Sunday, September 11, 2011
Sometime before lunch
Remember a couple of weeks ago when the weather "cooled" to the low 90s and we all let out a little sigh of relief and decided to go outside again? My family was so excited and ready to get in some good park time. We had been in a state of reverse hibernation, hiding from the intense heat instead of sleeping through the bitter cold.
We loaded up our red wagon with all the necessary park supplies: blanket to relax on, small trucks and digging tools, a soccer ball, bug spray, sunblock, cold water, fruit and bunny crackers. Big Boy rode his bike, training wheels squeaking from lack of use. Wee One road in the wagon, the park supplies heaped on his lap. As we got close to the park, it was a real joy to see people. Kids on skateboards, parents counting to 10 as little guys scrambled to hide, games of catch and tag. The park was alive again.
Then we noticed what wasn't alive. The grass. The big, open area of Proctor was brown and dusty. The small, sandy area near home base (where the kids dig) had grown to a sand pit three times it usual size. And the trees.... So sad and droopy, some with brown leaves. It was a sad sight to see; it almost brought the excitement of just being there down to Neutral.
After about 30 minutes of hanging at Proctor, I saw a red car pull up. The driver got out and opened the hatch to reveal 2 large coolers and a 5 gallon bucket. The man filled the bucket, walked in to the park and dumped it out at the base of a small tree on the north side of the park. Repeat. Take the cooler out and dump the remaining water. Leave. Come back. Repeat. During my family's time at the park he made at least 3 round trips, bringing buckets of water to the smaller, needier trees.
I approached him. "Thank you so much for doing this," I said. He was worried about the condition of the trees. It wasn't a lot, he said, but he wanted to do something. He said he didn't think he could do enough for the big trees but that maybe he could do something for the small ones. I told him I was feeling the same way about the Norhill esplanade but hadn't realized how bad it got around the park.
"Hi, Scott. I'm Viula. Thanks again. Really."
Now that it's rained a bit, I am more optimistic for the trees of the Heights. I hope this week's Weather Underground predictions are better than our local news station's. They're saying possible rain daily. Local sources say rain today and sun the rest of the week. I never thought I would want rain so badly.
And who knows if this little bit of rain we've had will save the trees or not. We can hope so. We can also say "Thanks, Scott" for helping give them a fighting chance.