It is 2014 — time for a few New Year’s resolutions from this columnist

The calendar shows that we have reached a new year. That signifies a new beginning, one that is filled with hope and promise. It is commonplace for all of us to resolve to make positive changes in our lives. Whether we stick to those commitments or not remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be a new year if we didn’t at least pretend to do some things differently.

The bowling season has moved along to the second half. The first half is over and we can’t change the results. The second half is up for grabs, however, and we know this time around it will be different. In keeping with tradition, I would like to make some New Year’s resolutions for this wonderful sport. Hoping that all of your resolutions will come true, unless of course they conflict with mine, here is a list of my wishes for bowling in 2014.

I hereby RESOLVE to spend less time in the penalty box. For those of you not familiar with my histrionics at the lanes, I will leave the area occupied by my teammates when I have three consecutive open frames. I call it going to the penalty box where I can stew by myself, wondering if I will ever help my team in a positive way.

In 2014 I want to avoid the penalty box. Hopefully it will happen because I’m bowling better not because I have lost my competitive drive. I’ve heard that as we age our desire is to just have fun. Winning and losing become secondary. I’ve also heard that older people have a diminished appetite.

Two theories, both completely shot to

I hereby RESOLVE to take the time to thank Pat, Casey, Sarah, Cassie and all the good folks at Dunn’s Lanes who work very hard to insure we have a good time during our league play. They are busy retrieving lost balls, getting us food and drinks and repairing equipment malfunctions. They are also constantly smiling, chatting and generally making us feel good about ourselves.

Sometimes we take these people for granted – but no more. Here’s my first “thank you” to these people. There should be plenty more to follow.

I hereby RESOLVE to stop in at Seneca Lanes and try my hand at candlepin bowling. Proprietor Herb Thibodeau has informed me that the game has caused even the best bowlers to nearly cry in frustration. Why, then, would I not want to try this form of bowling?

I think candlepin bowling will be right up my alley as I am very capable of crying. As a child I cried when I thought Lassie was not going to come home. More recently, as a mature adult, my eyes watered when Shadow came over the hill. If this game perplexes me, I should be just fine!

I hereby RESOLVE to slip on over to the K of C Lanes some Wednesday and bowl with the “old” folks. Seriously the 55 Plus League sounds like a lot of fun. I have one concern however. They send me ALL the scores to put in my column – good or not so great. Do I dare risk embarrassment by throwing the rock with a group of really good fellas?

Who am I kidding? I’m the one who controls what names go in MY column. See you soon, guys!

I hereby RESOLVE to try to bowl at Heritage Lanes in 2014. I miss the folks at Heritage and miss bowling in Tiffin. Perhaps someone is looking for a bowler. Whether it can fit my crazy schedule remains to be seen, but I’d like to give it a whirl.

I promise to try to bowl my best and if I’m not successful … Well, we have already established the fact that I can cry!

I hereby RESOLVE to be more like Mini Tvaska in 2014. Mini is the 95-year-old bowler I featured in last week’s column. Nearly blind, one of the things Mini enjoys most about bowling is hearing the pins fall. That’s what I want to do more of in 2014. I want to be sure to listen to that mesmerizing sound of the maples toppling over. It really is a magical sound.

Mini bowls in two different leagues which is what I want to try to do next bowling season. She also spends one day a week practicing. All right, Mini, perhaps I don’t want to be completely like you.

We are talking practice, man. PRACTICE. We’re talking practice! I’m not sure I have that much “resolve,” Mini.

As the New Year unfolds, I hope all of your resolutions come to pass. Whether it involves bowling or just surviving the weather that is heading our way in the next few days, let’s hope 2014 is better than last year.

Al Stephenson is The Advertiser- Tribune’s bowling columnist.

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