I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Full circle, renovations and Collins Park

 Before we started having children, we wanted to be settled. Our rental sold and we found another until my contractor brother built a house suitable for my many limitations. Paul had several plots of land. We chose one on the land that had been a Nazarene Campground in south Kearney. We chose it because it was south of Collins Parks and South of Bryant school where our children would one day attend.

When our kids were preschool age, the park was a blessing. I couldn’t chase after our very active kids. Letting them loose at the park was not an option. Back then, I had another option. At the park, there was the usual play equipment for everyone else. For the very young children, there was a kid’s play area. Enclosed within a round fence, was play equipment suitable for our little kids. I could stand in the entryway, keep an eye out for our kids, and know they were safe

We went to the park often on those hot summer days. As our kids entered school, the city decided to expand the baseball area. They ripped out the young child’s area to expand the ballfield and surroundings with bleachers. The child’s play area was never restored. I felt sad about that, especially for other young parents. However, by then our children had outgrown that play area anyway. While our kids were never into baseball, they still had lots of play equipment they could use at the park.

As children do, our two grew up, left home, attended college, married, and had children of their own. Except for gathering with friends for picnics once in a while, we seldom crossed the street to the park. Nevertheless, I enjoyed hearing the shouts, screams, and laughter as children enjoyed the park.

Last year, during the Covid pandemic, the park was silent. Way too silent. I was glad when the park opened up again this year to children and families. A few months ago, the noise level from children decreased dramatically while the growl of big equipment, saws, hammers, and more echoed.

Once more, Collins Park underwent a major renovation. A splash pad surrounded by play equipment has been unveiled. Once more, I smile as I hear the shouts and laughter of children running through water guns and are splashed from equipment that provides a fun and quick cool down in the heat.

Things come full circle. I can’t wait for my two youngest grandchildren ages 2 and 4 to visit. While the kid’s play area is gone, in its place is a fun alternative. Can’t wait to hear the laughter as my youngest grandchildren enjoy the same park that once captured the interest of their mom and uncle.

Thank you Kearney for updating Collins Park.

(C) 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies
Scheidies Kearney Hub Column 8/30/2021
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