Category Archives: Blue Limestone Park

Tranquility

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Bill and I had our monthly get together today, just a day later

than usual “First Friday.” We both had other commitments, he

with his Heather and  me, with my new guy, Lenny. I suppose

some would wonder why two old friends would insist on the

routine of meeting, sharing and analyzing life, love and our

families.

Why would we still need to be this close, continue forging on

into our older age? We have known each other’s children for

years, got to know each other again, through my youngest

daughter (first story about Bill was “The Man Who Knew My

Daughter First”). This shared history is important and two old

girlfriends would need no explanation of “why” we need to get

together. But there are no words to explain how we feel when

we are together. We attempt from time to time to explain to

whomever we are talking to, Bill calls me “my rock.” I call him

“my peace of mind.”

I can go farther on the subject. Bill “gets me” and I can be myself,

flaws, problems and “pimples.” I guess that can happen to friends

but there are times that I have heard that two people who dated

and spent as many miles on the road in four years “have to” be

more than friends. “Have to” be sexually attracted and drawn

together.

We may have had that fling or feeling, but we chose friendship to

be the mainstay of our relationship; the foundation we built this

on cannot be knocked down by jealousy.

So, to accomodate others, we are not eating dinner during evening

hours. We are not going to go out, with me wearing a dress or he

with his nicer clothes to Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday or Applebee’s.

We stopped and got a coffee, discussing where we would be going

to have a good talk and possible walk.

We chose to go to Monnett Gardens and the Blue Limestone Park

bench. We have found that to be a special calming place for us to

gaze at the water, the fishermen, the children playing across at the

playground and to reminisce, unwind and sort out our thoughts.

I would like to refer to a poem that is written by a person named

Wind Walker, who is from the “Glamorum Clan.”

“A Spiritual Journey

Across the mountains

A little house sits in the trees

I’m lost in tranquility

As my soul tries to breathe…”

(several more stanzas and here is the close)

“Alone in the sunset

I watch it go down,

When I finally realize

what peace I have found.”

No one can be more zen-like than Bill. His philosophical discussions

have been the best I have ever had, outdoors in freezing cold

weather, with a fire blazing, the deer leaning behind the woodpile

maybe listening in, snorting with steam coming out of their noses.

We have seen many a sunrise, the quiet skies lightening, the chirps

of birds beginning and then the chorus and cacophony of their

voices raised in unison to greet the day. We have wondered at their

enthusiasm and wondered if there were a God?

All of this means to me, that I cannot nor could Bill, give up our deep

and close bond. It is more than love, it is brother and sisterhood. It

is not a base emotion, it is spiritual.

We were not meant to be as lovers nor as boyfriend or girlfriend. We

are meant to be sharers of the meaning of Life.

This is something that two researchers discovered and wrote a paper

about, calling this “Attention Restorative Theory” or A R T. (Not to be

misconstrued or mistaken for art, which is also very therapeutic!)

In this theory:

“Being in a tranquil or ‘restorative’ environment allows individuals to

take respite from the periods of sustained direct attention that

characterize modern living.” (Kaplan and Kaplan)

“The Experience of Nature,” New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tranquility benefits our soul.

Creek Walking

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Ever since my first grandson was born, we have celebrated late spring

with park walks until his third summer. Then we had creek walks the

past five years!

We were a little less enthusiastic about bringing his little brother along!

Last summer, I went to his father’s house and picked up only Skyler,

avoiding even seeing those longing eyes or begging lips of his younger

brother.

That was our last late spring/early summer creek walk alone. We had crossed

the “creek” (a narrow strip of the Olentangy River that runs through Delaware)

by Mingo Park, looking for our usual creatures and things. Sky and I balanced

ourselves on a log placed across part of the creek. We found some clam shells

and little snail shells along with seeing some mallard ducks and a heron. We

looked for the bugs under the rocks, little worms and crawdads, too.

This year we determined Micah, otherwise known as “Wild Thing,” could

join us on our creek walk. Both boys were fed, put in old, ‘beat up’ clothes,

while wearing their swim shoes. We went to Blue Limestone Park, got out

with two towels thrown over my shoulder. Snacks, flip flops and wipes left

in the car for after the walk. We looked for crawdads (do you call them

“crayfish?”), frogs, minnows, and other unusual things. We found what we

believe were raccoon footprints in the bank’s mud. We also found three red

cardinal feathers, which I told my grandsons meant we were going to have

a lucky day!

We found two walking sticks and proceeded along the side where there is a

wider cement walkway under the railroad trestle. It is such a big arch that

usually I am very pleased with photos taken of children under it, while there

is a bright, fresh green sight at the end of the “tunnel.”

Micah loved walking in the water! He is fearless, it doesn;t matter how deep

it is he wants to wade in almost to his chin! I had mentioned I had one more

week where I could not get my ear wet so no splashing me above the waist.

Micah found the best fun was “stirring the pot” his expression, which meant

he was taking the nice, clear water and stirring his big stick until the water

was muddy. Skyler found about 6 living crawdads and about a dozen that

were the dead shells floating in a bunch. We tried to figure out why this

happened. Were they all eaten by an animal? Were the carcasses left over

from last Fall or Winter’s chilly weather?

Skyler made us all proud by getting a 99% in the National Testing for Second

Graders. (Not really the name of the test, but my oldest daughter could not

remember the name of it!) He asks a lot of questions and I just showed him

the plaque with the flag that traveled around the world on the Columbia. He

is convinced he can be like his Great Grandpa Oldrieve. I am hoping he will

stay interested in science and maybe, choose to be a researcher, doctor or

as he wishes, Astronaut!

The best part for all three of us, was running into two other groups, fellow

creek walking travelers. A threesome that included a 41 year old father with

his son and daughter. His daughter talked to Skyler and they stopped to tell

what they had seen. His children were on a bike hike the father said, when

the daughter’s bike got a flat, so they switched plans.

They “shucked” their shoes on the bank of the creek. Their father took several

pictures of his children. I chatted with him, saying I had been coming here

since my children were young, we used to bring buckets to catch tadpoles or

frogs. The father said that when he was young, his mother would give him

a net or he would put holes in his bucket to catch crayfish. Both of his kids

were surprised I was the boys’ grandmother. The Dad told us his age and I

said I was over 16 years older. Could be his very young mother. We laughed.

He said his high school friends used to get beer and go party by Blue

Limestone lake.

The second group had some fishing poles, a teenager, two parents and a

toddler. They were allowing the teenager in the water but struggling with

keeping the toddler out of the water. They were holding him letting him

reach the branches of the trees and giving him rocks to throw into the creek.

We had a conversation about how I was able to bring Skyler to the creeks

around the county because he was cautious and would not try to jump or

move forward away from me. He listened so well that I brought him short

of his third birthday, (he would have turned 3 that November) while Micah

had to wait until he was over four years old. Personalities can make a big

difference in how children show readiness for experiences.

When we had sufficiently looked at fields of tall grass, the two quarries, and

walked a long length of the creek, we chose to get out of the water and go to

the car. We took off our wet shoes and wiped our hands on wipes, put on our

flip flops and more sunscreen. We went to the playground over a hill and across

the parking lot. We sat at a picnic table and ate hull-less butter popcorn puffs.

We drank water and went to play until the boys’ clothes were dry and Mommy

had called to say she was home, showered and had started dinner.

I was blessed with an older daughter who always sends with me home a warm

plate of food. She put 2 nicely baked oatmeal, coconut and pecan cookies with

the package!

I felt like I had had a day with the Wild Things! At the end of the children’s

book, remember when Max comes back from “Where the Wild Things Are?”

The last line says something like, “And his supper was still warm.”

That was fortunately me! After I put the plate in the microwave, I cleaned up

and put my pajamas on.

I sat down to a warm, home-cooked and yummy Sunday dinner.