today is about a level twelve, so it should stay overcast but not actually rain much. “Hey! I have a great idea! While you and Kai go to visit D, I could take mum to the golf course.” What better way to give Nanette an opportunity to get fresh air and exercise at the same time?
Nanette mumbles something about staying home and watching Netflix, but I know she is only trying to be gracious. So, in the early afternoon we find ourselves down at the nearby short course. We meet Jim, another local retiree who turned seventy last year and decided it’s time he took up golf. I’m a little embarrassed that Nanette doesn’t understand golf etiquette – like not asking the other guys about their lives, and not rolling around laughing when your dearly beloved just happens to drop another ball in the creek. Jim is a nice guy and doesn’t seem to mind. The afternoon passes very pleasantly with our little trio wandering back and forth along the soggy fairways enjoying the fresh 7°C breeze.
When it’s finally time to collect Kirsty and Kai, I’m starting to feel the effects of the extra nine holes that Jim suggested we play. I wasn’t prepared to show any pain in front of a seventy year old who still looked as fit at the end as he did at the start, but I’m definitely a little sore. Now – time for home and a long hot shower. I’m just about to turn the Dodge towards home when I hear those ominous words. “Mom and I have decided we may as well go to the mall for a while. It’s only three hours until David gets home so we thought we’d do some shoe shopping. It will give you a chance to look around too if you want.”
What can I say? Nanette has just spent a few hours wandering the course with me so I can’t possibly complain about another trip to the mall. Nanette mentions that she is also a little tired after her wonderful outing with me, but ever-thoughtful Kirsty is way ahead of us. “No problem. You can relax at home tomorrow. I’m having lunch with some other moms and dad will be busy assembling that flat pack cupboard I bought the other day.”