Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Estee Lauder and Egg Salad

Early this morning during my walk/sprint/prayer workout -- whatever it is --  I caught a glimpse of the 10th fairway in our Woodmont neighborhood. There was just enough sunlight piercing the grey clouds to make the dew glisten on the manicured grass.

The steep slope of the fairway and the early morning dew still soaking the grass was reminiscent of something I hadn't thought about in a long time. I was taken back to the time when my mom, Mary Brown, started a junior golf program in our hometown of Corry, PA.

Woodmont Golf & Country Club fairway #10. 

Oh, it was a very sweet memory that popped in my head when I looked down the hilly fairway this morning. Memories were growing and I recalled details:  As young children we'd play very early each Tuesday and the grass was always as dewy when we started as it was on the 10th fairway this morning! 

Corry Country Club, Corry, PA. 1961.
My sister Julie Brown is in the front, center of the photo (white socks, sailor hat). Today Julie is a gifted  LPGA teacher.

 We lived on a farm in PA, and I can still remember Mom getting all five of us sleepy heads and our little sets of golf clubs into the station wagon to head to the club. We had to get there earlier than everyone else because Mom ran the program each week and she had to set everything up. 

But  first Mom had to load the car with clubs and kids and then everything she needed to run the playful competition. When she had us set in the car she'd dash back into the house for last minute prep of our lunch. We were glad to wait for Mom because we were half asleep and she was full of energy, doing what she loved to do!

Mom would take an entire loaf of bread out of its bag, spread the slices with the egg salad she made the night before and then carefully stack the sandwiches back into the bread bags and seal it with a twist tie. She usually made an additional bag of sandwiches such as bologna or peanut butter.
When Mom got in the car with the bags of sandwiches so did the scent of her favorite perfume: Estee Lauder. Yep.  And off we went to the club to play some golf!

Mom was was a fun-loving, competitive 2-handicap player and absolutely loved to play golf. She was passionate all of her life about life, loving people and about about helping young people enjoy golf as much as she did. She began hosting her first junior golf program with her own five children -- 3 boys, 2 girls --  in 1959 and enthusiastically gave of her time, talent and love to young golfers all over the town of Corry. She was very successful. 
Some of the 'big kids' of Mary Brown's Junior Golf Program at Corry Country Club, Corry, PA (1961).  My big brothers pictured far left, first in each row, Bill Brown, top row, Jeff Brown bottom row.

Mom was so helpful and encouraging to golfing families over the years that kids and parents wanted to pin a professional tag on her until she told them she wouldn't take money for golf lessons. She wanted to keep her keep her amateur status.

Mom had a huge fan club. The boys and girls in the summer program bought her a gold charm inscribed "Mom" because that's how they saw her. Every week she  joyfully set the pairings of players, divided us into age groups, asked the pro shop for gift certificates for winners of each category and posted the scores. She loved it and she loved the people she encouraged!

From left: Mom, Gary, Jeff, me, Julie & Bill Brown

When the summers ended in Corry, Mom packed us up, along with our family dog, and we drove 3-4 days in our station wagon to our winter home in Miami, FL. Then we'd head back to Corry for the summer...and more junior golf at Corry Country Club.The picture (above) looks like we were on a road trip from PA to FL and Mom probably said, "Let's stop for a few minutes and put our feet in the water!" She also loved the beach and we regularly made trips to the beach. 

Mom started all kinds of tournaments in Florida when we moved to Coral Gables:  for youngsters, juniors, four-ball events for 18-30 year olds, the Florida State Junior Golf Tournament in Lehigh Acres, Girls' Event of the Junior Orange Bowl at Biltmore Golf Course....the list goes on and on.

I am touched that God would bring all of this to my mind in such detail today. He knows I miss Mom and to think again of the yummy egg salad sandwiches in the bread bags and the scent of Estee Lauder continues to make me smile and thank God. 

I sure do serve a tenderhearted Shepherd.

psalm 34:3