The Next Grate Adventure

December 16, 2008
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The Next Great Adventure

In her book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling wrote, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” I think that Mrs. Rowling was horribly mistaken. Even the great intellectuals of this world admit that their minds are not organized and that they fear death.

A little over a year ago my friend Brad and I had just finished an invigorating tennis match on a warm August evening in St. George, Utah. My grandpa has a house there located in a gated community called Albarado. There is a tennis court, a basketball court, a pool, a playground, a huge common grass area shared between the fourteen homes, and a putting green. The sun was just kissing the red-rock mountains to the west leaving just enough time to play a round of golf on the putting green. As the sunlight began to fade our game of put-put came to an end with me winning by a landslide.
Determined to win something, Brad suggested, “Let’s have a shot from off the green closest to the hole contest onto the green.” Brad outdid me in this one.
Not wanting to end the night in a tie, I challenged Brad once more, “Hey, Brad, one more contest; winner takes all.”
“What’s the contest?” came the ever-determined-to-win reply.

“A longest drive with putters,” I answered, assured my superior golf experience and skill would allow me to win easily. We spent the next five minutes picking a spot in the commons area. We settled on a hill overlooking the putting green out onto the common grass area. I went first.

As I stepped up to my ball, I practiced a couple swings to get the feel of the putter head. After my practice swings, the air grew heavy, humidity setting in like a thick blanket, and sweat mopped my brow I concentrated. I looked up at Brad to see him smiling smugly. Knowing I had to outdo my best friend, I stepped back and gave myself time to relax.

“Hurry it up; we’re burning daylight here,” came an impatient voice off to the side.

I stepped up to the ball using my strength to push through the blanket that engulfed us both. My arms moved back with a perfect rhythm becoming a metronome on perfect beat. As the metronome swung forward, it nailed the ball causing an ear-piercing scream to cut through the blanket. The ball sailed over the putting green like a golden snitch flies, traveling about twenty yards in the process. I walked to my ball proudly to examine my masterpiece.

Then right as I reached my ball, Brad strutted up to his like there was no tension and WAM!!! It was a rocket sailing through the atmosphere.

“Tyson! Duck!” boomed Brad’s voice instantly.

I glared inquisitively in his direction to see him miming to look towards his shoot like an elephant trying to fly. After some time I understood his coded message and looked to see a small white object whizzing directly on a collision course with my forehead. Seeing the strength Brad packed into that shot, I knew it could easily kill me. As my vision blurred, instinct took over and time slowed; instinctively I tilted my head left. The heat seared my right ear like touching a hot oven with an arm. Slowly instinct retreated to make way for thought, vision came back, and time returned to a normal pace.

What seemed like an eternity later, I heard a CRASH! As the golf ball turned space shuttle collided with a two pane glass window. As the window fell to pieces, we called Brad’s parents; apparently this was the fifth window Brad had broken, so they weren’t surprised. The owners of the vacation home next door told us the window would cost Brad $516.
In all of this I learned two lessons that I will take with me forever: first, when having a driving contest in my backyard, use plastic golf balls; and second, life can be gone in an instant, so make the best of it while you have it and always be ready for the next great adventure.

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