Monday, January 19, 2009

On a Cold Winter Day

Carole and I went for a drive today. I had to buy a gift at a hobby shop for a friend who did me a favor earlier this year. We drove to a part of town where we lived for a very long time, but hadn't visited in...well, about five or six years.

When we were younger and our son was a small child and not a twenty-one year old man, we spent a lot of our free time at Reedy Creek Park. It's a great park--it has hundreds of acres of forest cover, three lakes, creeks, trails for hiking and mountain biking, lawns for lying on, picnic shelters, tables, grills, a nature center, wildlife, historic ruins, and more. In the days before I began working for the US Postal Service, I would drive to the park every morning for a long walk or jog. Generally, I'd share the park with only a few people, which was nice considering it's a big place.

One of the lakes at Reedy Creek Park. Andy and Carole and I used to wander the trails around it. We'd fish there. We sit on benches beneath the trees on a summer afternoon or a fall evening. We'd picnic when it was arm. Grill burgers and hot dogs. Andy had two birthday parties here, when he was small and blond and running helter-skelter across the lawn. I couldn't keep up.

The drive to the park was a bit discordant. There's been a lot of construction and urban sprawl to the borders of it, but I expected that. The park itself hasn't changed much at all. There have been some improvements. But one thing that I quickly noticed was that they had removed the huge parachute webbing that my son used to love crawling on when he was very little.

And that's what it was.

I got hit suddenly with a feeling of deep sadness as I was standing there beside the playground. I remembered pushing my little boy on the swing sets. Running with him through the sand traps. Fishing with him on the lake. Walking with him on the trails. Yeah, he's still here. But I miss the little boy that he was. I always liked being the father of a small child. It's a wonderful feeling to hold your child and cradle him in your arms and protect him and hug him.

That's what I miss.

Those years are brief. They blaze by so fast that you're suddenly stunned that they're gone.

The place where we played, when Andy was a boy and Carole and I were young parents. Jove, I never thought that looking upon it would make me sad.


The DPS Kid said...

You can never go back. Truer words were never spoken.

More sad news Bob:

"Danger Will Robinson"

HemlockMan said...

Yeah, it was sad standing there thinking of the summer days when we'd go to picnic and grill out and play in the park with our little Andy.

I saw that about Bob May. Here's a funny story--I got to meet Jonathan Harris a couple of times. One weird thing about him was that he HATED Bob May. I mean, he really, really, really couldn't stand him.

The DPS Kid said...

I've had those moments myself over places I've revisited when I was there the first time with Ginger(22) when she was a child. There's an emptiness that's undeniable when you recapture those moments. It isn't a bad thing but, it is a sad thing.

Now, check out this incredible cinematic accident scene. I freakin' love it.