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The benefits of living in a blue state.

August 12, 2011

All summer the children and I have been taking advantage of our local parks.  Powderhorn park is a favorite post-nap destination.  We like to arrive around 3:30 to enjoy:

1. a FREE snack: a juicebox and bag of crackers.

2. a swim in a FREE pool (more on that below).

3. on occasion, we stay until 5:00 so we can enjoy a FREE dinner: sandwich, fresh fruit, applesauce, and milk.

The combination supper/swim is not without its hazards.  Last week Elisabeth walked back to the pool with her “mixed cold cuts sandwich” and enjoyed it while strolling through the shallow water.  The “mixed cold cuts sandwich” consisted of one huge pepperoni and one small turkey slice.  I heard her wail, “My meat! My meat!” and was sad to see that the cold cuts had slipped right out of the bread and disappeared in the knee deep water.  I did not try very hard to locate them, comforting her with the pepperoni from Miss P’s sandwich.  About 20 minutes later, Charlie emerged from the bottom of the pool, oblivious to the huge pepperoni crowning the back of his head.  It looked just like a little yamaka and he walked around like that until Elisabeth joyfully exclaimed, “There’s my meat!”

The swimmers at Powderhorn are a motley crew.  Rare is the actual swimsuit, common are the underwear swimmers, and more common the fully clothed swimmer.  And, contrary to the sign (see below) there is nary a bathing cap in sight.  It’s very relaxing at Powderhorn, with no one looking over your shoulder. And although I am sure, with the exception of smoking, my children have broken every rule on the sign including “spitting of water” and (heaven forbid) “blowing the nose” we have never ever been reprimanded.

Regarding the free food, I know that we are probably not the intended recipients of such generosity of state, but I am so grateful as inevitably when we arrive at any destination the children suddenly become famished, and it is a comfort to know that, whether or not I brought my own snacks,  I can always say at Powderhorn, “Well then, LET’S GET SOME FOOD!”

(Dan has expressed concern about the children and me developing an entitlement mentality.  Charlie did approach a total stranger at the park this week and ask, “Hey where’d you get those Cheetos?” assuming that what is available for one, must be available for all.)

Every once in a while we feel like the big winners, as we did last night, when as my children chowed down on their pre-packaged sandwiches, I noticed other children walking around with steaming plates of hot food.  I cornered one small boy and learned from him that their was a buffet available in the gym.  We tossed our first supper and headed to the gym for second supper.

Sure enough, a bountiful feast of organic vegetarian cuisine was available for the taking.  I was told at the door that this was all a result of the youth farm harvest.  The youth farm project puts urban youth to work in community gardens located on vacant lots around the city.  I marvel at the fine spanikopita, fresh spring rolls, and vegan lasagna the urban youth managed to whip up with their garden produce.  I immediately called Dan who tossed his reservations to the wind and raced over to join us for a lovely dinner in the park.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Papaw permalink
    August 12, 2011 12:50 pm

    No wonder the government is 10 trillion dollars in debt.

  2. Julie permalink
    August 12, 2011 1:09 pm

    The nut fell so far from the tree.

  3. Julie permalink
    August 12, 2011 1:10 pm

    My favorite blog.

  4. Grammie permalink
    August 12, 2011 2:43 pm

    This the funniest piece you have ever written. I am concerned that Patience did not at least have a napkin under her sandwich. AND, you are as entitled to the free food as anyone else is.

  5. Beth S permalink
    August 14, 2011 12:21 am

    My mom took us to Powderhorn when I was a kid. Good memories. And yay for blue states! I miss MN.

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