The Old Folks At Home

Years ago we were introduced to the French version of Bocce called Pétanque by our friends the Deprez. Russ and I were instantly hooked on this ball throwing game. I purchased a Pétanque set of heavy metal balls in San Francisco and brought them home in my carry on later that year. Then Russ told his father we liked this game and he gave us another set of balls for Christmas or a birthday, I can’t remember because it was like six years ago.

The Deprez have a fancy Pétanque court made out of stone dust and metal edging on their beautiful bed and breakfast property. We thought we needed to build something similar in order to play at our house. And so the sets of ball languished in the garage, pristine and untouched.

The list of outdoor improvements at our house far exceeds our budget, our time or our energy. Yesterday, after Russ leveled my garden beside the driveway he came in and announced that if we completed one outdoor project every weekend we might get through our list in three years. That was a very generous timeline.

Last weekend while cleaning out the garage Russ found both Pétanque sets. He thought about building that court and went online to read about it. To his surprise the only requirement for a court was flatness. “It can be grass, gravel or sand.” he told me. We had the perfect driveway Pétanque court all this time.

Today, while Carter was still away working at Camp Cheerio for the weekend we started playing. I was ahead by two points as Carter pulled in the driveway. “Are you all playing Bocce?” She asked in an accusatory tone.

We explained it was French and she still thought it was something for old people who lived in queens. We pointed out that the very regal Shay who was sitting on her bed at the edge of the garage watching made it fancier than a Carter thought. Carter didn’t buy that. Nevertheless Russ and I didn’t let her disdain stop us from finishing our game, where Russ won.

I see some good driveway parties in our future. Get out the folding lawn chairs and the styrofoam beer cozies, we are going to embrace being old farts.

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