Add a little here, neglect a little there

PicMonkey Collage

left photo courtesy

When I was a kid I went to summer day camp at a local park in town, the same town Bill lives in now. The park had a large lake with long wooden dock; we’d take a running start and cannonball into the water. The ground was soft and mossy, not a surface I liked touching with bare feet. I imagined stepping on whatever I thought lived at the bottom of a lake when I was nine or ten. Turtles? Frogs? Sharks? A lifeguard sat perched in his chair, eyeing the water, ensuring our safety.

I remember wanting to bow out of a 4th of July parade the staff had arranged for the kids. A notice had gone home with us to dress in patriotic red, white and blue. I must have neglected to pass the notice along to mom and forgot to dress the part on parade day. The counselor assured me I fit in fine; I was probably wearing blue shorts and a whiteย tee, good enough. We marched around the lake, wove in and around the building we made arts and crafts in, the pavilion we ate lunch on.


Just part of a large playground

Bill and I went snowshoeing on the trails in that park on Sunday. Turning into the entrance an expansive play area butts up to the parking lot, an addition since I attended camp there. The swings, slides, tunnels are accessible to anyone regardless of disability or limitation and crowded with children in peak season; it was deserted on Sunday. Tennis courts sit next to the playground, also deserted; I don’t remember if they were there in the 70s or added later. Further in, dogs were running and playing with each other, mindless of the snow, their owners standing watch. A woman glided by us on cross-country skis, gave a wave, said the conditions were good.

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Chair used to be at the edge of the lake

We rounded the area where the lake is, made smaller by overgrowth, covered in snow. The lifeguard chair is still there, broken and rotted, hidden among a copse of trees, the dock gone. Two buildings still stand around the lake, graffiti covered and unused. We hike the trails year round, every time we do I look for the chair, reminisce about those summers, feel a slight pang of nostalgia. The added features make the park a destination spot for kids, adults, dogs. If only the rest hadn’t been neglected.

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Looking through the trees to the lake, covered over in snow

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Neglected arts & crafts building


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Snow is even with the bench seat



14 replies

  1. That’s amazing that the lifeguard chair is still there, Geralyn. Your post brought back memories of me tiptoeing in a lake as a kid. I was petrified of stepping on a turtle or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw that chair all these years later, not even close to the water anymore. The way my feet used to sink into the bottom of the lake petrified me too. With all the kids splashing around the turtles probably high tailed it out of there! Have a great day, Jill.

  2. OMG Ger what a rewarding nostalgic experience. I don’t remember any of that. I love the picture of you standing on the lifeguard chair. You look so pretty; like a little kid. Thanks for the walk through memory lane. xo Mom

    • I was going to ask you if you remembered our summer camp. I’m pretty sure the three of us went, not sure if it was just one summer or more. Weird to see what it looks like now although trails are great for hiking.

  3. No, I was surprised you were in summer camp because you guys never wanted to go. You certainly can see the transformation and abandonment of the summer camp in the chair and the building. That is good that it has transformed into another recreational purpose. That is great you and Bill are getting to snowshoe. I never did that. Tried skiing, which I could not do. Snow shoeing looks easier but they say it presents its own set of challenges. xo

  4. It’s nice that you can still visit a place that holds so many memories, Geralyn. Also sad that so much of it has been neglected. You really have a lot of snow there. How is walking in snowshoes? When we were out walking a week ago, I was having a terrible time in the deep snow. I was wishing for a pair of snowshoes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your post reminds me of one I was planning to do on the old farm where I spent a large part of my childhood.

    • Hi Elizabeth, snow is finally melting with rain and warmer temps but the ground still remains unseen. Snow shoes are really great! We love cutting our own path even if there’s a path already cut. Good workout. We also have micro spikes we can hike (or run) in when the snow’s been flattened down but still slippery and/or icy. I’ve enjoyed snowshoeing but will not be upset when I can put them away for the season!

  5. Going back in time is interesting, isn’t it? I remember taking my daughter to visit an elementary school I used to attend. It was in a state of disarray as they were remodeling over the summer, but I still remembered it as it was. Daughter must have thought, “What a mess!” lol
    Thank you for visiting my blog this morning. Yes, I would let the happiness engineers/fairies help. After over 4 years of blogging, it’s nice to get instant support and answers. I spoke with Andrew yesterday and just finished speaking with Daniel about how to delete old header images….now I know and that feels good.

    • Going back is certainly interesting. The first time I went back to the neighborhood I grew up in I thought everything was so small! The pond we used to walk to to ice skate felt like it was miles away when it was probably only 1/4 mile away.

      I will be asking for help. there are some very basic things I can’t figure out, even when going on the help pages. I’m sure chatting with a live person will help. Thanks for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

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