Monday, September 19, 2016

Playing tennis, tasting wine, standing on chairs

Tennis friends at Black Birch Vineyard
Last night I stood up on a chair to get a bud vase for a pink rose that a tennis friend gave us to mark the year anniversary of her mother's death. We all raised a rose to our mothers, on this earth or not, but always with us.

For a moment I considered whether I should do it but then realized that I could. Normally this would not be a big deal, but I thought back to my progression from hardly being able to stand up and sit down in a chair, to in no way having the strength or balance to climb up on one, to now having strong enough leg muscles to be able to do it.

I put the rose on the table next to the zinnias I picked from the garden. I can't believe how tall they got. One is almost as tall as I am. When I cut them I could hear my mother say, "Don't be afraid to cut them," meaning make sure to bring them in so you can enjoy them. At the beach, she had flowers everywhere. She was especially proud of her roses.

The rose-giving happened yesterday at Black Birch Vineyard in Southampton. It was our second year going to this beautiful place. We brought a picnic to have along with wine: either a glass or a wine tasting. I remembered the wine I liked from last year but did the wine tasting anyway. I'm not a wine connoisseur but had fun learning the proper way of tasting. I did two of the whites twice because I didn't want the reds and played a game of turning my back and guessing when I sipped. I got the Epic White right (pear tastes and other fruity nuances but not too sweet), yay, and went ahead and bought a bottle. Or two.

Flowers keeping company
Before we went, we played tennis at the Rogers Field next to Holyoke High School. It was the sister teams, Holyoke's Paper Dolls and Valley Dolls from the summer league. I'm not playing as much team tennis as I used to, but I still like playing some because otherwise I would miss the camarederie and little outings like these.

But informal tennis like we played is in many ways more fun.

For example, when an opponent lost a game on a double fault, I made up a rule: no double-faulting to lose the game.

Similarly when we play at the Canoe Club, we occasionally ask for another chance if we do something really stupid. You wouldn't do this all the time or else we would never finish. But on Wednesday the wind totally took a ball that was coming towards my backhand. Since I had been working on that shot (no bent elbow), I asked for another, moved up closer, and made the shot.

This would be a week off from going to Boston, but this morning I have a dermatology appointment. I have some new spots, and I would be pleasantly surprised if at least one or two were not squamous cells.

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