Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Love

Simply Something for December
Winter Love
By Cappy Hall Rearick

When Nancy visited St. Simons Island between Christmas and New Year's last year, she only wanted to do two things: play golf and meet Davis Love, III. However, the weather, behaving badly, dumped down rain and cold air all over God’s little acre. On the other hand, New Year’s Eve was just around the corner, so we, being grown women, focused instead on the upside of preparing party food. The downside? My cupboard, like Mother Hubbard’s, was seriously bare.

We grabbed raincoats and umbrellas and took off to nearby Tweeter’s. Nancy sat in the passenger seat pouting and whining about the rain and how it had messed up her vacation. "We have better weather in New Jersey," she hissed.

I rolled my eyes. "December weather in New Jersey does not shout sunshine to me, girlfriend." I sighed. "'You’re in the Deep South now; do like Scarlett O’Hara. ‘Tomorrow is another day’."

She shot me a serious Yankee look. "The Weather Channel is calling for rain the entire week."

If Babe couldn't play golf, either, he would be stir-crazy within 12 hours. I don't know a nine-iron from a hockey stick, but neither Nancy nor Babe would dare to suffer without me. Uh oh.

Nancy suddenly said, "I read that book Davis Love wrote." As if I needed a reminder of her hero worship. When Davis competes in a tournament, she plants herself in front of the wide-screen TV she bought especially so he would be life-size.

"Nancy, I thought you read his book several years ago."

She shot me an impatient look that said: You act like you've been sniffing Babe’s golf shoes again. "I read it every week."

I might have known.

We chatted about life in St. Simons and the six golf courses and our one, bonafide golf celebrity. I reminded her that Davis Love was a family man with a wife and kids, just in case she had any whacko ideas of stalking the man.

“Why don’t we bop over to the Davis Love Grill right now? We can shop later. Maybe he'll be there biting into a cheeseburger,” she suggested.

Hero worship is a hard nut to crack.

"Maybe tomorrow," I said quickly. "Today we cook." Pouting, she sighed like Melanie Wilkes.

Did I say we were both grownups?

It was pouring rain and there was only one open parking space, a long way from the store.

"Let’s wait till it lets up, Nancy," I said. Still brooding, she sighed again as though Mother Nature had sent a special rain cloud to pour down on her. Even the inside car windows fogged up, as if competing with the Nancy doom and gloom.

Abruptly, there was a tap, tap, tap on my foggy window. This being a small community, I’d figured it to be one of my friends, but I was wrong. A man wearing a rain-soaked ball cap stood there getting drenched.

"Excuse me. I don’t mean to bother you," he said with a smile, "but you ladies need to be careful getting out of the car because you're parked in a large puddle.” He tipped his waterlogged cap and said, “I thought you should know." He was gone before we could say thank you.

Nancy stared at his retreating figure, slack-jawed, as if looking at a ghost.

"Breathe, Nancy," I said. Her face had gone from apple red to whiter than grits white.

She looked at me as though seeing me for the first time ever, even though we had been friends for forty years. "That was … was … "

"Davis Love, III," I said gently when I realized she was flirting with cardiac arrest.

When words found their way from her brain to her mouth, they tumbled out like dominoes. “Nobody will ever believe this. Was that really him? It wasn't an out-of-body experience? There really is a Davis Love, isn’t there?"

I grabbed my umbrella. "Yes, Virginia, aka Nancy. There is a Davis Love III. He exists as certainly as golf balls and mulligans exist, and they abound and give to your life its highest meaning. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Davis Loves.' Now, get out of the car and let’s shop for groceries."

Nancy ducked her head and giggled. "I can't."

"And just why not?”

She giggled again. "I got excited and ... um ... I'm not wearing Depends."

Did I say we were both grownups?

(Originally published at the Dew 12.29.08)