Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Let's Walk To The Park"

Ruby and John Take A Walk 

My friend, Ruby, and I are spending the day together. Ruby is just over two years old. It’s a bright late afternoon.
Who wants to go to the park?

“You want to walk to the park, Ruby?” Ruby's cheeks surge with color and her eyes burst with happiness, as she races toward the door.
The park we are going to!
Ruby holds my hand to help her down the three steps of her home, and then she begins to skip, but stops and yells, “Kitty!” We watch the white cat on the bare tree limb as it stares us down until we reach the sidewalk. We are park bound.

A cute little mutt appears at an old white picket garden gate, whining, tail wagging. Ruby shouts, “doggie," pointing her finger and smiling. We walk over to the gate as an older lady appears at the open door of the cottage.  "That’s Ginger, she’s friendly,” she says, waddling down the crooked steps. I put my hand out and Ruby follows. Ginger gives our fingers a good sniff. Ruby giggles, “It tickles.” Ruby receives a wet lick & shrieks with happiness, backing off.  “She won’t bite you, sweetie,” says the thin grey haired woman. Ruby stands still and stares at the woman.
Hi Ruby... Hi John...
  I declare, “We’re on our way to the park, thank you. Goodbye, Ginger.” “Bye-bye Ginger,” says Ruby as she waves to the doggie and the lady.

Ruby stops to look at red berries on a hedge. She reaches out and feels its small roundness… plop! Down falls the berry to the grass. Ruby looks up at me, her face filled with sadness and fear.  I say, "It's okay, it was just an accident." Ruby squats down, like only a toddler can, into a little ball of child and carefully picks up the tiny berry with her pincer grip placing it back on the bush. But, it falls off down into the grassy ground. She repeats this routine five times until she finds a leaf and stem that holds the poor little berry in its fold. Ruby and I walk towards the park in silence.

As we pass Haggen, our local food market, Ruby darts in & I follow. She heads for produce and picks up one piece at a time into the air… lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit, cantaloupe (two hands - whoa!), watermelon (moves it slightly)… cucumber, green pepper, potato, onion… then Ruby spots the life-sized black and white cow and races around the busy patrons to touch the nose and shout, “Mooooo, mooooo.” She smiles and darts over trying to lift a ½ gallon off the shelf with both hands, turns to me and says, “Cold.” “Let’s go to the park now, Ruby.” Ruby runs out of Haggen we’re on our way, again.
What a funny looking tree!

“Look at the funny skinny tree, Ruby …it’s something from a Dr. Seuss book.” Ruby gives the comedic skeletal swaying figure a long thoughtful look.

We can see the entrance to the park when Ruby stops. “Plane!” Her neck bends as only her head moves back as the plane flies overhead… she starts to tilt like the tower of Pisa in Italy! Then straightens up and we proceed into the park.

 We find sticks for walking... for dueling… for throwing into the stream and watching float out of sight.
The salmon are climbing!
We discover disc golf players as we watch a small Frisbee fly towards us and bump along the green knoll. Three more discs twirl through the fresh air and land. Ruby and I lean against a tree as a group of four teenaged boys walk up. We follow ‘til they clang the chains, one at a time!

“Squirrel!" “Birdy!" “Duck!" “Ant!"

Two joggers pass by, so Ruby and I start to run until we reach the playground… “Swing!” I rest on a wooden bench while Ruby explores the jungle gym, bridge, twisting slide, seahorse ride... swings… back to the slide – Ruby scrambles up the slide backwards!
Ruby climbs the slide!
Crazy Seahorse ride!
It’s getting dark… “Good night, park, see you soon,"I say & Ruby repeats, “Good night, park, see you soon."

“Good night, Dr. Seuss tree, see you soon."

Haggen again… milk ½ gallon… whoa! Life sized cow… pull the horns, touch the nose, eyes, and ears… “Mooo, mooo." Flowers and plants, outside… smell them all… “Good night, Haggen, see you soon,” “Good night, Haggen, see you soon."

A full moon appears. We stare at the perfection a long time talking about its beautiful shiny roundness while we walk home… I sing, “The cow jumped over the moon and the fork ran away with the spoon." Ruby smiles at me… “Sing it again, John." I sing it again and she laughs…

Ruby gets a shoulder ride… rubbing my head. Every now and then, bending, looking over at me upside down, laughing, "You look funny, John"... we’re getting silly. I jog a little amid shrieks of pleasure…
Ruby and Papa Green Bean frolicking!
        “Good night, berry bush, see you soon”...
 “Good night, Ginger, see you soon”...
       “Home again, home again jig-itty-jig”… 
“Good night moon, see you soon”…

Live - Love - Laugh
Papa Green Bean