In the Company of Redwoods

It felt like walking back in time, strolling around the loop in the park flanked by redwoods, families laughing and holding dialogue over a barbecue burger lunch. The aroma tickling our noses. Opened bags of chips and containers of various salads on the table ready for serving. Grandma shuffles across the street, both hands gripping her walker. Grandpa right beside her, his hand resting on her lower back. Deep, long-lasting love in his eyes. Parents play badminton with their children – a portrait of entertainment at its finest. Our stroll takes us to the bridge where we pause for a few minutes. Leaning against the rail, we see young girls and boys splashing in the creek, laughter whirling around in the warm June air. The sound, musical and magical. Redwoods stand tall in their regal manner, providing shade from the scorching rays of the golden ball in the bright cerulean sky.

A week has passed since extreme high temperatures inundated our area – no air conditioning, felt like we were simply existing, wiping sweat from our faces, zapped of all energy, fans at arm’s reach. So, a day among the Redwoods sounded ideal for a cool breather. Our stroll continues past the inviting, glistening creek where we spot poison oak on the side of the road, but we don’t touch. No desire to itch. A Western tiger swallowtail with its black tiger stripes and pretty pale-yellow wings joins us, flying around my husband then me, as if wanting to listen in on our conversation.

Campgrounds on our right display tents in all sizes and colors of blue, red, orange, and lime green. Kids of varied ages play games at a picnic table, a far cry from fingers flying across a keyboard. The delightful scene transports me to my childhood at our cabin on the corner, playing Yahtzee, or the classic Go Fish and Crazy Eights with my parents and sisters. A breeze whirls around us – we want to capture it with our bare hands, bottle it for when the house is sauna hot. A few dogs trot beside their owners, our dog mirrors them, happy to be outside with an abundance of stimulation: smells, people, children, food! His nose in overdrive!

We wind down the road, then make a U-turn. Reaching our picnic table, our stomachs begin to rumble, so my husband pulls out the Reuben sandwich for us to split – haven’t indulged in a Reuben in a hundred years, with orzo and tabbouleh salads for sides. What a feast. What a beautiful day in the company of the majestic Redwoods. His Deschutes IPA and my sangria tap. Cheers to 34 years ago on this day when he asked me that timeless question and I said, “Yes.”

Lauren Scott (c)

Where the fun never sets!

Since the empty nester phase has arrived, my husband and I have been flipping through old photo albums. Remember those? Not a folder on a computer, but good old albums where memories come alive on each page. We ran across this article I wrote in the year 2000 that was published in our local newspaper. Talk about memories!

San Anselmo Memorial Park: Where the fun never sets!

It’s a beautiful summer day in the low 80s. My husband is at work and I’m the designated recreation director for our son and daughter. There aren’t any play dates scheduled today, so what would be a fun way to entertain them?

I’m a stay-at-home mom and have met many people since we moved to San Anselmo, mainly through school and extracurricular activities. One of the most popular pastimes for parents and their children is going to the park. I have never seen so many beautiful parks to choose from.

Memorial Park is the hot spot in this quaint little town. Although the equipment was old when we first visited, it was a great destination for our children to expel their energy. Then, about a year later, I heard talk of a possible renovation, making it more desirable for children to play.

Talk soon turned into a dream come true. With the help of community volunteers and hired architects, Memorial Park was remodeled in one week! I knew if I didn’t volunteer to help, I’d feel guilty for a long time. This park and our children had already established a close bond and would be seeing a lot more of each other.

So, I volunteered to get my hands dirty and to participate in the camaraderie. Hammering, painting, lifting, cleaning, whatever it took, the work got done. The newly improved Memorial Park is even more magical than before. I haven’t visited once when it wasn’t filled with happy, giggly children creating their own adventures, whether in the mystical castles, climbing on the long-neck dinosaur, or building sandcastles in the big sand box.

Now, instead of wondering how I will entertain our son and daughter, I choose the best time to leave for the park. Usually, our children meet up with friends they’ve already made, which adds more dimension to the fun. While they’re playing, I share in adult conversation with other parents, flip through a magazine, continue where I left off in a good book, or simply enjoy the relaxation on a splendid summer day. What better music to our ears than the giggles of our happy children!

I truly appreciate the many volunteers and their working hands who conceived the renovation, thought it doable, making it reality!

Lauren Scott (c) 2000

I don’t have photos of the park during that time because I probably didn’t carry my camera on me. My bag was most likely filled with lots of water and snacks. And those were the days before smart phones existed where a simple tap, tap, tap could create 1000 photos in 5 seconds.

So, the photos I’m sharing are from the current website, along with the picture of my children that was included with the article. Now they’re 29 and 26! How is this even possible?!

Are you about to embark on the same life chapter of becoming empty nesters…or, perhaps, do my memories evoke special memories of your own? If you’re inclined to share, I’d love to read.

And thank you for joining me on this day at the park!

~Lauren ❤️💙💜
All park photos: Memorial Park website

Beauty Beneath the Sky ~ Five Photos/Five Stories 3

1999 Golden Gate park picassa 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family is pretty outdoorsy; we enjoy hiking, biking, camping, swimming, etc. What better way to clear the mind than to be one with nature. The flora and fauna, the big blue sky, the mountains in the distance, the smells, the sounds of the ocean…these are all gifts to us. We have beauty in our backyard to be cared for and to be appreciated. Not to mention the necessity of scooting back the chair, turning off the computer, stepping outside to get some exercise, and inhaling some fresh air.

This photo was taken years ago at a favorite destination, Samuel P. Taylor State Park. It’s spread out among beautiful redwood groves and is truly magical. Our children were much younger then. Some of you know our daughter graduated from college this year and our son has three years to go. They’re now young adults, however, there is no age limit for this beautiful place. From young to elderly, many enjoy camping here, spending a day of play in the creek after picnicking, or simply enjoying some quiet walks while contemplating life.

In closing, I’ll repeat this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which becomes more profound each day as lives become busier in this progressive world of technology:
“Adopt the pace of Nature; Her secret is Patience.”

I would like to thank Jean at https://socialbridge.wordpress.com/ for tagging me in this fun photo challenge.

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.
(Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)

My third nomination for this challenge is Kim over at https://silentlyheardonce.wordpress.com/.

A Day at the Park

It was cloudy and misty
in the morning, but the sun joined us a littler later
and it was a fun, relaxing way to spend a Saturday.

misty morning

view from the roadCanary Island Pines

Coast Live Oaks

Weeping Willow

beautiful green hills

“Nature entertains
abundantly each day
Life’s colors and compositions
God’s gifts we praise”

(From my original poem, Beautiful Existence, 4/23/13)

I hope you enjoyed these photos
and I wish you all a wonderful weekend! ♥

© 2013 LScott