Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ritter Park



Pussywillows, cattails, soft winds and roses
Rainbows in the woodland, water to my knees
Shivering, quivering, the warm breath of spring
Pussywillows cattails, soft winds and roses*


It's like no one knows it exists. A one time dairy farm, now parkland on the extreme outskirts of a last ring suburb. Close to home but far enough to make it a pleasurable ride, Linda and I visit 4 or 5 times a year for a cheap date.

A quick trip to a KFC solves the lunch issue; Linda loves the little box, it's so...picnic-like...and that spells r-o-m-a-n-t-i-c. First consideration in choosing prospective mates? Easy to please:)

The bench we use is on the highest point of a mature burr and pin oak covered hill. A new fire pit built close by creates visions of late night teenage party-on dudes and dudettes; but in the shady, bug free light of day, we are absolutely alone.

The city this park belongs to sports a nice round lake whose navigable body is a few miles from here.
Lakeville, originally a getaway community, is becoming overstocked with city dwellers running to furthest edge of civilization, swelling the area like a water pump filling a balloon.

The lake itself wanders under the major state freeway at its most western edge, the waters turning more slurried and shallow, filled with lily pads and cattails. Nearly a slough but with plenty of open water down its center, (water sometimes streaked by the bubbly wake of a passing canoe), the continuation of the lake wanders past our picnic spot and forms a "c" around us.

The view is exquisite, the company, superb. Once in a great while we run into others enjoying the expanse near our perch...a pair of female high school seniors having creative class pictures taken, their adoring entourage as entertaining as any "b" movie cast; an adulterous couple who keep eyeing us in hopes we'll wander off, but spread a blanket and lie down to play some serious kissy face in spite of the fact that we continue chatting and munching excess fatty carbs.

It is romantic actually. We just chit chat an hour away, gasping and pointing at groups of deer that gingerly take to the water looking for an algae free sip. We talk about her job, her family's woes, my opinions, who I might have pissed off today; a topic of never-ending amusement to the woman that thinks I'm just too cute to make people angry...just stuff, nothing too serious, as much that's funny as we can dredge up between us. When we were dating I took her to parks like this, there was no reason to stop doing what works for both of us.

On the way home I saw a silly cloud formation and of course had to identify it as I am a certified Dream Interpretist Extraordinaire.

It looked a bit like a punk with a mohawk; but as I watched it, the cheeks grew more solid, as if a second layer of marshmallow was wrapping itself across the creamy center. I had it, it was a Roman Centurion cameo...but for some unexplained reason, what left my lips as I turned to my love and screamed, was "Spartan". Centurion... Spartan...what's the difference really? HAHAHA.

Stand up and Cheer for good old O-ro-no...Spar-tans, we want to see you GO GO GO GO!

She was bouncing in her seat, gripping the shoulders of my sleeveless-T and whizzing them right and left as if they were imaginary pompons. Then I'm a shoulder drum for another half verse, my ears being yanked to and fro for the chorus...it was downright embarrassing. RAH RAH RAH RAH

When we arrived home 15 minutes later she was still whooping it up. I pulled up to the garage door as is the custom, to allow her a generous space in which to disembark and enter the house. But today I, and my neighbors if they happened to be standing at their kitchen windows as we drove up, were treated to another full round of "Stand Up" with leaps and arm signals, chants and cheers and a rousing hollow hooray from the imaginary crowd in the stands. No doubt she'd have done the splits had age not removed it from her repertoire.

I feigned pompous disgust and backhand waved her toward the door handle and her obligations, as that's our game, but it was everything I could do to not belly laugh.

She's pretty damn cute some days....yea, yea, I mean even cuter than normal; but don't tell her I said so. She'd just want a hug and that kinda ruins my image.

Catbirds and cornfields, daydreams together
Riding on the roadside, the dust gets in your eyes
reveling, disheveling, the summer nights can bring
Pussywillows, cattails, soft winds and roses.

* Gordon Lightfoot

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