In-between Travel: Backyard Diamonds
By Jim Herman
Autumn is quietly settling in just before releasing a barrage of golden foliage softly floating to earth from their spring and summer’s lofty perch. It is the in-between time of summer and winter travel–the perfect time to take advantage of the scores of diamonds available in our own backyard.
Your first stop should be at one of the many free parks paid for by the taxes you pay. This could certainly be a diamond in the rough. Most all have small lakes for fishing. Going there alone or with your spouse, children or grandchildren will surprisingly open up a dialogue that could be interesting if not different. Teaching someone to thread a sharp fishing hook with a slippery slimy worm is not an easy task, but much easier that learning how to cast the line from the lake shore into the water without hooking a personal body part or someone nearby. To make the fishing experience a real treat, be sure to take the fish home for cleaning and prepare them for the family meal. If it has been a few years since you experienced catching, cleaning and frying fish, your next dinner out to a nice restaurant will be more gratifying than you can imagine.
Perhaps the park visit was rougher than a diamond should be. There are other fish to fry--so to speak--read on.
Living near a large city is an advantage often overlooked. Most always there are numerous smaller towns surrounding the mega cities where you can still experience the richness of nostalgia with the spirit of not being ignored by the masses. Searching diligently will produce oddities in entertainment that flourish, almost in your backyard. One place, near Atlanta Georgia in a small town that has a quaint southern name of Suwanee, is the Everett Brothers Music Barn. Most every Saturday night from September to May, the heartfelt and lively sound of bluegrass music abounds from this tiny red barn located in an obscure neighborhood. Throughout our United States there are countless country and bluegrass gatherings in facilities similar to the Everett Brothers Music Barn. Admission is usually free where the only question asked is for you to have a good time. In fact most encourage you to join in if you own a guitar, banjo, fiddle or bass.
Regardless of your musical preference, it is a diamond that is most likely in your backyard.
Does combining discount shopping, watching a free sporting event and free food sound inviting? The actual cost to you is about an hour or two of time on a Saturday morning. This jewel of a diamond should qualify for the three carat range. Community neighborhoods that were built during the past 20 years, most notably in the Atlanta Georgia area, are swim and tennis communities that have organized leagues playing competitive matches on Saturday mornings. These two leagues, ALTA and USTA, offer some entertaining competition along with free food and beverages. Hang around the courts for 15 minutes and you will be invited to the food table before you have a chance to see which team wins the first set. Following your fill of food and tennis, cruise the neighborhood and browse around the many yard/garage sales. If there is no purchase to be made, at least you will get an idea of what people are throwing away. Viewing some of these items can rekindle memories that have been long lost and forgotten.
Unplanned and informal backyard travel will contrast significantly from the more formal travel getaway vacations that we all look forward to. Just looking around and finding local festival or community activities are little diamonds just waiting to be discovered. Most are small and sometimes difficult to locate—but they are in your backyard. During in-between travel, pick up a few and wipe the soil off—you may find a truly remarkable gem!
Jim Herman is a freelance writer and the author of Resurrected Memories
More information is available at jim-herman.net
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