Eating like kings … playing golf like a dog

The long-awaited trip to Florida with my Iowa buddies – Bob and the two other Daves – came and went too quickly. Ellen and Reid have read regularly about these annual golf/foodie extravaganzas with my friends they know well.

The high point was in the kitchen and the table. Meal after meal, we ate like nobody’s business. Golf was another issue. I ate like a king but played like a dog. Some weeks that’s the best you’ve got.

March 8, 2017

Ellen/Reid: If you gauge the trek to Florida only on the fishing experience, it was a complete and total bust. The offshore winds were so high that no boats – not even the 50+ footers – left their berths. All the rods that made the trip never saw the deeper open ocean waters. I’m glad Miss Emma didn’t make the trip. She would never have left the roof of the Camry. But that’s not how you ought to look at such a trip. It was really fun and relaxing. Dave H. is such a good host to share his nice home with us and it appears we may be repeat visitors because the Deerfield Beach locale offers just about everything we need; fishing (when the wind lays down), golf (across the street) and plenty of good food. We ate like literal kings.


Mike LaValle can flat-out bring it to the kitchen. He is a chef’s chef. He turned everyday ingredients into gourmet meals. (Left to right: Bob Furstenau, Dave Dahlquist, Mike and Dave Hemminger.)

A new addition to our group, Mike LaValle, is a chef extraordinaire. He has a sterling reputation in Des Moines and has had a number of solid, successful restaurants. He honestly can whip up an incredible meal with ingredients on hand. He raided Dave’s cupboards for available spices and I’m telling you, give the guy a stick of butter, some heavy cream, olive oil, some garlic and any sort of vegetable and you will get a five star meal. He cooked some whole red snapper like no fish I’ve ever had. He allowed me to observe as his sous chef (I was an awestruck bystander for the most part) and once he does his magic, viola, you have one helluva culinary experience.

The golf was another matter entirely. I just ran out of oomph through our second round. Just can’t keep things together. Dave Dahlquist was my partner and I completely let him down. Dave H. and Bob Furstenau just took us to the cleaners.


The Champions Course at PGA National ate my lunch – and put my head on the platter.

The courses were great but somewhat over my head. I’ll give it to Florida; the state has some nice golf and a lot of it. It’s wonderful to be around those guys for a few days. They’re all creative in their own sense.

The drive down was something else. It was 10 hours of pedal-to-the-metal stress each way down and back. If you’re not gunning it at 75-80 MPH you might as well be in the right hand lane with your flashers on. And the traffic was so heavy. Luckily, there were no notable accidents that brought the lines of cars to a stop. If that had happened, I’d still be on the road. The driving is cathartic in a way, however, in that you just get a big cup of coffee, turn on the tunes and hit the road. Not a bad recipe and beats a plane in some respects.

The big task today is to break the news to my Realtor, Scott, that the home will be taken off the market. He’s sure to be disappointed but my decision is to stick it out here for some while longer while I’m still ambulatory. That was one thing about the drive; it gave me time to think about why I would move and such. I mean, the place is paid for and it’s in a sublime location relative to every other spot in Charlotte. Scott will be only the latest person I’ve let down.

Still no word from Medicare about reinstating my Part B. There were calls made to Social Security and Medicare on the way to FLA but no real answers forthcoming other than to ‘Wait.’ Well, next Thursday is the witching hour surgery-wise. I need to find out something or I’ll reschedule the operation to a later date. No problems manifested themselves in Florida so perhaps there’s no sense of urgency and it can wait another week or two until the final decision is passed along to me.

Reid, I’d still like to traipse up to Chicago sooner than later. Maybe I’ll be able to drive after the surgeon does his thing and we can talk over the job thing. I know you’re frustrated with our constant wondering, but really, we just want to the best for you. You need to put that Masters degree to it’s highest and best use and not let it gather dust. You’ve got it in you to do something good, if not great.

Love, Dad


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