Since my mom and I have both taken leaves from the work force, we often say to ourselves, SNOW DAY!!! As a child I always loved snow days, as a college student I loved them even more (postponing tests, delaying homework, canceling labs etc.)! Since my mom has been working at SPU she has come to love snow days as well, because when the students get a snow day so do the staff/faculty! We cozy up with hot chocolate, walk around the winter wonderland (Queen Anne was particularly striking in the snow-pocalypse a year ago), and enjoy the unexpected time of peace and relaxation. My mom and I have come to think of each of these days of chemotherapy as just a bunch of snow days! Time to relax and rest and enjoy life as best we can.
I asked my mom, since we have all this time off, "Do you think we should start a new hobby?" She chuckled and asked, "like what?". "Bowling?" I said. To which we both chuckled. Not our cup of tea. But we thought more about it and decided miniature golf would be the perfect hobby! We both love miniature golf, it is somewhat active, but not too active, perfect for chemotherapy patients. We decided that we would go to every minature golf course around Seattle, which we quickly realized wouldn't take too long, so now we want to do every miniature golf course in the pacific northwest. (If you know of any courses, please let us know!) My mom even came up with a smashing name for our new club, "The Hole-In-Onederfuls"! Copyrighted/TM/AllRightsReservedByGabrielle ;-)
Our first course was "Rainbow Run at Willows Lodge Golf Course" in Redmond (their website). It was gorgeous! Very beautifully landscaped, this 18 hole miniature golf course features 4 different climates, and holes named after beautiful natural locations around Washington state. My favorite feature was one hole which had a huge cave you putt and walk under. The moment you walk into the cave, a bear growls at you! Terribly exciting! Although I think the bear was more of the pre-recorded variety than the claws and fangs variety. My mom suggested we take a picture at each course to remember it, and we wanted to bring our good friend Mrs. Potato Head to join us. So here is the first of many pictures of us at a miniature golf course with Mrs. Potato Head!
Mom beat me on this course, but only by 2 strokes, so I thought it was very close.
The sun was out, we were golfing, geese were flying overhead, the landscaping at Willows Run was very beautiful, and for a few hours I didn't think about stupid cancer even once.
As we finished up, it was around lunch time, and after 18 holes (with no golf cart), you can imagine we were quite famished. I remembered reading in the paper that "Dine Around Seattle" had just begun that day, which features fine dining restaurants offering 3 course dinners ($30) and 3 course lunches ($15). So we decided we may as well stop for a bite to eat at the Barking Frog! Neither of us had been before, and I typically shy away from any restaurant more expensive than Than Brothers Pho, so this was a real treat for me! My mom had curry crème fraiche and chili oil, bed onions, roma tomato, cucumber, tzatziki, harissa, and garlic-oregano Fries, and for dessert, dour cherry gelee and chocolate biscotti. Delicious! I had ixed Greens, lemon grass vinaigrette, ild rice cakes, pickled vegetables, tarragon beurre blanc, and for dessert I copied my mom because we are both chocolate addicts. Everything was amazing! So delicious and so much fancier than our usual lunch of humble sandwiches.
We came home from our amazing adventure and relaxed while our stomachs settled. The sun was still shining and we were in the best of spirits. I am so grateful for this wonderful day I got to spend with my mom, and I am very thankful to God for blessing us with these little surprises of joy along this health journey. Perhaps I am giving away my inner-nerdiness here, but when I stood on that golf course (albeit a miniature one) and looked into the heavens with the clouds parting and sun shining, I thought of the words lady Galadriel says to Frodo in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as she is giving gifts to the band of travellers:
And you, Ring-bearer,' she said, turning to Frodo. `I come to you last who are not last in my
thoughts. For you I have prepared this.' She held up a small crystal phial: it glittered as she moved
it, and rays of white light sprang from her hand. 'In this phial,' she said, `is caught the light of
Eärendil's star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about
you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
Whenever I feel like all the other lights are going out, God gives me just enough light to remind me that things will work out.