Roads were fine today, thankfully, so off we went. The three carpools each had their coffee and donut time, then we met at croquet (which is now indoors for the remainder of the season).  I think the guys all got in two rounds each.
B was right on today! In particular I appreciated it when I started to tell a story about something he and I had done together well over a year ago, and I was only partially the way through the story when he cut in and finished it!
After coffee, as I was driving my group to croquet, Wash Park looked so beautiful  with the big trees covered in snow, and the lake…so I told my guys we were going to detour through the park on our way,  and they started teasing me. The more they tease of course, the funnier it gets. I was pointing things out but M was saying, “I just want more donuts”, I saw something in the lake and asked, “what is that?’ and L said, “a thinga-ma-jigger”,  and I rolled down the windows to point out big branches which had broken off in the snow but all I got was, “roll up the windows!”. I turned to B next to me in the front and said, “I think we should ignore those guys in the back,” and he said, “yeah, they’re no good.” Ha!
Fun too, was when “Wake Up Little Suzie” came on the radio and these guys sang along! That surprised me! And it led to L telling us a story about a similar adventure when he rescued a young couple from embarrassment while he was on the police force.
So we drove the few more blocks to the church which hosts our indoor croquet. It was great to see the other guys arrive bit by bit, as James was just finishing the set up, and  we all got started.  D very well remembered that we played in the church last year, and mentioned a number of times  how when it ends, “we’ll roll up the carpets and put them back where they belong.” He, like many of them,  like chipping in to help whenever possible, grabbing the door or holding something for me, and this is a good example. I actually had to tell D towards the end, “15 more minutes! We still have 15 more minutes of play, then we can all help with cleaning up.” He played  well today, he had some great shots. And R made me laugh  at this puffy-chest sort of stance he made (I’ve never seen him do that!) when he made a good shot, it cracked everyone up who happened to see it. I tried to get him to do it again for a picture, but at least I got M shaking his hand.
Croquet is such a great activity for this bunch, there is an element of silliness but also competitiveness  to it that is just right. I am very grateful that James continues to offer it to us, particularly on the colder days.  T made a shot that got a round  of applause, then he asked his admirers, “what do I win!?” On one of D’s shots that wasn’t his best, he said to me, “well if at first I don’t succeed, I probably won’t the next time either.”
And this kind of blew me away. Goofy M, making us  laugh with his antics. One would think he wasn’t all that focused, but once when I hit the ball he, standing next to me says in all seriousness, “little too long.” and walked away. Hey!
I just remembered this funny moment when we first pulled up to the church this morning. L got out of the car first, then M and B had a bit of complicated maneuvers to get out and not step in a puddle. As they were pondering how they were  going to do that, Lou was kindly standing by, offering a hand if needed. L was trying to talk them  through it, then said, “I know. Try this.” and he broke into: “You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out…” and that did it! Perhaps the distraction? I don’t know, but M got right out of the car  with B behind him.
Lunch was in Morrison at Red Rocks Grill. The drive was scenic for sure. M: “this is a great place to live”. T and Brian sat at one end of the table, both appreciating the music playing all throughout our meal, must have been a Rolling Stones station? R told us about his great looking hat he was wearing today (from a U.S.A. track competition he was in, I believe he said) And I sat next to P at lunch  and got to know him better.  He told me more about the work he did in Washington D.C. and how much he liked a trip his daughter and son-in-law took him on (I assumed he was talking about Georgetown) when they went on a train ride. He also told me how much he liked visiting  Evergreen, as he’s getting to know Colorado better. By the way – we were all told that his son-in-law is “the best one anyone could ask for.”