Creek Walk: Blue Limestone Park

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My only three granddaughters and I went on a special Creek Walk at Blue Limestone

Park on Saturday afternoon on June 14, 2014. Why note the date? It is the one where

I truly felt I changed their sweet, little lives. I asked if they would prefer, as we drove

past the beautiful new Big Toy, gym equipment installed at this ‘ancient park’ to play

there?

The unified answer was, “No, Nana!” The M & M girls, who are only 3 and 5 years old,

sang those lovely words out loudly. As they finished, their soon (next week) to be 10

year old sister, said these heart-warming words to this humble, nature-loving ‘hippie’

from the seventies,

“Nana, we look forward every year to being able to explore along the creek, cross over

the rocks and go under the train tunnel!”

Lara made me burst in pride, looking in my rearview mirror at her, my little step-

granddaughter, who is mine as well as others’. I said in reply,

“Thank you, Lara! This means so much to me!”

She came back instantly,

“You are the ONLY one who does this with us!”

Landen had gone off to be with the other two grandsons, Micah and Skyler, into the

land of video games and boys’ interests at my oldest daughter’s house. I was having

a good time, this day, with the ‘promise’ given at the onset to get ice cream cones

for three out of four of us, while Marley, whose ‘tummy hurts’ when she eats dairy

foods, will either choose a sherbet or a cookie, at our local place.

What did we find on our walk?

We found the light shining so brightly through the train trestle that I could not

capture through my camera lens, the brightly lit yellowish green still Spring like

branches and silhouettes up ahead of our journey. I took pictures of Lara, carefully

placing each foot upon the next rock, one by one, telling us behind her, of which

ones were ‘wobbly’ or ‘rocking back and forth.’

I helped my other two, sometimes having to hold their hand, putting my foot in

a simple sneaker, down into the clear and rushing creek water. They were filled

with a different kind of trepidation, I sensed a change in their development from

last year’s walk. They were more aware of the ‘danger’ of falling onto rocks and

the sense of imbalance to the stones. They had had more recent bumps and bruises,

evidenced on Marley’s shin and Makyah’s cheek. Little light bluish bruises, which

each carried their own story.

When we reached the place where they have to lean on the cold, damp wall of the

trestle, built of blue limestone rock, the oldest, Lara, was in the lead. She asked

why there would be mud up here, on the ‘shelf?’

I told her that sometimes the waters must have been higher or the wind roaring

through the tunnel, had brought mud upon the place we were walking. I also

told her the truth,

“Nana doesn’t really know the answer to that question, just a guess!”

When we got to the other side of the tunnel, to me, it is like a ‘fairy land.’ We saw

birds swooping, cheerily greeting our arrival here I saw so many branches of trees

leaning in, roots rising up and then arches created by low slung trees, bent into

bows. When they were under an arch, I asked the trio of girls to turn around.

They immediately did, knowingΒ my camera was ready to capture this moment.

Lara, placing her arms around both the girls, showing the living definition of

‘sisterhood.’ The light filtering through the combination of hues of deep green,

light yellowish green and shadows made an entrancing photograph.

Mentally, I noted, three copies need to be made.

You see, I may not share the photos of my adventures with you, but I make

miniature albums of 36 pictures for each of the six grandchildren. They come

and take one of the recently made ones, sit and look them over. Their parents

make cd’s and videos on their cell phones, while I make the picture books that

let them know what seasonal adventures ensued during the past months.

Once in awhile, lately, the five year old, Marley has been curious about my first

husband, their “Poppi” who they did not realize was married to me, ‘once upon

a time.’ She asks to see photographs of our wedding, our days of young parent-

hood, raising her Daddy and her Aunt Carrie. Marley was thoughtful, again,

yesterday. She asked,

“Did you bring my Daddy here, when he was a little boy?”

I told her,

“Yes! In those days, there were tons of tadpoles or pollywogs, in these little

ponds that are back here, behind the big lake. The kids would bring buckets,

even ones I babysat, and we would all explore this area. Your Daddy, when

he was in 6th grade was allowed to come here on his bicycle and fish in the

Blue Limestone ‘lake’ that really is a ‘quarry.'”

I asked, as we climbed over a fallen tree, the little ones studying a spider,

bright, almost ‘neon’ green moss, and some little toadstools growing on the

side of it:

“Do you want to know what a quarry is?”

They all three listened as I explained how the Ohio Wesleyan University and

other buildings around their hometown had blue limestone that had been

‘mined’ from first the big ‘lake’ and then, later the smaller holes that became

other ‘lakes’ surrounding where we were walking beside.

We reached a ‘break’ in the trees, walked to the edge of the creek, finding in

the dirt, hoof marks of deer and also the smaller prints of raccoons and one

set of bunny tracks. I gathered them together and we all ducked under a low

slung branch, pointing across the creek, the separated undergrowth, the

path where the deer ran through the woods. We also could see, with a little

turn of our head, an opening where you could see the blue-green, almost

turquoise colored water of one of the more shallow quarries. I pointed this

out, saying:

“Your Daddy, Aunts Felicia and Carrie liked to swim in that ‘pond.'”

Oh boy! What a “can of worms” I did not foresee opening, with that remark!

I am sure you can guess, they wanted to go right across that creek and jump

into that smaller quarry!

I reminded them that their parents had bought a YMCA pass to the pools,

both indoors and outdoors. That, in those days, the possibility of algae and

other more dangerous bacteria were not so common. After all, this would

have been over 20 years ago!

They are such respectful children, allowing me to side track them, letting

them to think about taking off their shoes to dangle them in the creek

water.

I had them wipe their faces first, arms next, systematically going from

the top of their bodies to their feet, when we got back to the car. Then,

we carefully placed their special little mementos of their creek walk on

the passenger seat of the car:Β  wild lilac flower branches, three hickory

nuts that had been cracked open, halved neatly to reveal an inner design

that Lara found fascinating, the other younger ones chiming in that they

also “needed one of those!” and the wild daisies for their mother.

Then, having cleaned up, we ran down or rolled down, depending on

our age, the hill leading to the place where we would cross the parking

lot and play on the Big Toy!

Later, while sitting and savoring our treats, we were gazing, all four of

us, westward. There were first appearing, cotton candy blend of pink

and azure blue billowing clouds, then an orange-ish golden hue, and

finally a fire igniting across the sky.

When we got home, we all looked up at the waning Full Strawberry Moon,

the clear dark sky lit up with its presence. I said out loud, “Thank you,

God for this beautifully perfect day!”

Lara, who attends church more often than not, with her local father’s

mother, (Grandma) exclaimed: (I am not making this up!)

“Amen!!”

 

 

 

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35 responses »

  1. What has happened to all the frogs? I miss them. The streams used to full of them. I haven’t gone stream walking in a while. I need to put it on my to-do list for this summer, as soon as my back is better! πŸ™‚ I love reading these posts. You are a lovely person, Robin, through and through, and I’m glad your granddaughters appreciate you. Hugs, Brenda

    • I am sorry to hear about your back problems, Brenda! I guess while writing poems, haikus and fairy tales, we don’t hear about your personal problems so much…
      I am not sure but I did see at Schnormeier Gardens, in a few posts back I wrote about this place you can see that had the different pagodas and beautiful gardens. Anyway, there were a ton of black tadpoles in one of the manmade streams. Big globs of black ‘commas’ wiggling their little tails. No legs yet. We were all in awe of them! Several people said the same thing you did!
      I have heard about “peepers’ out in the country from my coworker, Mark. He is the shy one I still like to talk to and hope someday he may ‘bend the rules’ to meet for a walk or a meal out. Anyway, I did not know peepers were still around! They are tiny and green, look like miniature frogs.
      I think in Blue Limestone, there are a lot of fish. Maybe somewhere else, the frogs are congregating. The creek had water bugs, spiders and we thought we spotted a water snake, too.
      I wonder, also, about turtles. I have seen them on logs or rocks, later in the summer. Maybe they are still in deep cover? Not sure, but your guess is as good as mine!

      • I still see turtles around, but frogs used to be more plentiful. I was thinking about it because my son and I both wrote poems for the Save the Frog contest, and it was fun.

        I don’t like to complain, but I do have a wretchedly bad back, currently in spasm. Hope it stops soon. Take care, Brenda

  2. Perfect day with your three granddaughters, Robin. I feel like I was there. What a lucky former hippie you are! Thank you so much for taking us along on this special rock quarry exploration with you and the girls. You should somehow show us a photo of the three of them with their arms around each other. It would be a heart-stopper, I bet! Have a great Father’s Day, Robin. Your curiosity about life went on to your son and these three girls!

    • Thank you, Mark! I am so happy that you enjoyed our exploration.

      I sometimes try to “draw pictures of the adventure through my words.” I do believe that Mark Twain did use illustrations of his characters, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I guess I would do this, if I thought it were something that would make the story ‘better.’

      I consider the photos others put into their posts, great additions! I think being a journalist in a paper, you are used to them. I am more of a reader of books, which after a certain age, don’t include the pictures. Smile!

      Jamie is a big kid, sometimes, when he gets to the park. They love it that he plays with them, but he has not taken them back under the train trestle and to the mysterious beyond! He says it is because he is disappointed that the smaller lakes or ponds are full of algae and seaweed, of some sort and misses being able to jump into a clear place to swim!
      When you have a grandchild, you will show them how to play golf, include your dog, hopefully, Ellie B. and will find your own ways to open their eyes to the wonders of nature!

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your day with your granddaughters. Warmth colours the memories you share with us. When your 10-year-old granddaughter said, “You are the ONLY one who does this with us!” my heart burst with emotion. I’m glad you had this special day. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Thank you, Timi! I am sure each of us has something we will share with our children or grandchildren. I just love water and if we were up at the lake, we would have buckets and collect rocks, shells and little pieces of colored glass. Since I have three choices of creeks or streams, I like this one, as it was the one that I lived close to when I was a single mom. I am so glad you found this story one that made your heart burst with emotion. Songs and stories are special if they can do this, so I really appreciate that mine did this for you. This makes my day so extra meaningful, today! I am truly blessed, Timi.

  4. This is so sweet! Sadly, I don’t see grandchildren in my future, but it would be so lovely to have granddaughters! (By the way, thanks for following my blog. I’m returning the favor!)

    • So thankful you are following me, Dianna! I am apologetic, since I did not check my waiting approval section for some time, then went on vacation. Am up at my Mom’s and just had an email telling me to check this part of wordpress! You are so kind to say such wonderful things! I will try to be better and stay in touch! Happy 4th of July and have a wonderful weekend, too! Smiles, Robin

  5. It sounds like a perfectly wonderful day, Robin! What lovely grand girls you have, and you are an awesome hippie nanny! An absolutely delightful read – thanks for sharing, darling!! Mother Hen ☺

    • Wow! I am excited with all of these extra special words that you included in this response, MH! I am very honored to hear these lovely compliments for something that had already blessed my weekend. You know, we all have fun with children, it is hard to sometimes fully explain it, but there is magic in our connections. I am sure that you have different ways to explore and share with your children and someday, with your grandchildren. It is like a cup spilling over with joy!

      • I adored the time I spent raising my own 2 kids – sure, there were tough times! But the overall memories are so positive. I wasn’t sure I could love anyone else on this planet so much until the day we were blessed with our first grandchild. I took one look at that blue eyed angel of a boy and fell head over heels. He is now 7 with a 5 year old little brother, and those boys are my life. My whole reason for breathing! I love them to distraction… and yes, the adventures that lie behind us and ahead of us are sheer joy. πŸ™‚ I’ve got some fab ideas from you already… keep them coming!

  6. what a wonderful, magical day you shared with your grands, robin. they are so lucky to have you as a nana and i’m sure they are right when they say you are the only one who does some of these things with them. lucky for all of you to have each other )

    • Now, you Beth do many of the same things you are complimenting me on! I have seen the way you open your heart to your kindergartners and also, your grandchildren! I appreciate and thank you for the way you expressed this. I love all the things you do, some I would probably enjoy being there, pitching in and dancing, rolling, exploring… Your days are full of adventures!
      How was the play? I need to get over to your post and see!

      • yes, adventures are what make life so wonderful. as for the play, it was great fun, but i’m sure if some of the audience didn’t know what they were seeing, they could be offended –

    • Thank you so very much! I found your comment and lovely words in my awaiting approval section! I rarely remember to check this area and am so glad I did it, not too late, I hope! Smiles for this set of sweet words about my granddaughters, the fairy land beyond the train trestle and the creek walking memories! Take care and hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and holiday!

  7. This is a beautifully written account of your day with your granddaughters. I am sure all of us grandparents imagined or longed for similar times with our own grandchildren. The best part for me was how the children anticipate a special adventure with you that they would not expect to have on a visit to the park with any other family member. What a special loving bond you have created with the children. I especially love how you capture those moments on film and create photo albums for each of them. I know they will always love their special memories that you give them. – Mike

    • Thank you, Mike! I enjoyed all of your descriptions and reflections of my story. You will choose your hikes up and down paths in places where vistas will be below you! I know you, there will be natural wonders in your adventures with grandchildren, too!
      I have stacks of photo books, so this is a fun way to have our memories relived in the winter months! I don’t mind bundling up with them and going to feed the ducks, but their Dad is the one who takes them sledding. Their Mom takes them to the pool. So, they know some other ways to enjoy the outdoors and over time, they will choose their favorites. So far, I am blessed that they want to do these things with me!
      My grandsons love to get INTO the creek! Landen did not do the jumping in, since he was with his sisters last Spring.
      Skyler and Micah made ‘stew’ and ‘cocoa’ by stirring that creek water up and making it cloudy and brown. They made big messes by digging up the algae and seaweed! I didn’t stop them from flinging it around either. They had to take a bath after their showers! When they find out we went there on last Sat., it may make them sad. I will take them soon and allow the way they like to handle their creek ‘walk!’ My oldest daughter resigns herself that she will have the messy ones in the family! (and she was the ‘girly girl’ with dresses and matched outfits!) Smiles, Robin

  8. You are an amazing memory maker AND memory catcher! What a beautiful day for all of you. Isn’t the time with them something you could never have imagined years ago? I am overwhelmed at the emotion grands create. Thank you for sharing this Robin. It brought me many smiles.

    • Colleen, I have more than a cup running over, it is spilling and spreading joy so much farther than I ever dreamed! Children are excited no matter what you are excited about. I mentioned to Mark, when he has grandchildren, I can see him going on a walk with the dog, hopefully Ellie B. will still be with them, or taking them golfing. You and your husband like to walk around festivals, city streets and also, hiking in nature. I can imagine all kinds of adventures you have with yours, too! I am so glad that you felt that I am ‘amazing’ at memory making and catching it on my post. It is a challenge, but I really am not a photographer sharer, unless we got together at a restaurant or a coffee shop, bringing your photos, too. I enjoy the act of story telling, grateful for readers who enjoy and comment, too. Thanks so much!

      • πŸ™‚ Aw Robin, you ARE a dear as well. Like you I am amazed at the beautiful and wonderful things. I love these things in life with people. And I can see Mark and his Dear Wife Karen with a grandbaby! How exciting that would be!

        Some day we will meet for the picture sharing! πŸ™‚

  9. What a special day! And how wonderful that you have fostered a love of nature in your grandchildren. You are making beautiful memories. And the little photobooks will keep all of this real for them. they sound adorable.

    • Thank you for this lovely reply! I feel your photos are very special and I can tell you will be doing this with children and grandchildren, neighbors or friends. You always are so generous to share yours with all of us! Thank you for enjoying the post and all the compliments you gave me for the memories we are making together. I am so glad that the kids enjoy these activities, along with other things their parents enjoy. My son likes sledding with them, my daughter in law likes the pool. My oldest daughter takes her boys to the park and the pool, too. She enjoys painting and drawing with them. It is nice that children are like ‘sponges’ absorbing all that excites us. Smiles, Robin

    • Thank you, Jonathan! I cannot believe this story is going on your blog! It is nice that you have done this for me again. Sharing my little grandchildren’s adventures makes me happy! Hugs, Robin

  10. You…and your grandchildren are a joy to hear about! You keep up the family traditions in spite of all the hurt and hardship in your life…from generation to generation! God bless you for remaining faithful to your kids, and their kids, and…! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for the way you said this about my life. I believe I am blessed, Jonathan!
      I think that my focusing on the children helps me to put the past behind me. I only mention it, from time to time, since it was a lot of work. It really ‘paid’ to spend those years babysitting and being the ‘milk and cookies’ mom! But, financially, with my first husband and last, I withdrew years of my STRS account, trying to save houses. Should never have taken the retirement out, but that is ‘water under the bridge’ now. I will surely find things that will be easier than the warehouse, later in life, to make money! Smiles, Robin

    • I could not make that one up, Luanne! I may sometimes pray, but am not so much a ‘church goer’ anymore. So glad that Lara and Landen get taken by their ‘other’ grandma! I love the word, “glorious!” This was very nice of you to say!

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