You get extra points if you immediately know what this image is and what it means. Until a few weeks ago, I would have had no idea — A new kind of container for growing tomatoes? A techno-modern jewelry holder? An industrial-minimalist magazine organizer? Good guesses. But all wrong. The orange part depicts a basket (or “disc entrapment device”) used in playing disc golf and, since this course was in the sandy wilds of north Florida, the arrows are directing you to the next hole so that you don’t get lost and subsequently carried away/eaten by hordes of mosquitoes. Do you know anything about disc golf? I was completely clueless until I hung out with my 13-year-old nephew and his mom (my sister-in-law) and dad (my brother) during our recent family beach trip. Banish all thoughts of lazily playing Frisbee with your dog — which, by the way, is never as successful as it looks on TV — because the only thing that carefree activity has in common with competitive disc golf is you throwing something. A disc-golf family like my nephew’s travels to courses and competitions the way other families take to the road for high-level baseball or softball games. When playing a course, competitors lug around backpacks filled with a couple of dozen discs and say things such as “This mid-range one is good for a hyzer flip, or should I use an overstable disc for a low-speed right backhand fade?” Since trees are the main challenge, my nephew suggested I make my first disc-golf attempt when we reached the one hole that was in the open — although you had to throw across a 700-foot-long ravine. Luckily, my brother volunteered to climb down and retrieve my discs that barely made it … well … I’d generously say 25 feet. This is serious stuff and much, much harder than it looks. I will never smile again when the subject of disc-golf at the summer Olympics comes up.
This past Friday night, my husband and I took a romantic stroll through the carnival that’s part of the eagerly anticipated annual Slugburger Festival set up for the weekend just a couple of blocks from our house, in Corinth, Mississippi. We smooched on top of the ferris wheel and he won me a stuffed animal in the football toss and we walked arm-in-arm-in-cotton-candy and … aw, okay, you know that is all a big fat lie. I can’t fool you. Forget the romantic stuff. We did go to the festival, but naturally we bypassed the family fun and potentially romantic area and headed straight for the beer garden, where we loaded on Bud Light and rocked out to some great blues. But the carnival looked fun, in a scream-your-head-off-and-feel-your-stomach-do-flip-flops sort of way. And I know some of you are just now rejoining me after getting stuck at the words “Slugburger Festival” and wondering what, exactly, we and the good folks here in Corinth are doing and, more importantly, what we’re eating. I hope you read the link and learned that slugburgers are in fact an innovative and popular Corinth food item that people travel hundreds of miles for. And no slugs are harmed in the making of this sandwich, so it’s okay. But you’ve got to eat them hot and fast and please do not ask for catsup. That marks you as a non-slugburger connoisseur — or a Yankee. Not sure which is worse. Anyway, the festival continues tonight with country music, more carnival rides and all the beer and fried food
your gall bladder will allow you to have you can eat.
This is the smile I cannot get enough of. Well, one of them, anyway. Almost 3-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable has a complete repertoire of smiles but I’m especially delighted with the one that says, “Okay, Kacky, it’s your turn to go down the slide now.” We were playing in his backyard on a recent warm and sunny day and, as usual, he was in charge of the schedule. First we do sand-box construction work, then run around the yard for a couple of laps, then fall on the grass laughing with Roxie the Dog, then try to climb up and over the 7-foot-high fence and then try to surreptitiously fill up water in the red plastic bucket and tote the water to the sandbox to turn the construction zone into waterfront property despite Mommy telling him not to do that. Again. Then we play some basketball (I’m great with the Thomas the Tank ball and 4-foot-high plastic goal) and check to see if the carrots Mommy and Daddy planted in the garden yesterday are growing yet. And then there’s the slide. Actually, he has two in the backyard. One is short and wide and adult-friendly. The other is long and narrow and built only for those who consistently fail the “you must be this tall to ride” test. The Captain’s preferred method of playing on the slides is to A) make Roxie the Dog slide down and B) figure out a way he can ride his dump truck down. Plus, we both love the game that I invented called “Sleep.” See, I sit on the bottom of the short-and-wide slide (because I can’t fit on the bottom of the long-and-narrow slide) and I lie down on my back with my feet on the ground and I start snoring and the Captain climbs to the top of the slide and then slides down, bumps into my head, leans over to gleefully ask “Kacky? You awake, Kacky?” and then laughs wildly as he jumps off the side of the slide to do it all again. This goes on for several minutes. If I’m lucky.
Snow! We have snow in the South!! Also: We have a national championship!!! I’m not sure which delights folks more. Oh, wait, of course it’s Auburn winning the national Bowl Championship Series title. I tried to pick out friends who’d made the trip to Arizona as the TV cameras panned over the thousands and thousands of Tigers fans, but all that orange and blue sort of blended together into one. Like the team itself. (And my sports-editor husband doesn’t think I could be a sportswriter!). Back home, far away from the televised football frenzy, the soft fluffy comforter of snow (I refuse to use the “blanket” cliché) still is keeping things quiet. In my town of Corinth, Miss., the square is deserted except for folks like me out walking and snapping shots such as this one of the Fillmore Street Presbyterian Church — and families mounting riotous snowball fights in the streets. In my family, the competition as always centers on art. Older Daughter reported that she started out making a snow-kid for our 2 3/4-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable. It turned into a snow tower, which she felt looked a bit … well … anatomical, so she changed it to something she called a snow bunny by adding ears and arms. Her artist husband, however, created an entire snow train, topped off with actual ashes from their fireplace for the tinder box. Artistry on the football field combined with artistry in a snowy front yard — I love the South!