Easter in The Park
Easter weekend is my least favorite park weekend. It gets so busy on Sunday that the rangers usually end up closing the gate to further traffic. People keep coming, though, by dropping off their stuff and families roadside, then parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, which makes me wonder where the neighbors’ Easter company parks. It’s so busy on Sunday that many families have their picnics on Saturday. Even though it says Yorba Regional County Park on the sign at the entrance, I tend to regard it as My Park. I get annoyed when it is crowded and noisy, and REALLY annoyed when people make a mess of it. The day after Easter, the park is littered with Easter debris, cellophane basket-grass, candy wrappers, and plastic eggs. I usually don’t go the day after Easter. But I hadn’t been to My Park all week, so I braved it yesterday.
The picnic tables at My Park are arranged in groups, so larger parties usually arrive early to pile supplies on a group of tables they want to reserve. As I pulled into the park this morning, many areas were already so marked but my favorite spot was wide open. Perhaps it is My Park after all. I sat down, did some journaling, emailed a few friends, the started on my Saturday post. Muri came by after finishing her walk and we were just chatting when several pickup trucks piled with equipment pulled up. Oh, oh, Muri said. I’m going to drive over to the other lot and relax. A large Hispanic Family tumbled out of the two trucks, the kids shouting back and forth in Spanish, and headed for My Group of Tables. Shit, my Inner Curmudgeon said. But when they noticed me sitting there, they began trudging toward a table-group farther down the road. Imagine my Inner Curmudgeon’s surprise when I said, I’m almost done here. Why don’t you put your stuff here?
Thank you SO much, Sir, they said in surprise … and chaos settled in around me. I have to admit, it was a little hard to concentrate with kids racing around on bikes and parents shouting to them in Spanish … and I had to restrain my Inner Curmudgeon when a soccer ball zipped by my legs or Nerf bullets were fired over my head. But I got smiles from everyone, as well as offers of water and soda. And when I finally headed home twenty minutes later, everyone told me to have a good day (Sir). And, Happy Easter (Sir). Perhaps being thanked so much for doing so little is a sign of how little we expect of each other. Perhaps my Inner Curmudgeo will let me do something nice for someone today, too. But he’s already told me, Don’t even think about the park. It’s Easter. A Curmudgeon can only stand so much.
Anyway, Happy Easter from Older Eyes and IC.