... ahhh, memories
I moved back to Melrose a few years ago after being away since 1951.
One of the first things I did was to take a ride through Pine Banks Park. I knew the zoo was a thing of the past, but I was surprised that I couldn't find the pond, and decided after all these years it had just dried up. I hope there isn't a metaphor here, however I will waste no more time dwelling on that.
I parked my car and found a picnic bench, sat down and let the sun and my memories warm me.
When I was a little girl my mother would take my four brothers and myself on the bus from Melrose Highlands to Pine Banks for a picnic. All morning we could play, explore the woods, go wading in the pond and play ball. We were very inventive with the one ball we had. There is so much you can do with a ball. We played catch, kick ball, dodge ball, and stick ball. Whatever we did, we all had to stay together. At noon, my mother would blow her whistle and we would run to her to have lunch.
She had a blanket spread out on the grass and we had peanut butter and ham sandwiches, a glass jar full of Kool-Aid, and soft molasses cookies she had baked for dessert.
Now it was rest time. We all laid down on the blanket and my mother would read us a story. Then while we were quiet, my mother would read her book. Our final treat was one more wade in the pond, and then it was time to pick up and take the bus home.
All this took place over sixty years ago and still warms my heart. So then, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, take a day out of your busy life, pack a lunch, take a ball and a book, and go to a simple park with your youngsters. Chances are they will remember it long after the expensive toy is broken or the money you spent is long forgotten. It truly is worth a try.
May 3, 2002