Monday, July 6, 2009

Park It!

We were tired from a long hike..and hungry. It was going to be a long ride home, so, as we trekked back to the parking area, I suggested we take a few minutes to make some sandwiches and eat before we started driving home. As we rounded the corner I spied a little park out of the corner of my eye and thought I would be so much nicer to have a picnic there instead of eating out of the back of the car.

The kids were off like a shot - forgetting about food altogether. I thought they were getting too old to get excited by a swing-set.... I thought.

I haven't been so impressed with a public park since ...well, ever! Don't get me wrong, we have some really nice parks where we live, but the little community park in Blowing Rock, NC really was something to write about.

It wasn't brand new - in fact, since it was in the middle of town, I think it has probably been there a long time. But it was updated and well maintained, with a climbing wall, 'fort' type structure with slides and lots of swings, a big sandbox. Tennis and basketball courts.

There were picnic tables and a gazebo, big trees for shade and plenty of benches to sit on, but no one was using them, even though it was packed with people.

Pretty standard park, right? But it wasn't. In the middle of all this activity sat a small shed. Inside the shed was a man handing out equipment: basketballs, tennis racquets, tennis balls, volleyballs, horseshoes (yes, we played a few rounds) Nice, new equipment. Not old flat balls and broken stuff.

There was no sign-in or out sheet, no ID or deposit required.

The smell of fresh baked waffle cones wafted over from the fudge and ice cream shop across the street.

At one point I looked around and marveled that such a place still existed. On the way home I lamented that I should have cause for such wonder.

I wish I had gotten more pictures, but I was too busy playing.

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