Fall is arriving at Evansridge.
October 15, 2011, came without even the benefit of an alarm clock. Chester and I were much to nervous to wait for it to go off at 6am. I was up at 5:30am to get to our sister-in-law’s house to pick up two pound cakes for the dessert table of the golfer’s banquet we were having after the tournament. I had also wanted Krispy Kreme donuts for the coffee table to have for the golfers, before the tournament. My dilemma was that the new store about twenty minutes from my house, and my sister-in-law’s house was fifteen minutes north of mine, and I knew I would be hard pressed to do both and be back to my house to pick up my friend Katie, who has more tournament experience than I, and was helping me with registration, by 8:00am. I am sitting there in the parking lot of our corner store about a mile from Evansridge, the engine of the TC a low rumble, as dawn was lightening the sky around me, I made an executive decision, and instead of going south, went north to my sister-in-law’s. My plan was to pick up coffee items and Krispy Kreme donuts in a box at the nearest Food Lion.
My husband concerned about no one from the tournament would be there to greet golfers, that he left before any of the rest of us, and as it turned out, when he arrived, he only one there besides the grounds keepers. Jimmie, Katie’s husband, took time to get a bite on the way, while we brought up the rear of our group, with the registration paperwork and coffee pot.
We had only a couple of teams sign up. However, the people who came were old friends from past tournaments, another cause, another force of nature…our friend Cecil, who succumbed to cancer after a valorous battle six years ago. These guys, along with Jimmie, Cecil’s cousin, supported us and the tournament, the moment we contacted them. The balance of the teams were made up of judo athletes who played golf and one of Chester’s Veteran’s group participants and his friends.
The volunteers, who were friends, family and judo friends, help Katie and I make coffee, set up tables, set up the banquet room, take pictures and get the guys on the course. Then, they all found a cart and followed Chester and our other sister-in-law who, not only made the golf quilt for the tournament raffle, was also taking the tournament pictures.
I have always said, some of the most peaceful places on God’s green earth are National Parks and golf courses. They are also some of the most beautiful pieces of land you will find.
Bullcreek Golf Club is one of the few minority owned courses in the U.S. It was farmland that was worked on by the families that invested in the dream of having a local golf course. Having the tournament the second week of October allowed for the fall foliage to dress up the course. It was a mild fall day. We could not have asked for better weather for the golfers.
My good friends, Halima and Shelia, came to help in any way I needed. They had never been on a golf course before and loved the friendly competition of the team they followed. Our daughter, Courtney and her boyfriend “Boston”, gave us moral support and blessed us by just being there. Danielle, my new young friend, helped strategize about the banquet room and hang up the Judo banner. We had Bushido Judo of Durham dojo members come to the tournament to support us, and then were recruited to help set up the banquet room. Others came from the dojo to participate in the banquet and see the results of the competition. Everyone that participated voiced the common theme of the good time that was had by all and looking forward to the next year.
Looking back at it now, it seems so unnecessary, all our worry. The reality was, we had only participant experience in golf tournaments. To have Chester’s plan, that I put on a legal pad back in February, be realized that Saturday, was a feat by itself. To have all the participants, volunteers and family express their desire to be included the next year, was more than we had hoped for. We left the site of El Toro Fall Bash 2011, good wishes and the good will still very much present in our minds and hearts, looking in the rear view mirror course…until next year.
I grew up and lived most of my life on the West Coast. I lived in rural northern California as a young mom. Having always considered myself a “city girl”, I developed an appreciation for agriculture, farming and the processing of field crops, we later find on our store’s shelves. That appreciation of country stayed with me, when twenty years later I met my husband. He was retired military and had recently been rated a disability for his post traumatic stress. He had lived in California for several years, both in the military and as a civilian in Orange County area, but he said California was “too brown”. He wanted to move to the “green” of North Carolina. He had been born there, but had not lived there for twenty years. We decided after we married to make a leap of faith and move. I fell in love with the change of seasons, the colors of the trees when fall came, the lushness of spring and summer. I had never seen so many shades of green, nor ever such a brilliant green as when in spring the new grass and leaves have sprouted. I even loved the snow until I was stranded at home in two feet of it and no electricity!
We lived in a huge three bedroom apartment for seven years, but the house on the development called “Evans Ridge” was a dream come true for me. We move into our new home on July 22, 2005. I didn’t even realize until the day of closing that the house was on three acres. After the closing, I remember we went into the empty house for the first time as homeowners and sat on the carpet, looked at each other and started laughing. We never went back to our apartment to sleep. The furniture we had purchased was to be delivered that day…a new sofa, a breakfast table and chairs and a new refrigerator. The sofa was “L” shaped sectional and for that night and the next, we each took a side. The first night, I woke up to hear my husband chuckling…he was standing at the dining room window and I asked him what was so funny. He told me to join him. He pointed out onto the property…a half-acre was cleared for the house and “yard”, the remaining two and one half-acre was left with the woods intact…on the front lawn were two deer eating what little grass was coming up. “They live here” he told me.
I started feeding “our deer” the following year, hoping they would leave my rose bushes and fruit trees I tried to plant alone. They didn’t. I put corn out into the woods, not far from the edge of the lawn and would watch from the bedroom as the deer would gather. Later in the summer, they brought their fawns and we delighted in seeing them romp in the back yard, carefree and unencumbered with the vigilance that their mothers displayed.
I noticed we had a lame doe feeding and being chased away from the feed by other doe. In the weeks that followed, I noticed the doe was missing a hoof, her left hoof. I also noticed, when I inadvertently went outside while they were feeding, she had no problem bolting with the other deer.
In 2006 my husband told me our three-footed doe was pregnant. That summer she brought her twins to feed where she was feeding. The doe with her at the time, we believed to be a daughter from two years before.
I feed racoons, and this year one of the moms had five babies!
The blessing for me is to have wildlife thriving in my woods. It is a wonder to watch the years go by and the deer have babies and then the babies have babies and they all seem to gravitate back to where they know there is food. There have been deer hit by cars over these years and it’s heartbreaking for me to see. Then, I marvel at the strength of our three footed mamas to carry two babies on her three feet and survive. I may not have fruit trees in my acreage, and I had to move the rose bushes closer to the house, but the trade-off is to walk out my back door and see mamas resting on the grass, rise to her feet, and watch me while I leave corn for her.