Note: this is not a continuation of Darlene’s Story. I’ll probably pick that up next week!
Dorothy was a rabid bowler.
No, I didn’t mean “avid.”
She bowled on a league every week in sickness and health; to call her competitive was a gross understatement. In any other setting, one would find her outgoing, friendly- even agreeable.
My memory settles on the summer of 1982. For several weeks, Dorothy brought me to her league games because my mom had taken a job. Somehow my brother had gotten out of it, but, being four years older, he had developed a knack for weaseling out of pretty much anything he didn’t want to do. Every week began the same: a group of white-haired ladies would approach us and give Dorothy a hug and then turn to me and gush over my curly hair. They couldn’t just look. No, they had to get their fingers into it to feel the curl. I cringed every time.
I thanked God that it didn’t take long for them to turn their attention to the game. One woman’s eyes gleamed with excitement as she said, “Mrs. Craig’s arthritis is acting up. Without her, their team doesn’t stand a chance!” The women leaned in together and laughed. This is when I realized that Dorothy wasn’t the only competitive spirit in the Powder Puff league.
Thirty-one years later, I have three wooden bowling pin awards sitting on a shelf. When I see them, I remember my grandma, so full of life. When she retired from league bowling at eighty, I had never felt more proud of her. She had stayed active for as long as her body (and mind) would allow.
At the time, I didn’t understand a part of her died that day. I couldn’t fathom that the memory of scoring a turkey among friends wouldn’t be enough. I don’t think any of us had prepared for how much she would miss the urethane ball rolling on the waxed hardwood and the anticipation right before the crack of pins falling.
Now I know how she felt.
This is my response to Trifecta’s writing prompt: to write a 33-33 word post (surprise, surprise- mine is near the upper limit- 332) using the following word/definition:
Turkey: three successive strikes in bowling
If you want to read other responses, or submit your own, click here to go to Trifecta’s site!
As soon as I saw this prompt, I knew that Darlene’s Story wouldn’t happen today. I knew that I would write about my grandma- the biggest lover of bowling I’ve ever known. It’s been several years since she passed away and I still miss her. It broke her to stop bowling, but between Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure, she just couldn’t do it anymore. After she passed away, the only thing I asked to keep of hers were the bowling pin awards. No one knew I wanted them and many had been thrown away. I dug three of them out of the trash. It’s strange how certain things hold such memories that you’ll do almost anything to hang onto them!
Sorry. I got sidetracked. This piece is so personal that I probably shouldn’t post it. But I’m going to hit “Publish” anyway before I change my mind. Thanks for reading!