Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Small Town Tuesday: Our city park

This is my weekly installment of Small Town Tuesday. If you have a small-town story (with pictures is even better! ) please send me a message at vash_ii@yahoo.com or on Facebook. 

When I lived in Columbia, S.C. - about 500,000 in the metro area - we used to do what I call "park hopping."

If we were super bored, we'd go to 3 parks in a day. Or we'd visit 5 or 6 in a week's time. We even named them all.

There was Baby Swing Park because it had a bunch of baby swings. Sprinkler Park because of the ... you guessed it... sprinkler. We were not creative park namers.

We also liked Dirt Clod Park, Horsey Park, Downtown Park and a few others. And even in Florida, we did park tours. We no longer named them but we had ones on the waterfront, ones outside YMCA's, ones in neighborhoods, one we could walk to in five minutes.

Parks, parks, parks. We love them.

Here in our cozy little Kansas town - population less than 1,000 - there is one park. Oh sure, we sometimes go to parks 10, 20 or 30 miles away, but our main staple park is here.

In a little town, the city park serves many functions. Of course it's where all the kids end up to play especially on summer days, but it's also where the city holds festivals, and residents have family reunions and birthday parties.

It's where I send Brady after church when we "talk forever about boring stuff to everybody."

It is right in the center of town and takes up a whole block. It's full of big tall trees. There is a merry-go-round, a big plastic playground with slides, 2 metal dome-shaped climbing things, 2 sets of swings and a big complex of monkey bars and metal ladders.

There is almost always somebody there and we have had so many good times in that park. It's awesome for exercise. You'll even spot me sometimes climbing around to get in a quick workout.

Here are a few photos of our little city park.

The picnic area is HUGE. You'll often find parents gathered there while kids play.
I love that there are just tons of trees.
Such quaint little benches. The park is of course surrounded only by houses and small streets.
I love these old-timey lamp posts.

58 comments:

  1. I sure do miss my hometown when I read your posts. Your pictures remind me of our only park we had for the city.

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    1. There's something really unique about a small town, so different than other places :) The one of anything you have - park, grocery store, restaurant - becomes really important in the fabric of the town.

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  2. We have a hometown park that is really nice too! I love those lamps too.

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  3. I live is a very small town too but have lived in places like NYC.. Believe me small towns are the BEST!!. Great little city park you have there.

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    1. Wow, NYC! Now that's the ultimate big city. Yes, I believe you that small town are the best :)

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  4. Some great pictures. We also have a small park nearby, we are often going with hubby there walking in the evening.

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  5. In the town I grew up in, they have a park just as you describe. It takes up a whole city block. There's the shelter house with the fireplace where they serve hot chocolate to the kids on Halloween and that families hold celebrations. There are the tennis courts/basketball courts that they used to flood for ice skating (but that stopped when I was a small kid). There's the cannon that's been there since my dad was a kid, and a favorite of my boys. Things change over the years in the park, but it's still an awesome place for families and kids to play and have a great time.

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    1. So cool they do that on Halloween! One of our churches has a trunk or treat like that but nothing in the park. Yup, we have tennis courts/bball courts too but no ice skating. Wow!

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  6. I love your pictures. That's a great park for a small town! Who needs anything else?

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    1. Thanks, Tammy :) I agree, it's just about all we need. We can spend a whole afternoon just wandering around different places in town.

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  7. We were huge on going to the park when I was little, and I take my kids quite a bit too when weather permits. :)

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  8. Hi Steph. I love parks also. And, I really do like small town parks. In small towns, parks are used for so many gatherings and other functions.

    Thanks for sharing about your park.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Regina :) There's something unique about a small town park. In our large town park hopping, we rarely saw someone we knew. Of course here we ALWAYS do.

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  9. This was such a fun post. I love how you would always go park-hopping! Beautiful pictures too.

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    1. Thanks, Jane! It was always the most fun thing to do. Every park has some little different thing than the one before :)

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  10. We have a few parks close to our house but not enough to go park hopping :(. Looks like fun!

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    1. Maybe pick a park each day or each weekend :) It's fun to mix it up.

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  11. I love Small Town Tuesday! :) We always enjoyed going to parks too. There is just something relaxing and invigorating about a park. We had an Old Fashioned Good Old Summertime Birthday party for Rory in our Central Park one year... great fun! :)

    Shared on G+, and Twitter

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Thanks, Lorelai :) It's my favorite post to write too! Wowee, I'll bet that was fun in a big park!

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  12. I've really enjoyed your small town posts. :) In the town I used to live in, we didn't have a park but the church in the middle of town had a playground. It served much of the same functions!

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    1. Thanks Michelle :) It's a unique life for sure. Churches do serve a huge function in small towns too. We have three and they are always working together and holding functions.

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  13. Oh how nice. I would love to live in a smaller town that had really nice parks. I live in the city and most of our parks are used for drug deals. Not really a place to take the family anymore.

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    1. Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that about your parks, but I do know what you mean. In Florida and S.C., we had parks we could go to and parks we couldn't, parks we felt safe and parks we didn't. It's so sad that happens in some areas. I hope you can find some nice indoor play place maybe.

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  14. What a pretty park! I'm such a park person - give me a park any day over the mall and all that stuff!

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    1. Yes! Me too! I love getting outdoors and being active :)

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  15. Oh I love small towns so much. I live in one!

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  16. I grew up in multiple small towns, probably why I decided to move to LA... Because I wanted MORE. That being said, I really REALLY do love visiting home (the small towns) because it gives me an ESCAPE from the crazy of LA! ha ha.

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    1. LOL, yes LA would sure offer a lot more. And big cities have cool stuff too, but it's too easy to get lost in it (or in traffic too, ha!). Very nice you have a small town to escape too sometimes.

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  17. Oh my gosh, I've always wanted to live in a small town like that. It sounds soooo awesome. That's so cool that your park is the meeting spot for so many activities and things going on in your town. I'm completely jealous.

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    1. How big a town are you in? This one is just right for us. We feel so safe and can just wander around and have fun :)

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  18. I love how important it is to you and to your town. This is wonderful!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Liz :) It really is a great place to live.

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  19. I adore your small town series! Reminds me of our little town we lived in for years when raising our kids. It had one park too, right in the center of town with the hockey arena, civic swimming pool and baseball diamond.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa :) It seems like lots of people have roots in a small town. Wow, a swimming pool! We have to drive 10 miles to the town with 3500 people for that.

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  20. I love small town parks. They are the livelihood. They are the everything to a small town. I think they are a great place to raise kids!

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    1. You're right, Jill, they really are the livelihood of a small town. I am so glad to be raising my boy here and so far he seems to love it. We'll see in 10 years when he's 17.

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  21. Love this! Next time I get out on the town, I will have to share our small town pictures with you!

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    1. I'd love that Carli! I really enjoy hearing about other people's small town experiences.

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  22. You lived in SC....me too at one point. But only in Greenville, only for about 2 years!

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    1. Hi Zan! I've been to Greenville, only briefly though :) I lived in Columbia for 6 years. It's a neat state with lots to offer, low country to high country :)

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  23. I really miss the city sometimes - believe it or not! I miss wandering on my own, warm coffee in hand, staring up at large sculptures and architectures with the buzz of busy people in the background.

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    1. Well, it's true, there are good things about a big town. My kiddo visited his Dad this summer and they spent 2 days in D.C. He LOVED it! I enjoy our visits to them but don't miss living there.

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  24. super sweet park, I love having those little oasis's around the city :D

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    1. Thanks for stop by, Eschelle :) It really is a little haven that we seem to end up at a lot.

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  25. Great photos. We have a park that I like to go to when it's nice out. It's nice to get out when you can.

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    1. Thanks Teresa! Oh my gosh we get stir crazy in this house and just HAVE to get out. The park is a nice place to be a little bit social :)

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  26. I love our little town's main park. there are several smallers ones spread around the town also - we are big on green spaces around here.

    But the main big one is down on the river, so there is sandy beach for swimming and a boat launch as well. Many festivals and of course the big Canada Day July 1st party happen here. There are climbing structures for the kids, a big gazebo picnic are that also has musicians during the summer weekends. A water fountain full of pennies (since Canada doesn't use pennies anymore) and tons of trees and picnic benches. There are public washrooms and a small tuck shop that is open during the summer. but the one big reason kids beg beg beg till your ears bleed to go here: the water/splash pad. And I have to admit, on a hot, humid day - I am All In kiddos!

    some pics here: http://amothersluv.blogspot.ca/2011/06/tuesday-coffee-chat-fun-and-done.html

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    1. So cool you have a lot of green spaces. South Carolina and of course Florida were like that. Oh man, a swimming beach! We have to drive 20 mins to the lake for that. I think climbing structures are great exercise for kids (and adults too!). One of our parks in Florida had a folk music jam every single Thursday of the year and we often went. I do miss stuff like that sometimes. And I ADORE splash parks. We have to go 10 miles to a pool or 30 mins for a free splash park.

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  27. Parks are wonderful things for families. Our town in South Africa doesn't have one, but Cape Town (almost 2 hours away) has a lovely one for kids and for adults along the waterfront. We were in Florida this past summer visiting my mom. I've also got family in Kansas. Nice name for your blog. I'm also trying to live big in our small town where I'm often the outsider, so I began blogging. :)
    I have a weekend blog hop on the go if you want to link at http://abooksandmore.blogspot.com/2013/10/make-my-saturday-sweet-blog-hop-54.html

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    1. I absolutely love waterfront parks. We had two in the town in Florida we lived in and it is so beautiful, soothing and calming. We spent many hours there. Wow, what a small world with your connection to FL and KS :) Thanks for the hop link. I will check it out. How small is your town? It's hard to be the outsider that's for sure!

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  28. I remember growing up in upstate New York all the awesome parks we used to visit, especially the ones with the wooden castles!!! What a wonderful time for kids to practice social skills and making new friends, but also to get them ACTIVE and around God's creation!!!

    I sure do miss going to the park....

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    1. Upstate NY is beautiful. I've only been there once when my aunt lived there. Wooden castles! Now that sounds fun!

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