While the boys and I were at the UM-Flint Earth Day events a week ago, we walked past Good Ol' Redbeard's booth advertising the Earth Day Festivities at Riverview Park in Flushing. A week later we were on our way to Flushing.
As we crossed into the city of Flushing, the drizzle began to hit our windshield and I knew we could be in trouble. It had been a drizzily day, but the boys needed some time to run like border collies. I wanted to get out and stretch my legs and begin to shake off the late April winter, so we continued.
Three bands were advertised, as well as lots of enviro-booths, a canoe float, a bounce house, and a river. I would lie if I said it wasn't an Earth Day disappointment. The band on stage when we arrived seemed to only be playing around -- rather than playing music, and the 7 people milling around to hear the band (all family and friends?) braved the cold drizzle. Was this Earth Day? Was this the best Michigan could do?
I felt like we were the only people there who didn't know the band or have a booth. The boys wanted to play in the bounce house, but we said no because it was wet and you can't wear shoes in a bounce house. We didn't want soaked socks and pants.
After watching a muskrat try to swim across the river, we went to the play area on the far end of the park. There the boys had a blast running around, swinging, and playing the imaginary games of small children. Aside from being outside, it didn't feel like an Earth Day event.
We finally left the play area and headed to the Flushing A, a former A&W that changed it's name so it could serve its own food (according to the rumor I heard). It didn't seem an Earth Day type of place we should be going to. We probably should have eaten at Dale's Natural Food counter or Seva, but the former doesn't seem a place for wild chidren and we would have had to drive too far for the latter on Earth Day.
Instead we conserved fossil fuels and ate at the Flushing A. I don't anticipate our eating there again. The food was mediocre at best, and though our server was kind, our order was hopelessly wrong -- twice. My wife heard other tables complaining about wrong orders as well. So it goes.
When we left, the band had disbanded and nearly everyone was gone from the booths to the bandstand and the bounce house -- closing 3 hours earlier than advertised. We didn't care, though. We were on our way out as well.
The boys begged to go into the bounce house again, but the wife and I were ready to head home and we didn't want soaked muskrat children. I regret that decision now. They would have had a blast and they would have been fine on the ride home, but at the time it seemed home was the best option.
Despite our difficulties, the day was nice and the boys had a nice time. They got to run and swing and yell and eat hot dogs. Maybe it wasn't such a bad Earth Day after all.