Friday, October 5, 2012
A Good Day!
The boat arrived at 9:45 AM. It was a beautiful 22 footed that resembled the old Chris Craft boats that were seen often on the lake during the 1950’s. The young man on the dock helped us load the golf bags onto the boat while Paul and I got settled for the ten minute ride from our condominium to the golf course on the opposite shore. The air was a little crisp as the bright morning sun shone down on us.
It was our first, full day of this golfing vacation that we had been planning for quite some time. More than a year ago, one of my closest friends, Paul, had called to tell me that he and his wife, Mary, wanted to thank me for watching their house and dogs on frequent occasions by giving me a week at a time-share on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. It was also a week to celebrate the fact that my supervised release would be over and I would be a “relatively” free person.
As the boat pulled up to the dock, a tall, slender Asian girl tied up the lines and took our golf clubs. She introduced herself as Lauren and told us that she would be our caddy for the day. She was a beautiful young woman that we would find out was from South Korea and had been adopted with her brother by a judge in Spokane when she was six months old. She was a recent college graduate and was spending her second summer as a caddy at the resort golf course.
Paul shared a story while were playing the round that became our mantra over the course of the week. When his grandson, Ryan, started Kindergarten he went to their home after school one day. Ryan was full of smile and excited when ran into the kitchen. Mary leaned down and asked her grandson how his day at school went. With a beaming face he said, “Nana, we got ice cream. It was a GOOD day!” So as we meandered our way across the golf course for the next five hours, Paul would look over at me and say “It’s a good day!”
For the next six days we travelled from golf course to golf course in the Idaho panhandle. At night, we would drive the 25 miles into CDA to enjoy a Blizzard from the local Dairy Queen. Paul took me to one of his favorite restaurants in a run-down dive on a siding road called The Wolf Lodge Inn. From the outside it looks like a place you would quickly pass by and not think twice. But the steak they served on the inside was one of the best I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. On Sunday, I was there with Paul when he hit his first ever “hole-in-one”. It was a good day.
From the outset, Paul wanted this to be my week. He said he was just along for the ride (and to pay the bills). After playing on a course that I often played as a college student with my roommate, we took a short drive to Newport where I had a chance to see Mom and Dad’s grave marker. I hadn’t been there since we buried them more than a year ago and no one in the family had had a chance to see the beautiful marker that my younger brother Geoff had ordered for their burial plot.
The week in CDA gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life. I had just completed what I would describe as the most traumatic eight years of my life. It has been filled with far too many difficult days. Days that I wasn’t always sure I would make it through. It had been filled with much loss. But as I peeled back all of the negatives of those eight years, I was reminded of many positives as well. The re-establishment of genuine relationships with my sister and brothers. The involvement in a church that has fully embraced and accepted me. A wonderful friendship with my ex-wife. The friendship and support of a wonderful who is a friend and co-worker. The day I met Paul. It was a good day!
Photos by Mark and Paul