Saturday, March 20, 2010

When winter and summer collide

Climate change or not, the weather has taken some extraordinary twists and turns over the past several weeks. Record snowfalls, followed by record rainfalls, accompanied by tornado-like winds. And then unbelievable heat in the middle of March.

What it means on a global scale is unknown. On a local level, Butternut's slopes, which had accumulated massive amounts of snow through early March, though dramatically impacted were still relatively intact.

Thus, we gathered in stripped down ski attire in the early morning heat for one last day at the mountain. There was no way, with temperatures reaching close to 70, that a full day on the trails was in my future. After a few runs, fighting the firm snow compacted overnight, and then the slush rapidly forming, I was history.

Only 3 or 4 miles away, lay the second part of the adventure. While I thought this would be a solo journey, I was wrong. Jo spoke with one of our ski friends, Ann Mig, who also happened to share my passion for golf. When given the opportunity to test the shoulder that had prevented her from swinging a club last year, she eagerly accepted.

The 2 of us took off our winter garb, changed into clothing appropriate for a summer activity, picked up golf clubs, and headed to the course. It was open, and it was crowded. Most golfers have spent the winter counting the days until spring has sprung. And sprung it has, even in winter.

My excuses were ready, like a 15th club. Bad back, bad shoulder, hadn't played, wasn't ready, still in March. The list was endless. And then I hit the ball well off the first tee. And then I continued to hit it well for all 9 holes.

The course, saturated from the recent storms, was dotted with newly formed pockets of water. Shoes and socks were soaked moments after starting play. The back nine, wet in the driest of times, was closed. Shots landed in the fairway and disappeared, never to be seen again. Yet, though it was wet, it was a joy just to be chasing after that little white ball.

I had never skied and played golf in the same day. That was something people at the big western mountains did. The elevation change, and the resulting temperature variance, would permit winter and summer to exist side by side in those locales. Not the Berkshires, not when the bottom of the mountain and the golf course were eye to eye with each other. But Mother Nature is clearly in a fickle mood these days.

So, like the more famous bucket list of movie lore, I have now checked off one of those items I wanted to do during my lifetime. Next up is throwing out a first pitch at Yankee stadium. If I can ski and play golf minutes apart, I know life is full of endless possibilities. Batter up.


Nancy said...

It was a welcome day after living with no heat and electricity for four this past week. So happy to hear your back held up to the challenge.

Unknown said...

As I was reading, all I could think was that you can do that most days in Park City, Utah. But I guess you already knew that. Anyway, it's something to think about...

David B said...

Sounds like a great salmagundi day. the only thing left out was to go swimming after golfing. Welcome back to the real world of golfing this season.

Robert said...

to my daughter: I get the hint.

to Davey B- We actually talked about going kayaking after golf, but fatigue and cold temperatures when entering the lake persuaded me otherwise.

Jo Ann Chaus said...

Very cute - Steve Abrams recently skiied and played tennis in 1 day -a life long dream!