It’s been quite a busy week for us around here. There was a small golf tournament in our city, tons of family and friends came to town and just yesterday Delle Louise Hargather was born becoming the seventeenth great niece/nephew for Tim and I. You guys know that I loved my job at the Masters but I knew when to say when and have loved being home for the last two Masters Weeks. I get to go to the “tunamint” (in the words of Hootie Johnson) and have no stress, visit with much loved friends, shop in the most exclusive shop in the world and see world class golf (yes, it is good to be me sometimes…) But hands down the best part is being able to sit and watch the final round on LIVE TV. I love to see what happens and not just hear about it later. But this year, the very best part was not the “tunamint”. The very best part was getting to visit with our new born great niece Riley Kathryn Wills and anticipate the arrival of her first cousin who was born last night. In the past month my nieces, Molly and Robin Anne (who are sisters), both had babies and both had girls!! Even though they live two hours apart, I have a feeling that these two little girls will spend tons of time together and be the best of friends. I also have a feeling that, like their moms, they will bring lots of joy to this great aunt. Welcome to the world Riley Kate and Delle… and always remember, Aunt Wendy is your favorite, right???
It’s Masters Week and as Augustans we all know what that means: hearing from people you haven’t spoken to in YEARS who are asking for tickets, wanting to know if they can stay with you, hoping you can hook them up with Masters merchandise… you know just a typical Monday. There really is a different vibe to this week in Augusta (not that I even knew that until last year…but hey, now I’m an expert.) Just little things like your neighborhood being filled with strangers who’ve rented houses and only appear to leave at dawn and return well after dark, massive traffic on Washington Road with cars from every state in the nation, not a snowballs chance of getting in any restaurant within a twenty-five mile radius… good time people, good times. But all this chaos and confusion really is fun to be a part of. Seriously, when else is every person in a town excited to be there and checking off one of the biggest items on their bucket list? No matter where you go, the conversations you get into with people (and yes, Tim is home so he starts conversations with EVERY PERSON HE SEES!) are really interesting. They all want to tell you where they are from and how they can’t believe they are in Augusta for the Masters. After all my years of working out there, I get it because it really is one of the most beautifully pristine places on the earth and one of the last places where there is a pervasive attitude of respect and awe that you just don’t run across anywhere else in the world. The crowds are big but everyone is patient, waits their turn and is respectful (except for the idiot who yells, “GET IN THE HOLE!!” somebody be his friend and tell him to stop it because the golf ball is not listening, K??) So those of you who are here, welcome! We hope you have a great week, love our town, leave it like you found it and come back again. To those of you not here… keep trying because it really is an amazing event to see in person. And if you come to town, call me- not for tickets because I really can’t get you any but I would love to meet you for dinner!
With Masters Week only days away, those who will be in town and be at the tournament (no, I don’t have extra tickets) begin what I lovingly call the Great Masters WEATHER WATCH. (There seriously is a person at the Masters whose job it is to watch the weather and keep everyone aware of what may or may not happen… they’d never give me that job because my sense of humor might not be funny to them “TORNADO right over the first tee… not!”) It is so funny how much news coverage the weather gets leading up to this one week every year. Forecasts are all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and every other form of social media you can think of. And the worst part is that I find myself studying them like they are the key to winning the lottery… not that I play the lottery… not very much. Here’s the thing, when you arrive at an outdoor event at the un-godly hour of 6:30am (insert big eyed surprised emoji here… y’all I really need emojis on my blog cause I talk better with them) it is typically a lot colder than it will be when you reach a more normal time of say 1:00pm… so you need to know several things: shorts or pants? Umbrella or jacket? Tank or sweater? (Cause you know it’s all about the outfit!) If you are female you also need to know about the humidity so you can decide if you want your hair pulled up or risk looking like Rosanna Rosannadanna ten minutes after you get there (don’t act like you don’t remember her.) People, there seriously have been years when you got a massive sunburn during the practice rounds and darn near frostbite on the Saturday of tournament! The good news is that even when they get the weather wrong, there are these wonderful little shops all over the property that sell anything you might need to combat cold, rain, or sun (love those peeps!) I can tell you this much, the local television people who get the most airtime Masters week are not the sports guys like you would think… nope, it is TOTALLY the weather guys. And when it comes to getting it right, all I have to say after the weather swings we’ve had this year is GOOD LUCK!
As I was driving over to my niece’s house, I realized it’s almost Masters Week… and truly for the first time in ten years I have no idea the actual dates of the tournament. Even though last year was my first year not working there full time, it was still engrained in my brain because I worked about eighteen months out and it is hard to un-know something. But this year? I couldn’t tell you the actual dates for love nor money. People ask me all the time if I miss working there and I can honestly say yes. Mainly because there are SO MANY people I worked with that I miss seeing on a daily basis and I truly loved what I did for almost all of the nine plus years I worked there. In all truth, there was a time when I could not wait to get in the car and head to work… I just could not believe that I got paid to do what I had so much fun doing with people I loved being with. When that changed, I began to realize that maybe it was time to move on… The day Tim and I decided it was time for me to resign, I felt like a million pound weight had fallen off my shoulders. It was nothing that anyone else had done to me, simply put, I forgot that my job was not supposed to be the most important thing in my life. How in the world could I have gotten so mixed up that I put my job before God, my amazing husband, my three incredible sons and my wonderful family and friends?? Easy, the more attention I got from people because of what I did, the more important I thought I was…and that’s a HUGE problem my friends. Now, I’m still pretty important but to a vastly different group of people. Mainly, my family. As I held my nieces brand new baby girl, I realized that were I still working I would have been far too busy to stop for a few hours and enjoy the newest member of our family. What a shame that would have been because Riley Kate told me that I’m her favorite Aunt Wendy… but let’s keep that between us, I wouldn’t want the her other aunts to be jealous!
Yes it’s here… that time of year when I am REALLY tired of winter but spring is still a long way away. I find myself not only looking at the spring fashions wishing it were warm enough to at least wear a short sleeve shirt but longing for Masters week. In this part of the world, we begin the countdown to Masters pretty early for several reasons. First, it is the official beginning of spring to all of us in the Augusta area. Second, tons of people rent their house out so they have to get it Masters ready. Meaning the house looks like it is going to be photographed for a magazine (reason #4,563 why we don’t rent!!) And third, it is spring break.
Yes, you will NEVER EVER hear of a spring break in the Augusta area occurring any time other than Masters week. Now to those of you not steeped in Masters tradition, that means our spring break always starts on Monday following the first Sunday in April because Masters ALWAYS ends on the second Sunday in April (more than you ever cared to know? You’re welcome!) The good news about this is that you can plan your spring break years in advance resting in the knowledge that it WILL be that particular week. The bad news? It is so hard to wait that long for spring break. Especially when your college kids are enjoying an early March spring break.
For years we stayed in town for Masters week because, uh, I worked there and taking vacation that week was really frowned upon by the establishment. WHAT?!?! This past year, Tim and I had tournament badges so I REALLY wanted to get to go as just a normal person (I admit, it’s a stretch for me to be normal but I gave it my best shot.) So hubby and I have been torn this year, should we stay or should we head out of town??? Naturally, there are tons of fun things to do in town Masters week but there are also about a million extra people. That’s the rub, stay and play with a million of my closest friends or get out of town and enjoy peace and quiet… hmmmm… it really is a harder decision than you can imagine. And when we decide, I’ll be sure and let you know.