Blogger Backgrounds

Monday, June 11, 2012

Living in a Park

When my parents first split up, my dad moved around a lot.

He lived in a little apartment just blocks from our house for a while. It was a drab and depressing place, but I loved that he lived on the 2nd floor because I could throw my little parachute men off the railing and watch them float down to the ground. I'd run down the stairs, scoop them up, run back up the stairs and throw them again - over and over.

For a while, he lived in the next town over. The water tasted terrible, the house was just plain weird, and his roommate was constantly throwing parties with odd people around. But my sister, the pyromaniac, enjoyed the wood burning stove in the living room. I loved waking up to the sound of the neighbor's rooster and the chickens that would wander through the broken fence into the back yard.

At one point, he moved from one house he'd been living in to a house right across the street! I found it really funny when he and his roommate moved because we just trekked across the street with furniture and boxes. No moving truck or even pickup needed! I don't remember much of the first house, but the second house had a huge yard with flowers growing everywhere. I spent many a day sitting in the tree in the back yard with a good book.

But it was the tiny house in the park that was the most memorable for me. It wasn't much of a house. My dad's bedroom was literally only wide enough to fit his bed. I don't remember much from the inside of the house, but we had the whole world right outside the door!

The house was the only on-site-built house among a group of mostly trailers that were located at the top of a nature park in our town. I couldn't tell you why there were houses in that particular spot, but I have wonderful memories of going on adventures with my dad out there.

We would start down one of the many small trails through the trees.
Picture at top and this one from here.

Along the way, we would come to little streams that we would need to cross.
In some places, someone before us would have placed rickety old boards over the streams to make the crossing easier.

If we were lucky, we would see a deer peeking at us through the trees.

Sometimes Dad would tell us he had a surprise for us, and would take us someplace we hadn't been before.

One of those times, he took us to find the beaver dam he'd discovered.

No matter where our paths led us, we always ended up at the river.
There, he taught us how to skip stones. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get them to skip as many times as he could. (Still can't.)

After exploring and playing for hours, the sun would be lower in the sky - signalling that it was time to head back up the trail.

Through dimming light, he would point out the wild watercress growing on the side of the hill.

Once back at the house, we would throw on jackets to block out the now cooler air.

Then we would go back outside to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the fire pit behind the house.

The houses aren't there anymore. They were eventually moved away or leveled to make room for a new parking and picnic area. But those memories of hiking through those hills and trees with my dad will always be precious to me.