Monday, March 31, 2014

Holden Beach

No real story.  We visit there a lot and the town has recently put in the two courts as part of a plan to develop a small park across from the town hall.  They are new this spring.  --Ed (and Anne) Shoaf

[These look really nice!  Hope we can get down that way this year.-- Gary (and Shirley)]

Last Weekend in March

We planned to play Saturday at Nevin Park in Charlotte even though the forecast was for a 70% chance of rain.  It was misting a little at 8:30 when we left Lexington for the one hour drive southwest.  We ran through a shower or two on the way, but it was mostly hit and miss.  By the time we actually got to Nevin Park, it had started to rain more steadily, so it looked as though we might get in a game-- or we might not.
There were five of us at the beginning of play around ten o'clock.  Khalid, Rick, Maggie, Shirley and I played three-against-two during a light, but steady, rain.  By the time the rest of the players, Nelson, Rebekah, Danny, and Sue arrived in the eleven o'clock to noon time frame, the rain was mostly over.  We played the rest of the day with only a light sprinkle of ten minutes in duration around 12:30.  So. play was from around 10:00 to 4:30.  Not bad for a day we had more or less written off as potentially unplayable!

When we got back to Lexington around 5:30, we found our friends Bobby and Peggy had arrived around mid-day expecting that, because of the likelihood of rain in Charlotte, we'd be home anytime.  They managed to entertain themselves for the afternoon and even went out and played a little singles on our backyard court until we made it home.

We expected an even better day on Sunday at Miller Park in Winston-Salem.  The forecast was for mostly clear and a high around 55F.  But, as it turned out, we once again started our play (around 1:00) in adverse weather.  This time, it was not rain, but a cold, fierce wind.

Once again, though, the weather improved considerably as the afternoon wore on as the wind began to blow itself away.  We ended up with a good turnout (around 15 players) and played until around 6:30.  Early spring can be sort of iffy in the Carolinas, but each week should get better until the gosh-it's-hot days of July and August.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

With Danny and Sue

After our midnight play at Kristi and Cruz's place on Friday night, we went back to Danny and Sue's place for the night.  On Saturday we went with them to visit Sue's mom who is in a care facility in Ervin, TN.

While the ladies were having an extended visit with Ms. Juanita, Danny and I drove around the town a little looking for a suitable place to play.  We ended up at Fishery Park.  The four of us had a very close, back-and-forth game to decide who bought lunch.

Maybe that's why our deli sandwiches afterwards (at Dunn's in Banner Elk) were especially delicious!

Thanks, Danny and Sue, for everything.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

With Kristi and Cruz

Friday night lights in Boone, NC, with Cruz Lopez and Kristi Bunn!  Shirley, Danny&Sue, Heather, and I played until nearly midnight.

Monday, March 10, 2014

By: Rebekah Ricardo

Hi Gary!

Greetings from stormy North Carolina!  Attached are several photos Nelson and I took yesterday.  We had a GREAT turnout!  We were really pleased at this, because usually when you and Shirley aren't there, the interest just doesn't seem to be there either.  Well, not yesterday!  We missed you like the dickens and you both were mentioned several times throughout play.  The weather was just lovely.  And by about 3:00 PM, there were no clouds in the sky!

Nelson and I arrived at about 12:30.  We set up the picnic table (cheap plastic tablecloth--we needed Shirley's lovely cotton fabric!) in a Mardi Gras/Lent themed purple.  I brought oatmeal raisin cookies and some chips along with raspberry lemonade.  Gail arrived at 1:00 and then shortly thereafter Cheryl and Stump arrived with a gigantic cooler full of ice and drinks and several packages of cookies and snacks.  Jean and Junior came right after them.  Jean's hand was bruised, so she wasn't able to play.  Bob, Fred, and Joseph arrived next, and then later Rom and James joined us too.  We also had some new players!  Two of Jean's grandchildren came to play (brought to Miller Park by Jean's daughter Samantha), and so Fred took them aside and with Samantha's help, taught them how to play.  Then, late in the day we had two  new persons, Sean and LaLa (prounounced "LayLay") walked up.  They'd thought we were playing horseshoes, but when Cheryl mentioned the word petanque, Sean said, "Oh!  I know that game!  I remember it from watching "The Cosby Show" when I was younger!  Sean immediately took to the game after some tutelage from Nelson, and LaLa seemed to enjoy it as well.  You'll see them in the photos.  We invited them to return next week, telling them that we're there every Sunday at 1:00.  Sean seemed very interested, so we'll see....

Finally, we also had several other people who stopped to watch us play.  I believe Fred talked to a couple who had stopped to sit on the bench and watch us play.  We missed Terry, Danny, and the two Sues.  Apparently Junior was really tearing it up out there on the courts (according to Nelson).  There were so many games we couldn't keep track of the scores, but I do know that there was one "kiss the fanny" game between Nelson/Rom/Junior and Cheryl/Joseph/Gail.

By the time we all packed up to leave, we were amazed to see that our watches said 7:15 PM!  6 hours of play!  Yippee!

Miss y'all.  Hope you're having a good time!



We had a small turnout for weekday play in Charlotte, but we still managed to have a lot of fun.  Only Khalid, Frank, Denyse, Shirley, and myself were able to come out to play on a workday for most people.  Here are a few shots of play.

Monday, March 3, 2014

New players

Cheryl with niece Samantha, nephew Junior, and sister Jean


Bob's dog

Girl talk? (Greta and Samantha)
Cheryl invited her niece, her nephew, and her sister to join us for play on Sunday at Miller Park.  We're always delighted to have new players, so to get three on one day was a real coup!

Samantha, Junior, and Jean all took to the game and fit right in with our crowd, playing, laughing, and kidding around just like the rest of us.  We really hope they'll continue to come out on Sundays.  Since they are locals, maybe we'll become a routine part of their weekend?

There were sixteen players, so the trend of increasing crowds with improving weather continues.  Shirley and I may miss a week or two of Carolina play since we are contemplating joining our friends Bobby and Peggy for a brief Florida vacation.  We left club boules, scoreboards, and playing circles with Rebekah and Nelson yesterday, so there will be play next Sunday at Miller Park whether we are there or not.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saturday play

Winston-Salem is the home of Krispy Kreme!

Rebekah and Nelson sponsored a rare Saturday afternoon of play (they brought the doughnuts!) at Miller Park in Winston-Salem.  We were able to get nine players on short notice.  Hope Sunday will be even better.