Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Swan Song?

I was given the most thoughtful gift last week by my friend, known on my blog as The Country Mouse.  Take a look at it:



It is part of Orlando's iconic original fountain that sits in the middle of our downtown Lake Eola.  Country Mouse and I both raised our kids here in Orlando and between the two of us we have been to Lake Eola over the past 27 years or so, hundreds of times. 



In particular I can remember taking The Writer and then The Maven to storytime at the downtown library where afterwards a trip to the Lake Eola playground was a must.  Country Mouse and her sons joined us on many of those storytime trips and in later years, she and I have met at the outdoor cafe they have along  the edge for lunch.



Before we lived in our current house, Mr. Tennis and I lived near downtown and Lake Eola was a favorite place to walk and take visitors to when they were in town.  Ducks and swans wait to be fed and large grassy areas ask to be run across.



The park was a favorite of my parents.  A visit with us was not complete without dinner out and a walk around the lake afterwards.  Many picnic lunches were consumed under the massive oak trees, celebrating birthdays, Easter, Father and Mother's Day, or just "let's have a picnic"!

When my parents moved to Orlando to live in a nursing home they chose one downtown close to this lake and as they aged not many a Sunday went by that we didn't wheel them from the nursing home over to the lake for an outing. A lot of my last memories of my parents include this city park.


So, Country Mouse hit the nail on the head with this special gift.  I take with me in my big move a small peice of Orlando history as the city cleverly carved peices of the old fountain acrylic into the lakes signature image, the swan, when it was replaced by a newer, yet looks-the-same fountain exterior.  A clever fund raising trick, a re-purposing exercise and a way for many to remember the days they spent in the center of Orlando, The City Beautiful.



Thanks Country Mouse!

7 comments:

The Country Mouse said...

Well, Boston Lady, you and yours made Orlando a more beautiful place for all of us as we raised our families together here. I am glad you like your little piece of the fountain! The swan's graceful outline is a fitting symbol of the grace you brought to everything we did together. You may be starting a new chapter as a California Girl, but as far as the Country Mice are concerned, your real home is here with us! Thanks for all the wonderful memories!......Country Mouse

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

What a beautiful story! I love the sentiment that this piece has for you and for your dear friend Country Mouse.
I cried when I read it...and I've only known you a few short years...I'd be so sad if you were moving away from me! I'm glad that you will have this little trinket to always remind you of all the wonderful things you've listed.

Pat

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Ann,
Thanks for sharing this story! What a wonderful friend - The Country Mouse - it sounds like your families had such nice times together.
And the park and fountain sound lovely, such warm, and happy memories, Ann.
I LOVE the swan, it is such a great project on the part of the city - and what a good memento of your friend, parents, children, and beloved home.
I know it is the small treasures that are easy to carry along from place to place, and remind me of special people, and places, that I value myself, and so I'm thinking you may feel the same way about this gift, from your good friend.
Brenda

Chatty Crone said...

Now that is a gift that you will always remember and remember her and your good times.
sandie

Mr. Connor said...

Wonderful ~ Wonderful ! What a great gift . The times spent there will always be remembered. Keepsake to help us think about all the great times we have captured in our heads !

Edilma Weissmueller said...

Our experience with Lake Eloa goes back to the early sixties when the Weissmueller grandparents and I made many trips with Mr, T and his brothers to feed the ducks always a fun experience.Great souvenir,

KarenSue Farash said...

Well, Country Mouse did hit the nail on the head!! But I'm not surprised at all, she's a special person.
She's also right about your real home is with us, not even Canada.
I'm so happy for you because I think this is what you all want and is a good thing, but not for us. I can't top what Country Mouse did, she did good!!