After getting all our stuff back from Oregon, the girls delighted in having once again all their toys, their bikes, and their roller skates. Unfortunately, we have no sidewalks in our neighborhood, and our driveway is quite steep, so for them to skate, we have to drive them out to parking lots, or into town where there are flat paved areas. One day I took them downtown, knowing of several plazas where they could skate about.
We found out that a festival was happening in Pack Square Park, so we parked in that general area, figuring we could check things out while or after they skated. The Goombay festival is a celebration of African and Caribbean culture in North Carolina. As we approached we heard reggae music and picked up on the scent of wonderful smelling food.
Later I looked up more about the festival online. “The Goombay Festival represents an opportunity to highlight the African American experience and the YMI’s role in crafting that experience. It continues to promote the historical legacy of the “Founding Fathers” to promote the entrepreneurial spirit of African Americans in Asheville, NC.” Says the YMI Board Chair Stephanie Swepson-Twitty.
I didn’t know what the YMI was either, so I looked that up too.
“Since its founding in 1893 as the Young Men's Institute, the YMI has been a hub of African-American culture in Asheville, NC. We are a multicultural center and serve all of Asheville's diverse communities with celebrations of culture and history.”
Lila has some skates too, though they’re just baby skates, made of plastic, designed to fit over her shoes. We went skating at a roller rink shortly after moving to Asheville, and I was most impressed with Lila’s determination to learn to skate. There she had real skates, and they also provided a walker-like aid device on wheels that helped her stay upright. She fumbled around on that for a long time, often falling, though she could control her descent with the guide. She fell lots, but she was quite determined, and she kept at it. Eventually she was actually skating by herself, able to move about and steer fairly well.
But on the pavement, with only plastic skates, she wasn’t up for free skating. I held her hand and guided her, and she enjoyed herself for a while, but eventually she wanted to just run around and play. She found an empty fountain and played in there, and we practiced some parkour jumps together there.
The older girls had enough skating too, so they put their shoes back on and we walked around the festival, which was surrounded by booths with different vendors. Laura would have loved all the crafts and colorful fabrics.
Laura gets very few breaks from the kids, she welcomes opportunities for me to take them for outings without her. She probably would have liked it if we stayed longer, but we stayed for less than two hours, heading out after we finished drinking a freshly squeezed lemonade.
It was a fine day, and it made me wish I could get some roller skates. We also need to get Lila some real roller skates, but it’s hard because anything we buy her will be too small in a few months. Those kids are growing up fast. Time slips away fast, and it can’t be saved in a bottle. So love your people with all you’ve got my friends, and don’t let a day go to waste!