While trudging up to the cabin after a long boat ride last week, the warmth of the sun still on our skin as twilight began calming the waves on the lake, Mr. Musky spied Miller's discarded tennis ball in the yard and questioned:
"Hey, Hon. Think I can hit that post?"
I adore this time in my life. I have no desire whatsoever to travel back in time, for even a day, to my youth. I know I could once cartwheel around the yard, play Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca perfectly, and waterski without crashing, but I am perfectly content to leave those activities firmly rooted in my past.
But not my Musky Man. And I know this about him. So instead of showing him the whites of my eyes, I immediately replied, with gusto and exuberance, "Yes, Dear. You most certainly can hit that post." Not that I knew to which of the four posts he was referring, but did it matter? Sometimes the ego must still be stroked, even in middle age.
He stepped back, considered the target, narrowed his eyes with the steely glare of concentration, and commenced the wind-up. All business, he took a generous step backward, then hitched his left leg up so high he'd have impressed Nolan Ryan. He cocked the ball back, then accelerated it through the air toward the target. With my breath stifled, lungs puffed, anticipation building, I craned my neck to see the result. It had loft! It had the distance! It buzzed past my ear, headed for its destiny!
CRASH! The unmistakable sound of clinking glass met our ears. But it was not the kind you hear with "cheers" and two half-filled wine glasses.
"What did I just do?" my pitcher wondered aloud.
bats that would seek refuge in our cave.
There was only one thing I could do. I started to giggle. Which morphed into outright laughter, then hysterics. I could not stop. Thanks to a couple of bottles of wine on the lake, this ranked as the funniest thing I'd seen in at least six months.
"But seriously! I thought I could hit that post!"
"It's OK, Babe. You don't have to give up your day job just yet."
"You're not going to write about this or anything, are you?"
This time I just stared at him, with fifteen shards of jagged glass in my hands.
"OK," he conceded. But you'd better accurately describe how hard I threw that sucker. It had to go at least 100 miles per hour to break through two panes of glass like that. I'm actually kind of impressed with myself."
"Yes," I replied. "Definitely 100 miles per hour. With a tennis ball. For sure."
A few days later, Mr. Musky's cousin's wife told me a story about how one of her adorable umpteen children once broke the window of their house. With a tennis ball.
He was three years old.
Anyway, if my affable, forever-young husband learned anything about this episode, it's that shattered glass really sucks to clean up when dinner and cocktails are calling and a shop vac doesn't live in the garage.