This evening we attended, and participated in Parking Day on Western, in OKC. This is a nation-wide, or is it world-wide?, event on the third Friday in September, when businesses, usually small businesses, set aside two parking spaces and turn them into a small park. The event in OKC was sponsored by Better Block OKC. Savory Spice Shop had a park, in conjunction with Rugs of Oklahoma (our landlords). We had tables and chairs and umbrellas for shade, as well as a miniature golf course. Well, it was one hole, but you could play golf and get some free peanuts in the shell and cold water.
The guys across the street had goal posts up with the colors of the to two big state universities and nerf footballs to throw through them. They had a caricaturist and someone selling meat pies and two corn hole boards with bean bags. Farther down the street, at A Date With Iris, was the snow cone truck and a guy with a hot dog truck. Here are the Richards kids playing some checkers and waiting for the dogs to come off the grill.
My personal favorite was the back massage I got at 42nd Street Candy Company. Oh yeah! The kids got tea and gummy bears, Brent got to keep E from running headlong into traffic and I got a rub down. Perfect end to the 'watching the grandkids days' while their mom was in D.C.. There is a big push in OKC toward building community now, bringing people together as often as possible, building relationships. I noticed, as I was driving to the apt., that the school down the street from the shop was having a family night on the play ground, complete with games and homemade food. That's what I'm talking about.
How did I get off the village theme and onto this event, you may ask? Excellent question. Good to know someone is paying attention to the details.
At one point in the evening, while Maggie and I were getting our pictures drawn, Everett went charging after a football out toward the street (imagine Western Avenue on a Friday evening….gasp!) and every adult in the "park" yelled to get him to stop. Of course it scared him to death and he cried bloody murder, but he did not get hit by a car. We were all watching all the kids, even though it appeared we were sitting around chatting with one another, eating Empanadas.
It takes all of us. Here are some pics from my gallery, showing people watching over other people's precious little ones. There are lots of good people in the world, doing good things every day. It would be so easy to forget this loving, in the light of all the bad news in the media. I know, lots of bad stuff is happening, but lots of good stuff is happening as well. I did not see a single TV camera out at the Parking Day event today. Let's turn off the tube and go outside in the crisp (?) Fall weather and spread some love around.
Here you go. Enjoy.
Great Aunt Ann, planting bulbs with Brendan and Maggie
Aunt Anna with little Zaney boy
Danny with his science kids
Great Uncle Scott with Preston
Great Great Grandma Blakley with Brendan
Grandpa Blakley with Brendan
Able with baby Kaiser
Here we are all dressed up in our Spice Merchant garb, happy to be slinging spices together.