Friday, January 27, 2012

Marcy's Travel Blog- BOWLING!! Who Knew!

I'll be the first to admit, Bowling is not my sport. It's not that I don't like it. I just don't like being REALLY bad at something. (I broke my right arm when I was 12 years old- right above the elbow! So- I now have a double jointed arm, which is really hard to control once tired.) I've tried bowling left handed, bowling with a brace- and finally decided that for me, Bowling is a spectator's sport! (I do, however, make a good Bowling cheerleader! I can encourage, cheer on, and applaud!)

Out of curiousity, I looked up the history of bowling at ""- I found out some fun facts!:

(1) A game similar to bowling was found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian youth who died approximately in 5,200 BC.

(2) Ancient Polynesians rolled stones at objects from a distance of 60 feet (18.29 meters)- the same distance as from the foul line to the headpin.

(3) In the 3rd and 4th centuries, bowling was a religious ceremony for deturmining absence of sin! German parishioners had to roll or throw an object at a pin to avoid performing an act of penance!
(Wow! I would've been in trouble then! My score's too embarrassing to even print! Think that means I'm a BIG time sinner??!! Ha!)

(4) Earliest legislation against bowling dates to 14th century England. The sport was so popular that people were neglecting the archery practice necessary for national defense during the 100 Year War. Both King Edward III and King Richard banned the game.From Europe to America, bowling has been banned in the past- in fact throughout the world for the "evil it leashes on society"!

(5) On the other hand, Martin Luther had a single lane at the side of his house- and was an avid bowler. He onced preached a sermon which, if put into bowling vernacular, proclaimed "We all strive for perfection in life. But if we roll a gutter ball, all is not lost"!

Wednesday afternoon I ventured off  to one of Livingston County's most popular Bowling facilities!
The Bowling Alley of choice was the "Striking Lanes" at 1535 Old 23 in Hartland, Michigan, just south of M-59.

The occasion was a Birthday party for  my Granddaughter, who's turning 3 years old. The fact that she loves bowling was a bit of a mystery to me, and I was very interested in finding out why!!

"Striking Lanes" has been  owned and operated since 1988. I was amazed at how the Bowling alleys have changed since I was a teen! There are electronic score boards and  tutoring screens to help you with your game! For the very young bowler, electronically programed gutter guards pop up when it's their turn!

When my granddaughter arrived, the Assistant Manager, David, announced over the P.A. that it was her Birthday. Payton was thrilled. He also presented her with a t-shirt and a party favor. I was impressed! They certainly did go out of their way to make sure she felt special!

Payton got such a kick out of  rolling that ball down the lane! Whether she knocked down one pin or 10, her hands would go up with a cheer of  "Yeah"!  They had a special ramp for her to place the ball on and let it roll! Afterwards she'd run to retrieve her ball to go again! Ofcourse, at 3 years old, it's hard to understand when it's no longer your turn- but she figured it out, with help from mom and dad.

My son and grandson put their heads together to work at improving their game.

Bill and Willy Lawson, fellow grandparents were also  fellow cheerleaders!

At one point the Birthday girl fell while she was carrying the ball. She hurt, so the tears flowed for a while. However, a few minutes of cuddles on Papa's Bill's lap, and she felt all better.

Grandson Evan was serious about learning the game!

I believe daughter-in-law Mia gave Steven a run for his money,scored the most pins at the beginning! (Steven took it all in stride, passing her up by a bit by the end.) The competition was all in fun, and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly!

I can see why "Striking Lanes" is considered an upscale facility. It's very clean, well run, with all the latest electronic technology! The staff  was wonderful and very family friendly. Ours was a small family gathering. They do host larger Birthday parties on weekends, though reservations are required.

A special "Thank You" to the Assistant Manager, Dave, for the  kind and warm hospitality, and for making the Birthday girl feel so special! Bravo!

Dave, doing double duty behind the counter!

 I get it now. It's not just the game. It's an opportunity to celebrate, as Payton did, with every pin that fell. It was the friendly jabs and banter I heard all around me. It was the warm and friendly atmosphere produced by the owner and staff. This game, especially in this place, was the opportunity to laugh, relax, and enjoy the company of family and/or friends! And if you learn how to do this sport well to boot, it's all the better! (Though not necessary for having a good time!)

Next time, I may give up my cheerleader seat and become a participant!  Who knew!!??

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