Monday through Sunday, June 9-15—Settling In

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Knowing a few folks in the Village sure makes for a busy social calendar!  After a week, the roads, streets, golf courses, restaurants, and other amenities are becoming familiar, and we’re relying on the GPS less and less.  We’re still having thunderstorms and rain, but the upcoming forecast is good, though summer temperatures are beginning to appear in the 10-day forecast.  Since we moved into this rental house, there has been a first year male Summer Tanager pecking at the large dinning area window.  Here’s a not to0 great photo of him.
The early part of the week was quiet, as we both hung around the Village and rental house, reading and practicing at the driving range, pitching and chipping practice area, and the putting green, despite being pretty discouraged about the whole golf game “thingy”.  Monday afternoon, the rental agency came to replace the modem/router for the internet, and finally we have wi-fi internet, though it is painfully slow, not much faster than dial-up.  We drove into Hot Springs during one of the many rainstorms to shop at Sam’s Club, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Kroger’s.
We met with another builder Tuesday morning at the REMAX real estate office, and talked about floor plans, and other amenities.  We have seen several houses constructed by this builder, and they have great curb appeal, but the company has a notable, horrendous reputation for lack of follow-up on problems after the sale. 

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Wednesday, I drove to Conway, some 60+ miles away, for another golf lesson, with more than a little dread.  And, I missed a turn causing me to be about 5 minutes late, and as fate would have it, the instructor was ready on time for the first time since lessons began on March 20!  After hitting a few balls, I leveled with the instructor about my poor hitting and discouragement; he videoed a couple of shots, and provided real positive feedback.  After getting a correct grip and stance, there are three keys to my hitting the ball well:  keeping the butt back as far as it will go, keeping the head down, but back straight (straight spine tilt), and keeping the head behind the ball, all throughout the swing.  After analyzing the swings via video, I hit a few more balls and FORCED the head down and behind the ball.  It was an aha moment.  After analyzing the swing, Brannon instructed me to continue the backswing on the shots, breaking the wrists, and continuing the foreswing, again breaking the wrists.  Wallah, the ball was struck solid and went 25 more yards than in all the previous hits (with a #5 hybrid).  This was my second breakthrough since beginning golf lessons,  (first was correct stance and “hitting” a spot about 3 inches in front of the golf ball) and my confidence was partially restored.  The drive back to the Village was quite pleasant, and upon returning, I immediately stopped to hit range balls with this new found stroke.  The major breakthrough lasted only about 12 hours though, as the next morning, Thursday, it was back to the SOS.  However, Kay videoed the swing, and sure enough, the head was up and the body lunging forward.  A correction was made (forced the head to stay DOWN AND BEHIND THE BALL) and the good stroking returned.  (It’s almost impossible to keep one’s head down and behind the ball during and through a golf swing and takes amazing discipline.  But if one can overcome this one fault, it will tremendously improve one’s ball-striking.)
Friday was another quiet day, as we read and hit balls at the driving range.  Kay has begun hitting balls as well with her new clubs, and has the most natural swing I’ve seen.  And, when she practices, the old men are commenting on her great swing (and looking at her rear-end)!
We had anticipated company over the weekend, but since we didn’t hear from Jenny, Brian, and Harper, suspected they weren’t coming.  So, on Friday afternoon late, we had dinner at the Jessieville Dairy Bar, known affectionately by Villagers as the Jessieville Country Club, with Jim and Jackie Morris; Jackie is one of Kay’s book club friends.  The Jessieville Country Club is known locally for their great burgers and milkshakes, and the catfish is good as well.  After dinner, we returned to the Morris’ for bridge and dessert, and had a great time playing friendly party bridge.  Just before Kay and I left to return to the rental, Jim and I reserved a tee time for golf on Saturday.  
A rare upset stomach kept me awake a good portion of the night.  About mid-morning Saturday, Pam transported Kay and Jackie (all book club members) to Little Rock to a wedding shower for the daughter of another of their book club friends, and Jim and a friend of his met me for golf at Coronado.  Turns out this friend was the widower of one of my sister’s best high school friends—it’s a small world.  And, the golf lessons are paying off as I shot a respectable game on this short, par 62 executive golf course.  Kay was at the rental unit when we finished, and she and I drove into Hot Springs for gas, sporting goods, and grocery shopping for her book club party next Wednesday.  I got some golf shoes on sale, and she bought some golf clothes on sale; we’re spending ourselves into prosperity!  Jenny texted and then Face Timed in the evening to explain why they were unable to come over—seems as though Harper has very contagious tonsillitis, and was/is a very sick little girl.
We attended Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church Sunday morning, and really enjoyed the service at this beautiful church, one of three Methodist churches in the Village.  Their new choir director and his daughter sang a “special” and it was absolutely awesome, reminding us of Sandy Patti and her husband singing together.  They used a “canned” track and we understand it is the first time a track has been used in this church.  Seems like every succeeding church we go to has better music than the previous churches, and that’s saying a lot given the talent at Twin Lakes Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church in Mountain Home!  Anyway, we’ll become active in this church when we move to the Village.  Photo is courtesy of their website.    Kay and I played Coronado Golf Course Sunday afternoon; she played 9 holes and hit the ball great, better than ever before, parring several holes as her entire game was good.  She rode while I played the back nine solo, and I ended up with a decent score as well.  This golf game “thingy” is not to bad!

Church front

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