Thursday, April 26, 2012

Duck Ponds

This week was a rather relaxing one in the Strother household. Due to TAKS/STAAR (or is it two R's?) testing, my work with Needville choirs was at a minimum and Brandon's baseball duties officially ended at 5:30 instead of 7:00-more-like-7:30-ish.

It threw me off-guard, not having much to do. Brandon even asked me yesterday, "Have you guys been out of the house since Monday?", which would have normally been a completely absurd question, with a more appropriate one being "Have you guys been out of the house since 6:00 PM this evening?"

I cooked two meals this week, three if you count the frozen pizza that I did unwrap and put in the oven (see previous posts as to why this counts as "cooking"). Brandon and I watched a movie without one of us (me) falling asleep. I was able to scrapbook our trip to the Houston Zoo, a page about Christmas of cousins and Bluebonnet 18-month photos. I updated Brooklyn's baby book with all her dentist's information and photo collages galore, and put all the other prints into a photo album. We'll never be at a loss for baby pictures of our girl. What can I say? Digital just doesn't do it for me- I want the real thing! We had the time to deep clean most of the rooms in the apartment, which prompted the following conversation:

Me: Are you sure you want a house?
Brandon: Yep.
Me: Really? It's a lot harder to clean a house...
Brandon: But it's a lot easier to dirty an apartment. One toy gets put in the middle of the floor and we no longer have a living room.

Point taken.

But probably the most fun thing I did this week was take Brooklyn to the lake behind the apartment complex and feed the ducks. And turtles. And crows. But mostly the ducks. And note to other moms: ducks are not so impressed with animal crackers. It's like they could sense the irony...

It was nice to have a place to feed ducks so close by. I was actually able to walk and push Brooklyn in her stroller over there. It reminded me of the good ole days in Plano when my sister, Lindsay,  and I would ride our bikes to a pond to feed ducks. But while mine and Brooklyn's path was simply "go down the road and follow the trail", our Plano bike ride was full of obstacles and mysterious landmarks.

From the eyes of an 8-year-old, it was on the sidewalk atop the Hedgcoxe Creek (which I named, of course), across the red bridge and past the aptly named Red Bridge Park (aptly named by me, again), alongside the sandlot (I wished we had our own sandlot. It was just a large grassy area, but I envisioned a baseball field instead every time I passed by), and through the shaded neighborhood (always seemed to be lots of shade and trees on that path). You get to the Dangerously Skinny Sidewalk and hope that there isn't someone coming your way. Then you're there- at the apartment complex at Alma with the big pond and ducks. This is the most exciting and intimidating part of the ride, because I was never allowed to cross Alma on a bike. Way too much traffic.

Fast forward to after the ducks have been fed, and I'm blanking on exactly what came next, but at some point there was Sidewinder Sidewalk, which is where you need to be prepared to say hello to anywhere from 6-10 people walking dogs or jogging going the opposite direction. Then there was the "No Fishing" Pond. I always felt like you could film a frightening death scene for a big horror film there. This is either preceded or followed by the Wicked Witch Forest... this is where I can remember Lindsay and I singing the Wicked Witch theme from Wizard of Oz while speeding through on our bikes. After all, what's a bike ride without a witchy cackle and reference to classic 1939 movie? Next you roll into Hendrick Creek (which is actually the same creek, but this part of it was by Hendrick, not Hedgcoxe). Swiftly ride down the creek's hill and pedal your heart out to get it back up to the top. You finally begin to see light again, so you think you're out of the woods, but no. Giant Hill. I don't think I ever even tried to ride up it. I would hop off the bike and push it. So not worth the muscle toning. But I hardly ever went the opposite direction... starting at Giant Hill and taking it to the duck pond, coming back over the red bridge at the end. Way too scary to try and ride that thing down. I envisioned my own gruesome death many-a-time.

If anyone from Plano is reading this, I'd like to think you can follow my directions precisely and find my circular trail. Others of you may just be shaking your head at how odd my childhood brain worked. Or how my adulthood brain still works. All I'm wondering is if Brooklyn inherited my imagination, and what kind of path she imagined taking to the duck pond. If she's anything like me, it'll be a lot more interesting than "go down the road and follow the trail".

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