Woods and animals…bugs and birds. A big ‘ol lake in my backyard. This is how I grew up – all in the middle of a state park. That’s right – IN a state park. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Today’s post is for most of you – something you didn’t know about me. And it’s a little throwback Thursday. Is that still cool? Probably not.
I feel so fortunate that I had the experience of growing up where I did. With my dad being the park manager, my brother and I had it good. No neighbors. All was quiet except for the crickets and passing storms. We had a seemingly limitless playground that was safe and full of so many opportunities to learn and grow. We would pitch a tent in the yard one night and then wake up and drag a kayak to the lake or grab a fishing pole to sit on the dock. Riding our bikes through the trails and roads was a normal occurrence, as was hiking and even visiting the local naturalist at the nature center to volunteer. We didn’t lock our doors and had rangers that worked for my dad and kept an eye out for us kids. In the winter, we would have dad check the lake to make sure it was safe, then drag our snowsuits, sleds and skates to the ice and just. play. I remember throwing on a full snow suit one night and taking the portable phone down to the lake (I think I knew it wouldn’t work from that far, but took it anyway) and just laid in the middle and watched the stars. Nothing beats that. That is a priceless memory.
I think when I was young (and silly), I had my moments of not really enjoying where I grew up. I know, sooo stupid right? Our house wasn’t like other kids’ houses – they had their cookie cutter house (not a 200+ year old one like us) and had neighbors and cable TV and didn’t live an hour bus ride from school. Boy was I silly to ever think that. But those moments were fleeting. Thank goodness.
So thank you parents for the great experience of growing up where I did. I felt loved and fortunate and I really only have happy memories.
L: The dock is down there although you can’t see it. Good memories. // R: Mark and I in a canoe my dad built by hand. My dad can build anything, I swear. Also – my mom liked to dress my brother and I in similar outfits. I think it’s so cute.