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Friday, December 18, 2015


Gentle breezes waft around the Glen, but you need actual wind to fly a kite.  I ran and ran on my short child legs without much to show for it.

We went to see our grandparents every month.  Grandpa would take us to GoodyearHeights Metro Park after lunch.  Women washed dishes while children and men walked to the pond and woods.  

In winter we went sledding.  There’s a little but steep hill close to their house, and a very big hill on the other side of the park.  The little hill has the extra thrill of trees in the wrong places.  The big hill has a bump which sends whole toboggans of adults airborne.  That hill is also great for kites in summer.  Kites soared from a standstill.  They flew so strong, I worried I’d be dragged to the sun and die like Icarus.

One day my siblings ran down the steep little hill to the pond, and Grandpa and I stayed behind.  He really didn’t say much.  Well, to be perfectly honest, he never did, but what he did say was in a soft Tennessee accent that makes me feel safe, loved, and happy.

On that last day at the park I just held his hand and absorbed our alone-time together.  I don’t know how I knew it was our last day, I just did, and I relished it.  He lived a long time after that, he just didn't walk to the park.  He drove us to the big hill to fly kites.

I miss Grandpa.  Happy birthday!  Happy birthday Sue!  And Dad and Tami, and coming up Bill, ML, and Gail... plus my grandnieces and whoever else I might be forgetting.  Oh yeah, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Solstice too!

Mess Hall
Totally unrelated to birthdays, holidays, and kiting, but everything to do with parks, my friend and I walked in my old Girl Scout camp last weekend.  It has been bought by her city, and now is open to everyone.

Amity House
Boat house
I looked forward to August all year every year when I was a kid.  My sisters and I had a week at Grandma and Grandpa's, and then we had two weeks at Camp Hilaka.  Yay, yay, yay for me!

The old metal bridge is the same as when I was a kid
I was great at camp.  I could start a fire, paddle a canoe, braid a lanyard, and sing campfire songs with the best of them.  I learned early that fearlessly ridding a tent of spiders and mice ensured me camping friends.  Some girls cried when their parents dropped them off at camp.  I wanted to cry when I left.

Outhouse -- a very memorable part of camping!
The camp is pretty dilapidated, and I hope volunteers will get it looking nice again.  I walked the paths and felt my younger self running through the woods while my current self was kind of befuddled about what used to be where and such.  I remembered the handsome boy counselor with a guitar well enough and the very nice girl with a raspberry stain all over her face and over a lot of the rest of her too. 

It's the smells and sounds and projects which I remember best, and it all feels very strange to place all that living into a neglected park.  I'm going to walk there again and bring back more memories and more of that childish enthusiasm back into my being.  Camp Hilaka is like Grandpa -- part of who I am.


  1. You seem to have a great grandpa that instilled love for nature in you.

    Linda, I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and/or Joyful Yule and a creative and good 2016.
    May we stay connected.

  2. Thanks Paula, and Merry Happy to you too! Here's to hoping 2016 is a great year!

  3. You have so many remembered memories. Thanks for sharing them all. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  4. Your story about your grandfather is really beautiful. The first time I went to camp I secretly cried--i was so young and shy, but after that I tried to hoard the days, if that makes sense, thinking how many were left, trying to expand them in my mind somehow. Merry Christmas! (and Merry anything else you do!)

    1. I remember 2 girls that came to camp crying. 1 cried so much her parents came and got her. The other ended up having a blast. Our camp was actually very kind to introverts, or maybe just my age group? I think we all felt lucky about that together. Merry Christmas!

  5. Your grandpa sounds like the kind all grandpas should be. And thanks for reminding us that you were once a girl scout! I'm glad you have such fond memories of camp Hilaka.
    Merry Christmas, Linda! I look forward to more of your words and artwork in the new year!

    1. I was lucky in the Grandpa dept. May all little kids be so lucky :) Merry Christmas!

  6. Merry Christmas, Linda. Wishing you a holiday season filled with good cheer, and many new memories to inspire you! :o)

    1. Thanks Michele. Merry Christmas to you too and a happy New Year too!