Bowling Candlepins … It’s Been Awhile

While the captain is toiling away sanding and painting Nine of Cups' decks in Chesapeake, the first mate is living the life of Riley ... or so it seems. Catch up with the Blue View next week ... in the meantime, check out what the first mate is doing.


 Candlepin bowling at Norwood Sport Center

Candlepin bowling at Norwood Sport Center

If you’ve never bowled in New England nor the Canadian Maritime provinces, you’ve probably never been candlepin bowling. A candlepin is an odd looking skinny pin that you try to knock down with a one-size-fits-all ball that weighs less than three pounds … much smaller and lighter than the heavy-duty tenpin balls. The pin placement is pretty much the same, but the scoring, strategy and play is a bit different. I never realized there was any other kind of bowling until I was a college student and bowled tenpin with friends in New York. My Mom used to watch Candlepins for Cash on the local television station every Saturday morning. I haven't bowled candlepins in decades, but that was about to change.

 A little body English goes a long way

A little body English goes a long way

The occasion for such an unlikely outing was the belated celebration of our nephew, Nick’s, 23rd birthday. Uncle David was supposed to attend, but, as you’ll remember, he absconded with Blue to Chesapeake, so Nick and I called it an aunt-nephew night and celebrated with … you guessed it ... bowling.

 I used a few muscles I haven't used in awhile. Ouch!

I used a few muscles I haven't used in awhile. Ouch!

The Norwood Sport Center is a typical, old-fashioned, no-frills New England bowling alley. It was crowded … leagues had reserved most alleys. There was, however, one lane free and that’s all we needed. We rented our obligatory bowling shoes for $1/pair and I thought the obligatory thought “I wonder whose feet were in these last and when did they last wash their feet?”. It was too unnerving  to linger on that thought very long. We commenced to settling in, setting up our electronic score sheet and getting into the game.

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I had to refresh my memory on scoring. Though the electronic score sheet helps out, you still have to enter the information. You have to remember to push the “reset” button to set up the pins again.

Animated cartoons for tens and spares elicited hoops and hollers from us. Unfortunately, we never saw the animated results for strikes. Had they had something for gutter balls, we might have enjoyed those quite a lot. Bah!

 Possible spare ... or possible gutter ball?

Possible spare ... or possible gutter ball?

We followed this strenuous work-out with dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. It wasn’t so much about the food as the time together. We lingered and chatted over dinner . It was good to catch up, have a meaty conversation and learn more about this young man that I first held in my arms just a few days after he was born.

As a footnote, ... my aching arms and shoulders were sore and tired the morning after. Guess I need to be winching (not whinging) more.