It was a beautiful New Year’s Day so we took off on a cross-country, very scenic drive to lunch in Sandusky. As part of the return journey, we paid a visit to the Lake Erie shoreline and stopped at a couple of parks. Enduring strong winds and freezing temperatures was easy as scenes of wind-driven ice piled on beaches, dark waters, and blue skies inspired me. I wasn’t the only person exploring, however. Briefly checking in at Vermilion’s downtown beach, I spotted a couple from Arkansas standing upon the ice (safely over sand, not water) shooting a “selfie” photograph. I wish them, and you, a happy and healthy new year!
Looking to get out of the house for a while we took a little drive around the area. A quick shop at Target for a couple of items and off we went to Olmsted Falls and their lovely East River Park. I hadn’t even considered that others might be in the park this overcast, cold, and snowy New Year’s Day but, as we entered the driveway, we were surprised to see the parking lot well-used. There’s a lovely hill at the southern boundary of the park with a nice, gentle slope down to an open field … perfect, today, for coasting (aka “sledding”). While especially popular with families and their little children (that gentle hill doesn’t give much speed to the sled) folks of all ages were having a great time, and you could tell that by the delighted screams and the smiling faces of sledders who were leaving for the day. There was, however, one somewhat sad sign of the times: in a space between the field and the parking lot stood a concrete trash barrel. Next to the trash barrel were piled the colorful remains of broken plastic sleds. When I was young, a sled was something you kept and used for years, perhaps even handing it down to one’s own children. It didn’t matter whether the sled was a wooden toboggan, a sled with steel runners, or a saucer-shaped metal disk, it was a durable item. Most of today’s sleds appear to be made of fairly thin molded plastic in a range of colors and shapes. The modern sleds (actually a type of toboggan) are fast and cheap, and so, fun and affordable. It’s just sad to see them broken and discarded at the end of the day. Coasting into 2013 we wish you a happy new year!