A perfect weekend

Brian Golden

It’s not often these days that I find myself with an entire weekend to myself. Between work related activities such as Bluesfest and Colorscape (among others), and the semi-regular gigs I perform in Syracuse with the Master Thieves, I sometimes find myself zombie-walking into work on any given Monday feeling as if I had no weekend (these are the Mondays when I thank the Almighty for my extra large helping of caffeine). So when I found myself with absolutely no plans this past Saturday and Sunday I must admit I relished in the opportunity to do whatever I pleased, even if that was nothing at all.

I awoke Saturday morning with no idea what to expect as I took a quick peek through the blinds of my recently acquired one room apartment. I mean really, how often is it that you wake up on an event-free weekend and see a beautiful blue sky staring back at you? In my experience this is rare indeed. After a quick bowl of cereal and a leisurely jaunt down to Byrne Dairy for a cup of coffee, I realized I should take advantage of this unseasonably warm October day and make the most of it. So of course, I went golfing.

I arrived at the Blue Stone Golf Course at approximately 10:45 with my clubs, golf shoes and a gift certificate for a free eighteen holes, complete with complimentary cart (many thanks to the Brandi Estelow Nursing Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament). As only my second venture onto the golf course this year I was excited to say the least. The air was crisp and cool and a gentle breeze brought the familiar scents of the freshly mowed fairways and greens to my senses. Just the kind of day I love to spend on the course and a harbinger of good things to come.

The rest of that morning and early afternoon easily exceeded my modest expectations (I was hoping to shoot under 100 for the day, as again this was only my second time out on a course this year), and after a tumultuous and thoroughly enjoyable front nine I was right on target. A quick stop at the clubhouse to stock up on icy-cold beverages and I was back on the course. At 10-over-par I was well on my way to a score in the mid-nineties and I was satisfied with that. What followed, however, was pure golf bliss.

After a mediocre drive on 10, I ran together a string of pars and eventually, a couple of birdies, rare as they are for me. I’ve never shot a bogey-free nine holes in my six years of golf and while I did, unfortunately, bogey a pair of holes on the back nine, the end result was well worth it. I finished up my round, breaking ninety (which was unexpected to say the least), and considered what to do with the rest of my Saturday.

Figuring I should probably get something worthwhile accomplished during this remarkably event-free weekend, I decided to head for the old house on Pratt Road, where there’s still plenty to do before I’m “officially” moved out. However, on my way there a thought occurred to me – I hadn’t visited with my good friends Dave and Moe (old friends of my father’s as well) in ages it seemed. A quick phone call and I was on my way to The Lonely Hollow. Not daring to take the Green Machine down the treacherous half-mile driveway, I parked on the side of the road and hiked my way in, which turned out to be a fantastic idea.

When the weather is nice, the autumn season in upstate New York has always been my favorite. The changing of the leaves, the smells, the brisk air and the simple feeling fall brings to Chenango County all combine to create a truly unique atmosphere. I’ve always loved The Lonely Hollow for its seclusion and this perfect Saturday was no exception. After a lengthy visit with my friends I hiked back to the car and, completely satisfied with the day’s events, headed home.

It’s not often these days that I get to enjoy a weekend like this one, and it’s unlikely we’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of many more before winter rolls in. I am, however, quite content with that fact and it’s these types of spring, summer and fall memories which, year after year, make the cold, hard winters bearable. All in all – it was a perfect weekend.