May 8, 2018

Why I Miss Spring in the Skook

The park is open!

The Skook, a mixed blessing for sure! Some hate it, some love it, no matter what you feel about it you'll never forget it. Living there has been one of the greatest blessings of my life, one that I will cherish forever. Personally, I miss it, especially the winter, but spring in the Skook is just as beautiful! These are a few things about spring in the Skook that I miss. 

1. The unabashed joy on kids faces when the playgrounds open back up after being closed for the winter. (see picture above) Everyone is getting out of the house and starting to enjoy the warmer weather. You start seeing friends and neighbors out and about. Talking and laughter can be heard again from the streets.

2. The call of the garden beckons! From potted plants in windows to small little side gardens, the gardeners are coming out of their homes with starter plants and potting soil galore.

Neighbor and the kids starting a garden.
3. Having windows and doors open to allow the spring breeze to whisk away the stale winter air. Those moments are golden!

enjoying the fresh air

4. Lent hardly feels like a time of fasting there. From the fish fries in the churches and fire halls to the amazing deals at Boyers it hardly feels like a sacrifice at all and more like hitting the jackpot. Click for Boyer's online weekly ads

5. The first Schuylkill homeschool meetup at Stoyer's Dam in Schuylkill Haven was always a treat! If you homeschool and you live in that area you need to get involved in the group. You can find them on facebook and it is one the the best homeschooling groups you can ask for. It's very informal, and everyone is welcome. Click here for their Facebook page

6. Rita's Italian Ice give away on the first day of spring. It's a tradition and it's an awesome tradition. So if you are near one, go  Find one near you!

7. The first family hike and just enjoying being outside in the warm weather and nature. There are tons of places to get out and enjoy nature in Schuylkill county. One of our favorites is Hawk Mountain, but we were closer to Locust Lake so that was our primary spot.

Our first trip to Locust Lake

8. Hopping in the car and exploring with the windows down. The roads were usually nice enough even if there was still some snow. We'd hit a Sheetz for snacks and maybe have a quick picnic in one of the parks. We went all over the place. There is a map of historical markers that we would pick and choose from starting each spring that can be found here. We used it quite often.

One of our finds.

9. If you live in Schuylkill Co. you know Dunkin' is just a part of life. They are everywhere! The two ways you know it's spring, when walking outside you don't feel the urge to go in just to get warm and while driving you stop debating on getting out of the car or just hit the drive thru. (We had little ones in car seats, hands down drive thru every time until warm weather hit.)

Best fast food coffee ever, and I miss the Pottscream filled Donuts!

10. Birds, yes, I know, I know, every place has birds returning. However, after the cold months of dealing with making sure pipes aren't freezing (or dealing with the aftermath if they had), heating oil costs, and stale winter air inside, there is just something magical about seeing a robin or hearing geese return for the first time each year. I don't care if there's still snow on the ground, it's lovely just to stand in the doorway and just take in the life that is returning!

First robin I saw in 2016, the year we moved back to AL.

Hands down though the best thing about spring in the Skook is my heart babies walking through my open front door, plopping down at my kitchen table and chatting away over a quick snack, even for just a few mintues, and often just to say hi. Before I could blink sometimes they'd be out the back kitchen door and over the fence chasing life.

Times there are hard with the economy down and the drugs, many of them came from broken homes and had their own ways of dealing with it all, good or bad. I never did have problems with very many of them at all and only one seriously. Some of them have gone on to become parents themselves, some struggle more than others, all are loved, all are missed, all know that my doors are open.

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