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It rains on and off all morning, and the pro-am is finally canceled. I know the rain will force day care to cancel a field trip to the Toledo Zoo, and the kids will go another day without leaving the church. This afternoon Mark naps with the kids while I do my favorite chore--laundry--at Super Suds. Back at the hotel, Kristi Albers, who joined the tour in 1986, a year after I did, and her four-year-old, Austin, stop to say hello. They have a baseball, bat and glove. "I wish there was some grass or a field to play on," says Kristi. "We're just going out to the parking lot."
6 WHY EARLY IS BEST
THURSDAY, JULY 13, SYLVANIA.
Juli Inkster told me when I was pregnant, "The early tee times are easy. It's the late ones that are hard because you're worn out by the time you get to the course." Juli's words ring in my ears at 5:30 this morning when the kids wake up wailing. Luke has a leaky diaper, Libby is teething, and I don't start the first round until 12:40 p.m. Luckily, we all fall back asleep until eight.
I have only one hiccup--a double bogey at the 2nd hole--shoot a two-under 69 and am in 20th place. I used to replay every shot after a round. No more. We run from the 18th green to the van and pick up the kids. After dinner at an Italian restaurant we return to the hotel and give the twins a bath. I can't find our baby soap and have to use a bar of hotel soap, which hurts the kids' eyes. Little things like that make me wonder if hauling the twins around is fair. Maybe we do have a bizarre lifestyle, but Mark and I will never be absentee parents.
7 CENTRALIA FOREVER
FRIDAY, JULY 14, SYLVANIA.
When Mark and I get up at 5:30 (I have an 8:50 start), I feel bad about having to wake the kids, though I cheer up at the church when I see Ashli Bunch and Vicki Goetze-Ackerman already there with their toddlers. At least Libby and Luke have somebody to play with.
I don't make any putts, shoot 70 and drop to 22nd. I get a big hug from Chuck Uluhogian. Chuck was a buddy at Centralia (Ill.) High (class of '79) and drives over every year from Canton, Mich., to watch me play at the Jamie Farr. Seeing Chuck, now a banker who has a daughter, reminds me how much I loved growing up in cozy Centralia (pop. 14,000). I was 15 when I started playing golf. I took lessons from Centralia's only pro-- Tom Wargo--and eight years later earned my tour card. Centralia brings back sad memories, too. I pretty much dropped off the tour in the mid-'90s when I moved back there to care for my parents, who were suffering from lung cancer and emphysema. Dad died on July 4, 1996, and Mom passed away on May 6, 1997.
Tonight, a friend babysits while Mark and I do something special: We go to a steak house. Eating out wasn't such a rarity back in May, when Mark's sister, Jane Williams, came for a monthlong visit--Mark and Jane are from New Zealand--and helped with the twins. Having Jane around gave me time to practice.