Penny ponders… Frisbees in the Family Zone

By Penny Cliff Guest Columnist

June 6, 2014

Sprewell Bluff is now firmly established for Upson family friendly fun. It’s a great place to visit. That is exactly what my family did several weeks ago. My oldest son, a Lieutenant in the Navy, stopped for the weekend after driving across the country from San Diego, before heading to his new home in Washington, D.C. His brother drove down from Atlanta after finishing a semester at Emory to spend time with his best friend and brother, and of course, us, for the weekend.

It was one of those warm, blue-sky perfect days. Not too hot, not too cold. Both sons wanted to do something outdoors. Off to the Bluff. We squeezed into our silver Chevrolet Prism, admired the work on the Overlook (which is going to be a great asset to our community) and headed to the Flint. Our vehicle was loaded with a Cornhole bag toss game, a Frisbee, a UGA football and a picnic. And of course, I brought my camera. My husband Bill and I were massacred at the Cornhole bag toss. It was my fault. For several times Bill and I were ahead by several points. But when it comes down to me getting the last bag in for the win, it just doesn’t happen. I think that it is psychological. Every time it happens – I can be ahead ten points, but the pressure of it all! And they all know it. It’s used against me. I don’t get to do a victory dance.

Bill and my two sons played Frisbee. They are really good at it. I have never been able to play. No matter how many times Bill tells me that I can do it, it just takes practice. I’m sort of pitiful. Give me a project and I’m gung ho, push to do the best I can, but give me a round plastic disk, and well, it’s not gonna happen. I do have to say that the guys were kind and tried to include me in the game. So, I participated for a little bit, if you can call it that. I let them have their time, and I contented myself with taking photographs and videos. Those photos ended up on my boys’ Facebook pages. It was a wonderful day at the Bluff. Both sons have these really adventurous lives, and yet, there are a ton of photographs of family and friends on their pages. Which tells me that family is important to them, too.

And I guess that is what this column is about. The important things in life: investing time with family. Spending those special times, whether throwing a Frisbee at Sprewell Bluff, or it can be any of a thousand different things, has found deeper importance lately. Family has always been important, but now that many of those that we love are scattered over the globe, and have lives of their own, a day at the Bluff takes on more meaning than just a pleasant outing.

With the grown kids gone to their own homes, it is just the three of us. After a day full of separate activities, nighttime offers those small moments that make up the tapestry of relationships. It used to be popcorn with the old Star Trek shows, but now it is the 1960 Twilight Zone episodes. We sit down and try to guess the outcome of the science fiction storyline. Which one of us usually partially guesses. But sometimes Rod Serling throws us for a loop.

Each family enjoys those special things that are important. I enjoy others’ stories and get tons of ideas for my own family to try. For right now, watching Twilight Zone, and enjoying Upson County’s Sprewell Bluff is part of our special memories. Even the sad throws I attempt with a Frisbee, desperately aiming anywhere close to the direction of my husband, only to bobble to the ground, shows me that you don’t have to be good at something, to really have fun and make a memory.