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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Day 104: Let’s go Bowling

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 104: Let’s go Bowling

Those of you who know Dieter and me know that we are dedicated bowlers. There was a time that we bowled three times a week: league on Thursdays, practice on Saturday mornings and more practice on Sunday nights. Whether it rained buckets, blew a gale force wind or froze the balls off a brass monkey, we walked to the bowling alley.

A serious illness forced me to drop out of the league and after a painful back injury, I couldn't even practice anymore. For five months I didn’t see the inside of a bowling alley.

Now I’m back though and to commemorate my return Dieter bought two T-shirts, a blue one, and a red one.

The blue T-shirt is typically me … bowling, cursing when I leave the 7 pin, 10 pin, or worse a split, then praying for a spare and doing the whole thing over again. My highest game ever … 257.

The red T-shirt suits Dieter as he makes a lot of strikes. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before he makes a 300. That is if he can keep his eye on the ball (so to speak). Whenever he has a good run, with five, six or even seven strikes in a row, he makes a mistake. He then comes off the lane, looking like a thundercloud, moaning ... “I forgot to lift” or “I went too wide”. When I asked him why he forgot to lift or why he went too wide, he merely shrugs.

I often wonder what Dieter thinks about when he stands on the approach. When a bowler gets ready to throw the ball, he/she is supposed to gather his/her thoughts about what he/she is about to accomplish. But what does Dieter think about … lunch, dinner, what to watch on TV, how much money he has in his account … who knows. Still, I’m confident that he will get it right someday. His highest game … 289.

It seems like yesterday when we started bowling. A new bowling center opened in Dalcrest, South Africa and since we knew the city planner, we were invited to the grand opening. I’d never bowled before and the idea of standing on the approach, being watched by everyone terrified me. So, I chickened out.

One year later I got the same invitation to attend the first anniversary of Dalcrest Bowl and this time I did go. I threw my first ball in the gutter, my second ball followed suit. The third ball rolled quite promising, but near the end, he veered to the left and once again ended up in the gutter. I adjusted my standing and throwing position, threw the ball and once again it looked good, only this time, near the end of the lane, my ball veered to the right and … you guessed it, fell in the gutter. I thought it was the most frustrating game I’d ever played.

When a lady approached me and asked if I wanted to join a league, I thought she was joking. In my first game, I hit … oh I don’t know, 25 or 30 pins, in my second I managed to knock down maybe 50, and in the third game, my score was rather similar. What would a klutz like me do playing with seasoned bowlers?

She convinced me though, I joined a league, started working with a coach, and … well, the rest is history. A few years later I was invited to represent Eastern Transvaal in the Interprovincials three years in a row.

Not only did the team do well, but together with Lorraine, I won first prize ladies doubles.

And so now on Saturday, I'm bowling in a fundraiser for the Toronto Cat Rescue. Donations are needed for medical care: spay/neuter and general health of the cats and kittens.

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