I just got back from Central Park. Okay, not THAT Central Park. My own city’s Central Park. Usually on the weekends I get in my car and drive to a park that has a trail I like and do my walking there. Today I have lots I want to do, but determined to get my one mile of walking in, I decided to cut out the drive time and walk from my house a few blocks down to Central Park. I drive past it every day, but I haven’t entered it since I was a little kid.
What a walk down memory lane this turned out to be! I walked down the street and crossed the dip in the sidewalk past which I wasn’t supposed to ride my big wheel when I was little. It’s still there after all these years.
Past the space between two houses at the end of the block where I got in trouble for walking down and joining a huge group of neighborhood kids playing Red Rover without telling my mom first. I couldn’t hear her when she called me in, and she didn’t know where I was. I eventually noticed her standing on the sidewalk with her arms crossed giving me “the look”. Yeah, I didn’t leave my own yard for a while after that. But, man, that Red Rover game was epic!
Past the Jr. High I walked home from every school day for three years. Past several yards with dogs barking. Did I mention I’m afraid of dogs? And cats? Pretty much anything unpredictable that can jump on me makes me nervous. Again, harmless childhood pet encounter I won’t go into here is to blame for that.
Central Park is further from my house than I realized…it seems so close by car. Finally, I arrived and realized how great it is! Lots of curvy paths and hills and lots of beautiful, mature, tall trees. Oddly enough, they’ve grown up just like I have in the last twenty-some years. I don’t remember any of this existing when I was a kid. Granted, at that time I was all about the merry-go-round and the swings, not so much the walking paths.
The playground equipment I remember playing on is long gone. Metal, dirt, and grass replaced by plastic, wood chips, and things in general considered less deathtrap-py. I particularly remember a giant dome-shaped jungle gym that simultaneously fascinated and frightened me as a kid. It was nowhere to be seen today. I did see some good old-fashioned teeter-totters though.
I didn’t stay long today. Once again, it was cold. When is it going to warm up around here?? But, I had a great time and I will definitely walk there again. Sometimes it’s nice to remember what’s in your own neighborhood.