Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Last August, Ben and I drove to Ligonier, PA to visit the laid-back, countrified, "down by the old mill stream" amusement park called Idlewild. What Idlewild has going for it (besides the highly-rated kiddieland, the Mr. Rogers-inspired "Land of Make Believe", a rockin' coaster that bops you along the treetops, and a storybook land with real, live, walking and talking storybook characters!) are the places you can just relax and set a spell. For hours. For all day, if you wish.
Like the beautiful elderly lady I befriended within my first 15 minutes at the park did. I'd visited the gift shop and bought a tumbled piece of agate and strung it on a cord to make a necklace. Afterward, I sat down on one of the rockers to admire my handiwork and the two of us first started talking about the necklace (she produced from around her neck a yellow seashell-shaped pendant she'd purchased at the same store, years before), then her family, the many years she's been coming to the park ("Around 60 years, by my calculations," she said), and, eventually, the fact that she gets tired quickly these days, so she's just content to sit back in the shade, enjoy the commotion of the crowds walking by, and just idle awhile.
Try finding quiet respites like that in your typical coaster-driven park. You can't.
Thanks Idlewild, for the chance to meet this wonderful child-at-heart.