There it sat — a big red rubber ball among the tall grasses … on the other side of the fence.
Maybe it was a misplaced kick, or a larger bounce than expected, but unless someone opened the gate to go get it (or climbed over the fence), no one was going to be playing with it for a while.
If it weren’t for a flood that swept through my parents’ and our neighbors’ yards 10 years ago, I’d be willing to bet that some of them were still there, like fossils from a long-ago time.
Every Wiffle ball at our house was destined for one of two fates.
One was being bashed by my brother and I playing in the backyard until it broke so badly that no amount of tape could hold it together.
The other was for it to get lost.
The yard at my parents’ house had weeds and woods in both “left” and “right” fields, based on where we played in the hours my brother and I would pitch and hit Wiffle balls.
Sometimes, the ball would come down softly, sit on top of weeds and we’d keep going. Other times, however, it would get in deep and we’d lose track of where it landed.
When that happened, we’d try to guess and shuffle our feet as we looked, figuring that if we didn’t see it, maybe we’d kick it loose. It didn’t always work, but the good news was that Wiffle balls were plentiful and usually available at the local store.
More than a few baseballs met the same fate after wild or missed throws. If it weren’t for a flood that swept through my parents’ and our neighbors’ yards 10 years ago, I’d be willing to bet that some of them were still there, like fossils from a long-ago time.
I once lost a golf ball on a fairway.
Yes, a fairway … as in the part of the golf course where the grass is short and good shots end up.
If you want to say I couldn’t find my ball because I wasn’t used to being in the fairway, you wouldn’t exactly be wrong, but the problem this time was that I was golfing during the fall, and leaves were falling off the trees onto the golf course.
I don’t remember if the ball I was playing with was yellow or orange, but either way, I couldn’t find it because it blended in with the leaves.
So why do I use a colored ball? To make it easier to find during my more-typical off-fairway excursions. It only works once in a while, though, because I hit too many balls to places golf balls were not intended to go.
And if I can’t find a ball on the fairway, what chance do I have in grass up to my ankles, or the edge of a stream?