Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 18:27.


I love playing tennis.

Our house faces the south side of Jefferson Park on Cleveland’s West side.

The park has eight tennis courts which were rehabilitated this past summer. The cracks were filled up and the entire area was resurfaced, painted, and striped. We even got new tennis nets.

The courts are lit at night till 11:00 p.m. and sometimes in the summer till midnight.

They are hardly used – but I make very good use of them.

Any time the courts are dry – no rain or snow – I am there. I usually play in the evenings.

On the evening of Tuesday, December 3, 2019 – the weather folks were saying the temperature was 31 deg. F (0 deg. C) and dropping and with the wind chill it felt like 19 deg. F (-7 deg. C)


So when I went out I was bundled up – with eight layers of clothing plus two woolen mufflers around my neck. I had a nylon wind cheater on top with big pockets to hold eight tennis balls. I had four woolen caps and two mufflers wrapped around my head under my turban.


And gloves for my hands, woolen socks, and thermal underwear.


Well it really did not feel that cold – there was hardly any wind. But better safe than sorry. If one is not well dressed and it is cold – it can be very uncomfortable. Since I try to be well dressed – playing in the cold weather is a breeze.
Nowadays I play solo tennis. I used to play regular tennis until two years ago when I took a fall.



Human beings are not very good at falling down. I fell on the hard surface and damaged the bones in my right wrist. I was told it would cost around $20,000 to repair the damaged bones. I also damaged the nerve endings. Another $20,000 to fix them.


Being a senior citizen – late seventies – I was advised by friends (also senior citizens) to avoid the operations as they could cause further complications.


Well, with a damaged right wrist – I started playing with my left hand and soon got quite good at it. After a year the right wrist healed by itself. Now I can play with both hands. The nerve ends are still damaged – but no big inconvenience.

With eight balls in my pockets I play with my right hand and hit them over the net – one at a time.
It is such a thrill seeing the balls go in a parabolic trajectory and ultimately land on the other side.
I then walk over the other side – pick up the balls – and put them back in my pockets.

With leaves lying all around – the balls get lost in them. It takes some time to retrieve them. Some of the leaves curl up and look like orange tennis balls.

Now I am ready to hit the balls back over the net – this time with my left hand.

I usually play for an hour and am able to hit close to a total of 150 shots.

Sometimes when the weather is very inviting – I play for longer periods. Saturday, November 30th was a truly nice autumn day – 35 deg. F (1.5 deg. C) the sun was out on and off, there was no wind – so I was able to play for 3-hours in the morning.

After one-hour of tennis – i usually walk for an hour around the perimeter of the courts. Not too long ago – I used to walk around the park. With broken sidewalks – I find it is safer to walk in the courts.

Today evening I did not walk. Tuesdays and Thursdays I walk to Riverside Elementary School where I am a volunteer teacher. This is my 15th year. The walk, each way, takes one hour.

On clear evenings – when the moon is out – I feel I have a companion who is watching my every shot an wondering why I can’t hit the balls with such a force as to send them in orbit around our planet. I wish I could do that – but gravity from planet Earth prevents me from doing so.

Also on clear evenings – I get to see Venus and Mars.

With the walking and the tennis – I get all the exercise I need and come home and sleep like a baby.

Enjoy the remainder of 2019.

Note: As it was overcast today, neither the moon and nor the planets were visible. The following three photographs were taken on earlier days.
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