Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Walk in the Park


Walk No. 1
Chloe is enrolled in group tennis lessons at the public park in Marion. While she learns the finer points of slamming a small, bouncy ball back and forth over a net, I've been lounging in the early morning 9:00 sunshine, reading the varied works of Andrew McCall Smith peppered with glimpses into The Compassionate Carnivore. Alright then, today I took it upon myself to walk on the paved path that meanders through the park. I must confess it is L.O.V.E.L.Y. This path is a perfect mix of sun and shade. Birds and squirrels populate the area in just the right proportions: pleasant mix of chirp and squawk, easy on the bird poo. This walk put me in one of those all is right with the world moods in which I imagine walking for endless miles, burning every calorie I had ever consumed, and emerging 45 minutes later with a perfect figure and long, blonde, cascading curls. No such luck. I did, however emerge 30 minutes later refreshed and grateful for God's blessing of nature and fresh air.

Walk No. 2
This walk included 2 munchkins and a hot, cranky mama. Fortunately the kids were mostly engrossed in the discovery of a playground at which they had never frolicked. (don't your kids frolic?) This gig was earned by taking the Honda for an oil change and tire rotation by our ever faithful Mike at Upland Tire. We love him. Sometimes if I take the Honda myself, Mike and I chat about NPR's Car Talk (Click and Clack). I daydream that he is our own personal Click AND Clack, all rolled into one. We swap stories about the Honda he let go and how the current teenage owners drive past his shop daily, reaping the benefits of his labor some 5+ years later; he laments giving it up for a minivan.
We're supposed to be at the park/playground, though. Somehow I became disoriented in Upland and couldn't find my way to the public park, so the kids and I hoofed it to the school playground. This play area boasts some sort of freestanding rock climbing wall which the kids climbed about 3 times before succumbing to the oppressive heat. I wanted to remind them that we are only in early June, and if they thought this was hot, wait until August. August, however, will come in its own time and we don't need to bring undue worry upon ourselves regarding dog days of summer. Speaking of Dog Days, I heard the Chicago Cubs announcers discussing this very idea awhile back. Apparently the Dog Days refers to a time in late Summer, and under no circumstance can that phrase accurately describe any weather, no matter how unbearable June heat/humidity may feel. hmmph!
Now that I've lengthened an already long narrative to a super long story, I just need to express my thankfulness that we have the freedom and ability to walk and play in outdoor parks at our whim. We don't need to ask permission of any government or the police. No passports or vouchers are needed to roam the county. We can just walk, ride a bike, or drive to wherever we would like to go, at any time we would like to get there!

I'll leave you with my short prayer.

Thank you, God for the freedom and the ability to travel with my children. Thank You for the sunshine and warm weather. Amen.