Monday, June 8, 2009

The Pit

When we moved to Lakeland from Miami in 1987, we lived on a street called Strickland Ave. Then about a year after that we moved up the road to a house on Covey Court (and my parents still live there). Now, the coolest part about this street is that it ends in a cul-de-sac and there are only houses on one side. So instead of having across the street neighbors, we had what can only be described as a giant pit that has a baseball diamond in the center (complete with lights, dugouts, etc), a giant open field off to the side, and then huge trees and thick brush all the way up the sides. It is kind of a strange thing to have in the middle of so many neighborhoods, but 'The Pit' (as we have lovingly named it) was good times for us and still is, actually.

This was the place where, as kids, we would fly our kites, practice becoming pro golfers, play army, launch rockets, hide from the cops(just kidding), climb trees, dump our grass clippings, shoot bottle rockets into the trees, chuck things off the edge just to see how far we could throw them...

And we threw a lot of weird stuff down there over the years....

On one occasion it rained so hard and long that the Pit filled with about 3 feet of water. So me and my brothers went down to slog around in it. I came home with ringworm, but, hey, I'm still alive. The Pit is still the place where my dad takes the grandkids to explore and find treasures. Cindy and her cousins even found a giant plastic candy cane yard decoration hanging in a tree out there. (That was an endless source of entertainment for Cindy each time we went over to my parent's house: to check to see if the candy cane was still there.) They do actually play baseball games there in the summer, but most of the time you are more likely to see the Sunday games of cricket that get played in the open field next to the diamond. (No, really, it is a favorite game of all the Indian folk who live around these parts.) Or you might just hear the sound of paintball guns going off from the commandos that use The Pit for a battleground. And of course The Pit is providing entertainment for a whole new generation of kids that live on that street now. A few weeks ago my brother and sister-in-law were visiting and as they were loading up the kids in the car across the street from the hosue (or maybe it was my mom or dad, can't really remember right- but ANYWAY..) a little kid came up over the edge out of The Pit- dressed in full camo with a play gun- and scared the crud out of them. The kid kept it cool by simply sayin "Hey" and moved on like everything was normal. Viva La Pit!

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