Meandering at Memorial Park.

I am often scrambling around to get going in the morning.  I hit the snooze button a few too many times and even the lure of a steaming cup of Joe and my oatmeal (maybe not as enticing as that coffee) does not always make me want to leap out of bed.  Consequently, to get my steps in, I am often flying by the seat of my pants to get out the door and back home to start work timely.

One morning last week I had to do something for work before I went on my walk, and I needed to be back timely, so I couldn’t make a trip to Council Point Park.  I was bummed as it was a beautiful sunny morning, rare around these parts, since today is the 118th day of rain we have had in SE Michigan in 2019 – it is pouring as I write this post.  On that day, the sun was not overwhelming, just a pale version of what sun we have taken for granted for umpteen Springs, but it was sunny nevertheless, so I wanted to do more than just stroll in the neighborhood.

I live fairly close to Memorial Park and had read in the local paper that the kids from our City’s high school, a/k/a “The Green Team” had made it their motive to beautify some parks and public places around the City.  Memorial Park was one of their projects.  The students, along with a few volunteers, had planted milkweed at the park and were certified an official Monarch Waystation.  Monarchs love their milkweed, but, to be certified as a Monarch Waystation, an area must meet other criteria and I wondered if the rose garden, that used to be tended by volunteers many decades ago, would contribute to this certification. 

Since I had had a shorter morning trek than normal, I decided to head over and check it out.  Memorial Park is very peaceful.  I went to our annual Memorial Day Parade last year and it had been years since I watched the parade or the moving tributes to the City’s war dead after the fun festivities had ended.

So, I spent my morning meandering around Memorial Park, stopping to smell the roses as well.

The first stop was at the Memorial Pavilion area.  Here is where the City honors its war dead from four conflicts:  WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  There are plaques to honor these servicemen and benches to sit and reflect on those brave people who died for their country and that we never knew. 

There are words written on the memorial wall, alongside the plaques.

We even have a cannon in the memorial area.

The Fallen Soldiers Memorial is dedicated to Sergeant Craig Frank, a young Lincoln Park man, and member of the Army National Guard who lost his life on July 17, 2004 during Operation Iraqui Freedom, as a result of injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade that struck him from behind.  

Right away I noticed there was flag bunting wrapped around the boots part of the memorial and it was gathered and fastened with a poppy, likely done at the Memorial Day Parade. 

As I walked toward the garden area, I noticed a bench dedicated to another serviceman, Terry Rhodes.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

I’m sure you have seen some variation of this quotation in the past.  Many years ago, the rose garden at Memorial Park was a beautiful display, a riot of roses, tended to by volunteers with an exceptional green thumb.  Back in those days, I, too, had a green thumb and a backyard full of roses, so I could appreciate those beautiful blooms, in every color from soft pastels to ruby red.  But, over the years, the volunteers stopped tending to the roses, and, a few years ago, while walking around the Memorial Park grounds, gaining steps for my walking regimen, I saw the garden was in disrepair, with only the most tenacious of the bushes still existing, bloom-free and with weeds tangled up inside them. 

My plan was to check out the freshly planted Monarch Waystion in case a sign had not been placed there as is often done, since I hope to make future afternoon  stops when the weather is hot and sunny to get some photos of those beautiful Monarch butterflies. 

I made that foray to the flower garden, but was surprised to see that there was not one, but four separate raised garden beds, each filled with various types of flowers.  I was instantly sorry I had not ventured here earlier as the Iris blooms were starting to fizzle out.

The Bleeding Heart plants had very few of their delicate pink hearts.  There were just dregs of the Lily of the Valley as well.  I didn’t photograph any of the Lily of the Valley as they were just sparse now. Most of these plants would have flowered in late May to early June. 

The roses have no doubt flourished with all the rain and I was amazed that the lack of sun and the abundance of rain had not caused the dreaded black spot fungal disease that eventually killed most of my tea roses and my “Stairway to Heaven” climbing rose as well. Now my “Home Run” roses are not looking great and one is a goner thanks to the wicked Winter weather. How about these beauties from the park though?

The volunteers had fun doodads placed around the four gardens as well …

And there were even these two glass cobalt blue cats. 

Yup, I would say this little foray to the flower gardens was the cat’s meow!

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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30 Responses to Meandering at Memorial Park.

  1. Child Of God says:

    I did read as much as I could my dad kicks in and I cannot concentrate when the post is long. From what I did read you deserve a Like. Ty

    Like

  2. Beautiful park to have nearby! I hope your weather is going to get better soon so that you can venture out every morning to visit with your furry and feathery friends! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is quite peaceful there but I’d only been to the memorial pavilion area and not strayed to the garden area for years. I was impressed and hopefully there will be lots of Monarchs once the milkweed is bigger. I had done pretty well – three mornings in a row but today was a lost cause. Council Point Park has no soggy areas … there is some overflow water on the storm drain, but it is below where the walking paths are.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    This Memorial Park is exceptionally well-kept and pretty. The monuments and plaques are interesting in and of themselves, but to add in the flowers it makes for a peaceful feeling place. Nice photos, thanks for sharing them here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked the photos Ally. I went to the Memorial Day Parade last year for the first time in many years. The VFW usually does a display of flags throughout the memorial area, but every so often they have a special display called “The Field of Flags” which arrives one week before the parade and stays in place until the Memorial Day holiday. Our parade is always the week before the holiday. The flag display is quite impressive and consists of full-sized flags, each on its own pole, and each flag represents one of the 129 Lincoln Park residents who have died serving their country, beginning with World War I. Each flag has a tag that bears the deceased’s personal information, including date of birth/death, rank and where they died.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ruthsoaper says:

    The roses are beautiful. I have never been good at growing roses but we have wild rose bushes that are prolific and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Wild roses are beautiful Ruth. I was in a very old cemetery last May and there were a group of wild roses growing there and they were just beautiful. The cemetery is not kept up and we had all the rainy weekends (like this year) and the day I went, the grass was very high and bending over or completely covering the tombstones. I did not want to go too far into the cemetery, not only for the muddy ruts since there was no path to walk, but the threat of ticks and mosquitoes as well. I removed all the tea roses as they had black spot and only had a few blooms per Summer and were not hardy, and took forever to get new buds. The climbing rose I bought to make a memorial garden and ordered three of them and an umbrella trellis from Jackson & Perkins and it limped along all Summer – every time it rained, I had to respray it with fungicide and I took it out as well and threw out the trellis because no matter what type of spray I used, the black spot remained and I didn’t want it to contaminate the other roses. They were a disappointment. I have more luck with the shrub roses as they are much hardier. (Except this time … that -45 windchill did a number on them.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        That does sound like idea conditions for fungus and this year is bad too. My domestic rose did survive the winter but I wouldn’t say it is thriving. I think I need to feed (fertilize) it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        One of my roses did not come back at all – I finally have some green on the other two Home Run Roses. I have a small shrub rose bush I bought at Frank’s Nursery in the late 80s … it was end of the Summer and they were clearing out stock to put out mums. I got it for $1.00. That rose has come back every year, never had blackspot or any other disease, despite its close proximity to the roses that had it. It never disappoints.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s been bad for roses around here. There is a new disease that is decimated most of them. So sad. Enjoy your roses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s terrible – I spent a lot of time nursing my roses until I got the hardier shrub roses – no more roses for me after these are gone. Even my lilacs were wacky this year. I have had lilac trees/bushes for decades – they didn’t bloom, but a Miss Kim miniature lilac I bought back in the 90s bloomed for the first time ever. The weather is not kind to all these plants, bushes and trees. Our farmers are having a rough go of it this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here too. We were supposed to have the first crop of corn this week but it’s not happening. The fields are probably too flooded for the equipment.

        Like

      • lindasschaub says:

        They have suggested the farmers in Michigan see if they can find an alternative crop this year due to all the rain. Today, despite all this rain, the weatherman on a different station said we had only received 18 inches this year to date and 14 inches on the first day of Summer of 2018. That surprised me. They kept saying Spring 2018 was worse but I still don’t believe it. We have three or four incidents of West Nile Virus reported this week … that’s not great either.

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  6. Laurie says:

    I have to tell you, the beginning of your story reminded me of my morning. Bill asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee. I told him that I did and that I would brew a pot. I got busy with some other things and forgot about the time. I never drank one sip of that coffee I made. At least it’s decaf. Maybe I will have it after dinner! 🙂

    Planting milkweed is such a great idea! The monarchs are in trouble. They can use all the help they can get. Good for the young people in your area! the roses are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have done that as well – gotten distracted and then remembered something hours later. I prefer to think that we are multi-tasking too much and not an “age thing” in the least.

      There is milkweed growing at Council Point Park. I never noticed it until last year and a young woman was snipping greenery and putting it in a tote bag. I am curious and took her picture from afar and asked if she was making a bouquet of some kind or did she find plants that were medicinal? I mentioned her in the post after I discovered she had several Monarch caterpillars in a terrarium and they were eating all her milkweed and she needed more, so she was getting it from there. No issue with taking milkweed, but did you know at Lake Erie Metropark where they have thousands of water lilies, that it is illegal to take a dry, brown lily pod or one of the leaves that many of the leaves are the size of elephant ears? I went on an interpretive walk and cruise there last Summer – the guide said you can go to Michael’s or any craft store and buy them to make an arrangement, but don’t take a pod with seeds from the water. The “Green Team” is a good cause and kudos to the kids, who are under the auspices of a local garden club, but they do the work themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie says:

        Yes, multitasking is a better word for it. I like that! 🙂
        When I had kids doing science fair projects, some of them sometimes would do a butterfly study (they could not do anything that would hurt the butterflies, though). These kids would have to out and gather milkweed leaves and freeze them for food for caterpillars in the wintertime. I was surprised that caterpillars would eat leaves that had once been frozen, but they didn’t seem to mind!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My neighbor and I had a “monarch butterfly set-up” (for lack of a better description) that we got at a local art fair … it was a great concept, on paper, but it did not work out so well. I am going to pass along my long post … sometime when you get a chance, it describes what we went through to feed those hungry monarch caterpillars. I wish we’d known you could freeze the milkweed leaves – it would have made it a lot easier to try to raise them. Your science class sounds like fun! https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/07/24/flutterbyes/

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  7. Beautiful photos, as usual. That’s great that people are planting things for the Monarchs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – I was amazed how much this garden has grown since I last saw it all those years ago. I am sure all the rain helped a lot. I’ll go over and see how the milkweed is and whether it’s attracting any Monarchs when it warms up more than it is now. The butterflies are probably shivering over there while they munch milkweed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. susieshy45 says:

    I was looking through the post to see the pictures of the milkweed but perhaps I missed them. I know those pictures show sad flowers that seemed weighed down by worry but they are resilient and will come up again when the summer sun comes out in all its glory. For our part, we are glad the first half of the year is over and we can look forward to the second part, when the days may get shorter and hopefully a little colder.
    I felt a little sad seeing that memorial to the Fallen soldier who was shot from behind. What a way to die. Were those his shoes or just a representation ?
    There is a bumble bee in one of your pictures. That is a positive thing too.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie -Reading your comment I realized I should have clarified about the milkweed … I actually could not find the milkweed, so either it was small and will grow quickly, or I couldn’t identify it amongst the other greenery that was there and likewise had no blooms. That was my purpose for going over there, to find the milkweed and I figured I could tell what was newly planted … but, I couldn’t tell as they had spread mulch everywhere. I hope to keep returning, probably on a weekend in late morning or early afternoon when it is warmer and so more butterflies will be out. We have a beautiful day today, but still on the chilly side and now they say we have two weekend days of good weather … that is contrary to what they said earlier. So pretty excited about that. The Fallen Soldier Memorial is a standard memorial that is found in many memorial-style parks in the soldier’s hometown. After this young man died and the City got the memorial built by a veteran’s organization, you will find this very sad … some scrappers (these are people who gather metal and re-sell it for a profit in case you don’t have them where you live) broke the metal portion off its pedestal and stole it. Someone reported it in the local newspaper … it was a while ago, I remember my mom telling me the story. Some donors raised the money to get it replaced. Very sad. Also, I originally thought they were his own boots and bayonet, until I researched it a little and discovered it was actually called a “Fallen Soldiers Memorial” … the memorials are made differently. For example, in this post, another local park which is dedicated to fallen soldiers, they have just one memorial, the boots and bayonet and list all that City’s war dead on the marble pillar. It is near the bottom of the post: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/09/09/oh-the-places-youll-go-another-day-another-park/

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Joni says:

    I absolutely love those cobalt blue cats! 118 days of rain this year – that’s just too depressing, not to mention a cool north wind today for almost the first day of summer? When will it end….

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, they were very pretty and the sun was glinting off them. And, there was a blue cobalt bottle turned upside down, with a wood platform where the two cats sat on. I took a picture of the bottle that supported the platform, but decided to just use the cats close up. Joni, the weather is wacky. Originally we were having crummy weather all this weekend, then Saturday was good, now both days are okay so I’ll get outside … don’t know what day, but at least I have one day to “play” since last weekend was devoted to housework. I heard we may have a good July and August, more average, but I’ll believe it when I see it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful Memorial Park! Cat’s Meow…😂🤣😂🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It is very nice and peaceful Diane … I hope the milkweed (which I could not find amongst all the other green plants) grows in abundance, so we get lots of Monarchs over there and I’ll get some photos of them. If not, I’ll hope to get some photos at the two butterfly events that I told you about … P.S. … only we of a certain era (ahem) would have heard that expression and I may have lost the youngsters here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………you pictured some awesome flowers close-up………………………just beautiful…………………………I enjoyed it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them Ann Marie – I still don’t know where the milkweed was planted – I figured I’d find it easily, newly planted, etc., but there were so many other roses and other plants to see that I never found it … hopefully the next trip over, one afternoon when it is hot and sunny, there will be Monarchs dancing around the flowers.

      Like

  12. Mackenzie says:

    What a day full of history and remembering ❤ Thank you for the beautiful flower pics too!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: The Blue Garden – thehomeplaceweb

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