REPORTED MISSING 2006- CHECK BACK FOR RECARVE
(box two in the "Michigan Transplant Series")
This box is also in Olive Branch City Park. See clues for "Laughter is the Best Medicine" for my excellent directions.
We had metroparks back home. But there is something to be said for a city park, with tennis courts, fishing ponds, and softball fields all in one place. There's even fire hydrants, and you'll want to park in the dirt parking lot which is directly after the first hydrant on your right.
Ken swore you weren't allowed to park there. He worries about these sorts of things. I remember him, in a pre-breakfast snit, telling me that it wasn't an acceptable parking space. Though clearly it is.
They're funny- memories. Today they swirl around my head like flies. You reach for one, and another buzzes in.
Down here, I'm called a Yankee. But back home, a Yankee was someone from the East Coast. So, since I'm feeling homesick, that's the direction I take on the path, away from green bridges and parking lots Ken's afraid to park in.
And another memory buzzes by, childhood, playing in the park by Terry's house, those fit-n-fun signs and all those things you had to do in gym to get the Presidental Physical Fitness award- climbing the rope, chin-ups, shuttle runs. I never got it. The ropes were my downfall. Ken was ruined by the chin-ups. Along this path, though, we're going backwards, starting with the cooldown. I could win that award now, maybe. But the ropes would still kill me.
Zoom! And there's another memory, fly-like, Lotus at home watching Dora, speaking random bits of Spanish. Prohibida Banarse. Like anyone would want to, with all those birds. There are muscovies here, always in a perpetual state of molting, like the ones mom and I saw in Georgia by the dam. Had we driven there? Or taken the golf cart on a path much like this one?
When there are blue skies, and the sun's on your belly, it's easy to lose yourself in that swarm of memories. The fishing pier at Uncle Bob's, and that pregnant trout I caught. The glitter of her roe on the dock, and the last time I ever held a fishing pole in my hands. And here, they say you can catch crappies and breams. It strikes me as odd that anyone would want to, much like them Prohibida Banarse-ing, what would you do with a crappie or a bream? And what would you do with 10-20 of them?
Past the tennis courts, the summer I played with Michelle a total of six times and never once hit the ball. Ken played in high school, and people still remember that, though I always remember him playing soccer.
Taking cover, finding the center, where they built a circle around the beams to mark the spot, pulling out the compass, while I try to remember how Ken taught me to find degree markings. Spot the picnic table dead north, heading toward it. There's a barbeque there, and I think of the two barbeques at home, one hauled all the way from Michigan. At the west handle of the barbeque, site a trail at 280 degrees. It takes me about 30 paces to reach it.
The trail begins with a ditch, which seems an inauspicious way to begin. I suspect this is not a sanctioned path, but a cut-through to the nature trail. I follow the path NW about 25 paces. At 305 degrees there is what I would call lovers embracing. All of nature is in love. Ken would shake his head and tell me it's just a tree wrapped around another tree, but how can you not get poetic with the serpentine curves? But Ken hates snakes. And poetry.
Walk to the tree, however you describe it. From there, sight the log pile at 195 degrees. It's about 24 paces away.
Here, off the paved path, I think of Kensington, and I miss home so much it is a physical pain. The swarm of memories moves in closer, and I try to master them. How can you control what you can't catch? The biggest fallen log runs north-south. At the northern end, under a few of the smaller logs, you can catch a memory.
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The part where I go "blah blah blah"
The "off road" part of this hike is not stroller friendly. After heavy rains, I can't even promise you that you'll be able to reach the trail. And the part about Ken hating snakes is true. He hates them. So he tells me to make sure I warn everyone about sticking their hands into dark, quiet places under logs without looking first.