copyright Grace Albaugh 2009
Central Park - Roseville, MN
I was at one of our local parks here in Roseville yesterday wandering around and taking pictures of things that are metal for my art blog. I love spending time in any park. It feels good to be surrounded by nature and the people watching is always great. Yesterday was warm, almost hot and the sky was blue with just a wisp of clouds.
Every once in awhile on a Sunday morning daddy would decide we needed to skip church, pack up the cooler and camping stove, and head up the highway to Battle Creek Park. It took about fifteen minutes to drive there and the closer we got the more excited we became. When we pulled into the gravel parking lot daddy would say "everybody carries something", and we scrambled to grab the first thing we laid our hands on. There was a picnic table we liked the best and always hoped it was available. Situated right in the middle of the park, it allowed for the best access to all of our favorite places. While daddy cooked breakfast my brother Bill, sister Anne, and I ran down to the crick. (I say crick to drive my mother wild because we all know it is creek and mother is fanatical about grammar.) The water is just deep enough to come to my five or so year old knees. It is cold and rushes by causing me to fight a little bit for my balance. We search for beautiful rocks and salamanders. The rocks are easy but the salamanders are few and hard to find. We play amongst the laughter and antics of the other children there. All too soon we hear mother and daddy calling us over for eggs and bacon, orange juice and fruit. Food always tastes better when you cook and eat it outside.
After we are filled to capacity we clean up our mess and head for the hill. The hill is very steep, high, and wooded but what waits at the top is worth the climb. As we get about three quarters of the way up we can see the top of the prize poking it's head out above the trees. Huffing and puffing we drag ourselves the rest of the way and yell "race you to the top"! The top? I thought we were at the top? Yes we were at the top of the hill, but on top of it was an old ski jump. It was hardly ever used in the winter anymore but you could still make the climb up the stairway/ladder and reach the top for the best view ever. At least that's what I was told. I don't think I ever made it to the top. I was/am so afraid of heights I was just terrified. No enjoyment there for me.
I wish now that I could have somehow overcome that fear. I'll never know how thrilling it feels to look out over St Paul from the top of the ski jump. It got too old and rickety and they tore it down. A lost opportunity. A shame really.