Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summertime

I love summertime. As a school boy, in a time before year round school, it seemed that summer would never arrive and starting in April, I would count down the days until school was out. Back then, summer did not start at the summer solstice, it started on the last day of school. Now, despite the calendar or the weather, my summer starts on June first and is gone on September first. Ninety days is all we have of this wonderful time of year.

Our life and our world seem to dramatically change on a faster and more frantic basis than ever before. Look at how we communicate. During my life we have gone from conversations in a living room or over the back yard fence and hand written letters to fax, to email, to texting, to twittering and face booking. Today we are dumbfounded if someone does not have email. We communicate with others more than ever but we seem to have less intimacy with those around us. I still like to send a handwritten note on a nice piece of paper and I still like to receive one.

Despite this ever and quickly changing world and life we live, it is somewhat reassuring that the rhythms, sounds and smells of summer have seemed constant since our childhood. Things seem to move a little slower in the summer. Work schedules are adjusted around vacation schedules and things don’t get done as fast as they do the rest of the year and that seems to be ok.

Summer’s smells are those of cut grass, chicken on a backyard grill, flowers in the yard and fireworks on the 4th of July. These smells do not change over time; they have been the same from my boyhood to now, more than 50 years later.

Sit on your patio some time and close your eyes. What do you hear? What do you think about? For me, summer’s sounds are those of lawn mowers, dogs barking, and children riding bikes, laughing and playing games in the neighborhood. I love to sit on my back deck at dusk and hear the sweet symphony of birds, bugs and squirrels welcoming nighttime to cool down the heat of a summer day. The faint sound of the fluttering of a hummingbird’s wings at a nearby feeder still brings me pleasure. From time to time I can still hear the shouts of “No bears are out tonight” from some unseen child in a nearby yard.

More than any other season, summer is a time to celebrate and enjoy our friends. People seem to hibernate in the winter and limit their social interactions to a few close friends. In the summer, I see a large number of friends regularly at the golf course and at a stream of outdoor suppers, yard parties and barbeques that summer brings. It seems as though more people are staying close to home this summer, likely because of the economy, and as a result, the number of gatherings of friends seems to be greater than in previous years. Almost every weekend we have joined friends for a summer dinner. We have sat together on back yard decks and on lawns talking and laughing with our dear friends. Next week a group of us are going to a minor league baseball game. I look forward to the sounds of the crowd and the crack of the bat, eating a hotdog and dripping mustard on my shirt (some things never change). What a treasure it is to build memories with, and share the lives of, our friends.

The days have been getting shorter for more than a month. Nighttime comes earlier by a minute or so each day as summertime is slipping away like grains of sand in an hour glass. Just as you can see sand fall several grains at a time, you can see the season move on its journey toward autumn. It is not too late to invite friends over, or to drive up the canyon to see wild flowers, or to sit on the patio and listen to birds.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Red Ledges, Heber Valley

I have been visiting the Heber Valley for 50 years. Heber is about 14 miles from Park City, Utah. The valley is a green haven surrounded by mountains and hills. The views of the back side of Mt. Timpanogos and the Sun Dance ski resort are incredible. The valley borders the Deer Creek Reservoir and the Jordanelle Reservoir. Rivers and streams meander throughout the valley, with fishermen standing serenely in the flowing water trying to outsmart a trout.

Main Street Heber has a charming Mayberry look and as you drive through town, you almost look for Sherriff Andy Taylor walking down the sidewalk.

The valley has great golf courses, cross country skiing and is nearby to the Deer Valley and Park City Ski Resort. In short, it is a little slice of heaven.

Yesterday, my wife, the Lovely Sharon, and I played the recently opened Red Ledges Golf Course. This Nicklaus designed gem is the center piece of the Red Ledges real estate project located just a few miles from Heber’s main street. Despite all of my visits to Heber, I was more than a little surprised to find red rock formations on the golf course.

The course is routed over, around and through the red rocks, ridges, valleys and hill sides. It has a southern Utah red rock feel about it. The terrain is absolutely beautiful. Hawks were flying over us during the round.

The course is tough. Some holes are straight downhill and others straight uphill. The yardage for a hole can be irrelevant as the downhill holes play significant shorter than the card and the uphill holes are 1 to 2 clubs longer than the card. There are at least four tee options on each hole so you can figured what is best for you. The Lovely Sharon, whose handicap varies from 3 to 6, played the middle tees and shot an 82 with a couple of lost balls. I played the member tees and shot an 88 with a bunch of lost balls. I felt we both played the tees that we were comfortable with.

The course is the type that you need to play a couple of times to fully understand where to hit the ball. The practice facility was terrific and there will be a Jim Mclean golf school on site.

Apparently, the project has sold numerous lots, which is fantastic in this economy.

We had a wonderful time on the course and were happy that we had the chance to play it.

I was very impressed with Red Ledges, the golf course and the project. If you are looking for a second home or even a first home, you might take a look at Red Ledges.