The Countdown

Here's the other story from Mommy that I'm allowing, the blog takeover will end tomorrow.

It may seem an odd stretch for a woman, who’s never played golf, to write a story about her memories of growing up across the street from a golf course, but I do have some fond memories of the place just the same. I grew up in a house in Studio City CA, across the street from the neighborhood golf course which made my house the easiest one in the neighborhood to find. My directions, to everyone who came to my house, went something like this:

“I live two blocks down from Ventura, on Whitsett, on the corner of – never mind, do you know where the golf course is? Okay, I live kitty corner from the club house.”

At which point they would ask what kitty corner meant, and I would say it means diagonally across (why I didn’t just say “diagonally across” to begin with is a mystery to me even now) and then they knew right where to find me.

My next memory revolves around a high school crush. I was outside watering the plants in my front yard one afternoon when I noticed my crush across the street puttering around (puttering around… that’s a golf term right?) on the putting green. As it turned out he was on the golf team (I know - I was just as shocked, who knew there were high school golf teams?) and they practiced right across the street. The next day in school I gathered my courage and spoke to him.

“Hi, I saw you playing over at the putting green yesterday. I live kitty corner from the golf course.”

“Oh yeah? The golf team practices over there - what’s Caddy Corner?”

“It's Kitty corner, it means diagonally across - We have a golf team?” (Strike one for me)

“Yes we do! It must be nice to live right across the street, do you play?”

“Um, er, ah… No, I’ve never been over there actually.” (Strike two)

“You live caddy corner and never walked across the street to play?”

“No, and it’s KITTY Corner.” (Strike three and the budding romance was over)

I did finally make it over there, to the putting green at least, and it’s my favorite memory. It was the year I turned eighteen, and the night before my birthday I threw a big party at my house. My house felt overheated and too loud for me (even then I was a Granny), so just before midnight I snuck outside to catch a breath of cold air. Midnight is special in this story because my party was held on December 31st.

In all the homes around me I could hear people celebrating and getting ready to usher in my birthday, and sure, the New Year too. Outside it was completely still and I felt like I was alone in the world. A full moon lit up the street with an ethereal glow, and although it was cold it felt completely invigorating after the heat of the party. In that moment it felt like the world was holding its breath, waiting with me for the next chapter to begin.

I was surprised to see that there wasn’t a single car in sight as I walked to the edge of the street in front of my house. I walked into the middle of the street, and I stood there for a few moments, drinking in the moment that I knew wouldn't last. I could hear the ever-building excitement in the homes all around me.

I looked over at the golf course and I decided I’d waited long enough to visit. I crossed the street diagonally and I hopped over the short fence. I took off my party shoes and I felt the manicured grass under my feet. I never knew grass could feel like that, like velvet but cool and damp. I ran into the center of the green, and I danced, knowing that no one was watching me. I could hear the New Year rapidly approaching as the party goers counted down the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. I knew that they would all begin to spill out into the world in a moment, unable to keep the quiet any longer, and they did.

My friends came outside and followed me across the street to dance on the grass too. I shared my first kiss as an adult on that grass, but I remember most those last moments when I left my childhood behind and embraced my future - dancing on the grass when I felt like the world was all mine, that everything was before me and nothing was beyond my reach.

Meg S Hart

Happy New Year - Hope you find a nice patch of grass.


  1. Mommy Edit:: If your stopping by thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the story. Have a very Happy New Year, you all mean a great deal to me.

  2. Very nice story, did enjoy it.

    pee ess: Yes, that's the cats' blog at Missy Blue Eyes

  3. Happy new year to you Fin, and to your people as well. It's nearly 2009 here already, I'm getting ready to hide under the bed when the fireworks start.

    Huffle Mawson

  4. Great story! Young love on the grass, you can't beat that!

    Have a splendid New Years Eve!

    Try to stay out of touble!

    Purrs Goldie, Shade and Banshee

  5. It was a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Happy New Year to you Fin and to all your loved ones!!

    Ms. P and Cinza

  6. PS Good for you for writing a book. We can hardly wait to read it as we're sure it will be wonderful!!

  7. Dear Fin and family,
    We wish you and yours a Happy New Year! And many more "dancing barefeet on the grass" in 2009!
    Shrek and Family

  8. Fin, your mom is a great story teller, wow!!!
    Wishing you both a Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!!!
    P.S. We have posted our baby pictures on our blog today......just for you!

  9. Fin's mom...that was a great story! Happy Birthday to you!

    And Fin...we can't wait to get your party started!!!

    Happy New Year!

    Wally, Ernie & Zoey

  10. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Have a Happy New Year!

  11. What a beautiful story, kind of like out of a movie.
    Thank you for sharing such a lovely piece of time :)
    Momma wishes she had some sort of defining moment like that, but she has always been an old lady....
    We hope you all have a very safe, happy and healthy New year!! :))))


  12. Hey Fin! I read on Huffs' blog that the 1st is your birthday! Happy early birthday!
    Play bows,

  13. Happy New Year Fin & Mom!
    We are so glad to have met you!

  14. Happy New Year and Happy Birthdays!

  15. Ahhh, the memories. I agree, "diagonally" would have been much easier, but I did the "kitty corner" thing too. I think it's because of Chuck, she said it with such confidence, and I don't recall anyone every questioning her when she said it, so we thought we could be cool too - apparently not!
    Beautiful story, my sweet sister. Your writing is so amazing to me.
    I can't wait to sit on you, better tell Fin to get out of the way.
    I'll be talking to you tonight. Happy Birthday Baby Sister!

  16. Keep dancing!!!

    Happy Birthdays and Happy New Year!!!

    Momo and SS(another old lady)

  17. What a lovely story - my toesies can almost feel that grass! Moments like that are so special.

    Happy New Year!!!

  18. Your mom is a very talented writer. That's a beautifully written piece.