park days.

November 5, 2013

The weather has been perfect since we’ve arrived. When I was growing up, I never realized what a beautiful part of the country I come from.

There is a gorgeous park very close to our house. My parents live about ten miles north of the Missouri/Arkansas state line (that’s my childhood home, the house that built me), but the house that belongs to Mr. Mostafa and me, where we stay when we’re in Missouri, is only a few miles north of the Arkansas border. So we’ve been making frequent visits to the Mammoth Spring State Park, which is very close.

When I was a little kid, my Grandma Hunter and my mom often took my brother and me to this park. We used to take old bread chunks in order to feed the ducks there. There is a large waterfall there as a part of what used to be a hydroelectric dam. The dam provided power to the Missouri/Arkansas line area until the seventies.

When I was a little kid, I remember my brother and I having a healthy fear of the water in the area that feeds into the waterfall; we had it in our heads that the water was so deep that there were bulldozers sitting at the bottom of the spring, because they had been swallowed up by the water when the dam had been built. I have no clue where we got this idea, unless it was something our grandmother told us to keep us from wanting to jump in the water, lest we end up getting swept into the waterfall…because like typical Ozarks kids, we swam in creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, you name it, so there had to be something to convince us that jumping in this particular body of water was a bad idea. I also have no clue whether there was anything to our belief that the water was a deep blue abyss, but I think the water really is pretty deep.

There are walking trails and picnic tables all around the water, and the water is home to many ducks and geese.

I love all of the textures in the park. Of course, these are things that I would never have really appreciated–or possibly even noticed–before I moved to Saudi Arabia.

See that mud puddle? Two years ago, I would have been like, “Ew, better not step in that mess.” Now, I’m like, “Ooooh, isn’t it beautiful? Observe the graceful puffs of rich earth!” Or something like that.

It has been pretty fun to take Lavender, and even though she won’t remember our trip this time, I’m looking forward to making the park a tradition.

Lavender and Mr. Mostafa both love the park. The next time we come to the States, she might be old enough to hold a piece of bread out for the ducks to eat! The ducks and geese are greedy and fearless. They’re kind of like an avian mafia.

Lavender loved the ducks and geese. She watched them calmly from her stroller.

I sense that my baby will enjoy the park in the future. And if she’s anything like her dad and mom, she will also have a deep appreciation for the lunches we bring to the park…complete with a soda from Sonic, natch. Nothing beats a soda from Sonic.



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  • noor alqahtani

    That last picture of her just makes me melt. I cannot see her soon enough again :)