Wednesday, July 25, 2018

parks and recreation

Ed and I are getting to know our town's administrators very well. The development all around us is huge and we have many questions. We have met with the city engineer. We have spoken to our representative. And today, we had a visit from the head of the Parks Department.

Fitchburg (the name of the town where we live) is a sprawling place. I was not surprised to hear that within its borders there are 45 parks. Nine more are being added -- some of those will abut farmette land.

It's the same old predictable story. The city Parks Department is understaffed, overworked and trying to do its best managing a diverse bunch of outdoor spaces. It's clear that any new park will have to not drain resources. (My dream of a beautifully planted space, with wide avenues, benches and chairs, fountains with boats for children and ice cream stands and weekend puppet shows is possibly a little farfetched. More in line with reality is a basketball pavement, a water fountain, and a shelter for barbecues.) Still, one can be imaginative and not spend millions, right?

We want to stay involved because the dedicated parkland is huge, at the same time that it can be buggy, sloping toward protected wetlands where fowl, cranes, frogs and bugs have a happy evening party every day of the summer season. The future use has to be clever, relying on the hard work of people who care enough to work without compensation.

Of course, before our early morning meeting with Mr. Parks Department, I have to tend to my garden. (461 lilies snipped.) I know that the future parks here will not resemble Lazienki in Warsaw or the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, but still, I want to put my best garden face forward.

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Mr. Parks Department is impressed. I beam.

We have a splendid first chat. We listen to his presentation, ask very many questions and generate not a small number of ideas. In the next year, a vision will begin to take shape.

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Somewhere in the morning hours, there was a breakfast. Take my word for it.

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(View from our breakfast table...)

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And in the late morning hours, there is a visit with baby Sparrow. Here he is, a month and a half old, still calm, still tall as they come.

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(Oh, gaga! You're so gradnmotherly!)

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And in the afternoon, I pick up Snowdrop.

(She is at the art table, making a book.)

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We have a planned recreation for today: my daughter's good friend is flying in for a longer visit. We are all to meet up at the community pool for an afternoon swim. (Well, Sparrow is a little young for this; he stays home with his dad.)

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We finish the afternoon with a snack at the coffee shop (and more book sketches).

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Evening. Ed bikes, I cook. Eventually we'll both fall asleep on the couch. I know I'll dream of parks. Ed? Of gutsy recreation.