Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day memories

What a weekend. We made it out alive and in one piece. Still have this stomach thing bothering me, although yesterday it seemed like it was all gone. Probably just the adrenaline kicking in, but at least gave me a glimpse of feeling better in the future. In other words, for the first time, there appears a way out.

I don't remember too much of what I did Saturday, aside from clean the garage, right when the heat starting ramping up. Then played some golf. Played again Sunday morning and then cut the grass. In other words, I nearly offed myself from heat exhaustion, all the while, not being able to eat or drink much without upsetting me tummy... . Monday was the big day though.

Have you ever held a picnic at Glenwood Park? According to the city ordinance, the pavilions are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Monday was my daughter's birthday, and we were expecting about 50 people for a Memorial Day/Birthday Picnic. The last couple years, we've held it in the backyard, but for some reason, I've got it into my head, I want to hold the thing once at Glenwood Park. Being it was Memorial Day, I expected it to be busy, but then I started hearing stories about people showing up at 5 or 6 in the morning to secure pavilions. On Saturday, we even went and scouted the place out and found some kid who had slept there!

I started to get worried. I didn't really want all those people at my house. So, I decided, I would sleep at the park. I was too tired to go over immediately when we got back Sunday night from a friend's backyard cookout, so I pulled out my sleeping bag, foam pad, and camping pillow, and set the alarm for 3 a.m. Sure enough, it went off and I found myself driving to the park with a car full of goodies, including a Dora pinata, to place on the tables. I also borrowed some yellow caution tape and wrapped it around the pavilion.

I was the first one there. The place was empty when I got there. I got all set up, laid down on a table and fell asleep. It was really a beautiful night. It was like 65 with a cool breeze, and I could hear the stream lapping in the background. It reminded me of nights I've spent camping in the Adirondacks. Of course, before going to sleep I did have a passing thought of some Jeffrey Dahmer-like character cutting me to pieces, or some crackhead mugging me for my cellphone, but this is Erie... and I wasn't delivering pizzas. Anyway, I comforted myself by remembering many of the dumber and more dangerous things I've done in my life that clearly had less of a payoff. And I fell quickly asleep. I woke up with the sun around 5:30 a.m. and found I was still the only person there. So, I guess maybe I didn't need to sleep there after all, but it sure was a nice night's sleep... People started showing up around six, with the last picnic grove taken around 7:15 a.m.

Our party went great. Lots of cold beer, water, and pop on a hot day and some charcoal-grilled yaps and burgers. Mariah and the kids had a great time running around the playground, heading to the zoo, and doing all the other fun things a kid can do at a park. Yes, that Glenwood Park is quite a place to have a holiday picnic.


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