I think I've been avoiding this post for a while because I just haven't been sure how to write about it.  I've stayed pretty close to the topic of Curling until now.

It's a few minutes before midnight Sunday night, Labor Day weekend.  My team and I are at "The Crush" Bonspiel, near Sacramento.

... and I'm reminded that last year, when I left home my Mom was still independent (her grandson was close) and could be on her own, take care of herself.

We played four games last Labor Day -- lost our first two, won our third, and got to play our fourth game on Sunday.

Mom knew how much I loved this game.  How much I love my team.

We had an amazing time last year.

This year, we left Orange County with an 0-3 record in League play.  It seemed that I could not hit anything (even if that wasn't entirely true).

Almost immediately we began to reconnect with friends we hadn't seen since last year.  We met new friends, like the Stuart rink from Toronto, and while we didn't win, we played against some pretty good teams. 

I think I found one of the problems with my delivery.  My ritual now includes an extra stretch up, square with the line I'm trying to throw.

Our second game showed what we could do when our resolve kicks in.

In our third game, we played a much better team and made them a little nervous -- and stayed with them.  Last year wouldn't have been as good.

For my fourth game I got to play with an amazing Paralympic athlete, his daughter, and a local WCCC player I met last year -- a pick up game of sorts that was an amazing pick-me-up.  Thank you all for a great game, and thank you for your service Patrick.

This trip has given me a renewed love for this game, and new sense of joy.

A change in my outlook toward the world.

Last year, one of my favorite curlers told me about difficulties in life, and how Curling got her through it.  This year, I told her a similar story.

Mom passed away May 17th.

It has been a very difficult time in transition.  Selling the house I once thought would always be my home (and realizing that while I could stay, my heart just wasn't there anymore), finding a new place, trying to decide what was truly important to me.

Starting over at age 55.

In Curling, you deliver each rock with a plan.  Sometimes the Curling Gods have another idea, and the shot turns out to be entirely different.  That's called "Plan B."  As often as not, Plan B works out, not that you have a whole lot of choice.

... and in life, it's the same thing.  Unexpected.  Hopeful. 

I don't know yet how Plan B is going to work, but I'm playing "life" with a new calm, and that same new sense of joy.

Posted September 3, 2012, Updated April 1, 2013