Sands of Time

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We need a sandbox.

Yesterday Luke and Dean discovered a small pile of dirt on the sidewalk outside the house. They spent an hour playing in it. They took their little action figures and plastic horse out there and couldn’t be coaxed inside until dinner was ready and the sprinklers turned on.

None of our nearby parks have sand. They’ve all switched to those blasted wood chips. You know the kind–millions of slivers just waiting to happen. Those darn woody briquettes sneak down into your shoes and burrow into your socks. What toddler want to sit for a spell and play in that?

For us, busting out our sand toys was half the fun of going to the park. The kids used to monopolize the short drinking fountain, filling their sun damaged pails with water and in no time at all, they’d have entire construction crew. Half the kids at the park would get involved building grand sand cities and cavorting with laughter when they got to knock them down again and again like a Japanese Godzilla movie set.

Andy was always the foreman, barking orders, getting his subs to do their parts. Kate would spend forever in the bushes collecting flowers and acorns to adorn the teetering towers. And Luke learned not to throw sand. (It’s been so long since I drove that lesson home, he may have forgotten it by now.)

Going to a park without sand is like a taking a camping trip without the campfire. It’s okay. But it’s not what the experience is supposed to be.

So I’ve done some research on how to create our own rockin’ sand scene in the backyard. Apparently there’s a feral cat problem. The local felines seem to think all sandboxes are litter boxes. Gross. (I suspect they hate the wood chips.) But there are some sandbox options with covers. I would just have to remember to put the cover on every night.

Then there’s the sheer weight of all that sand. I don’t know I could physically get a heaping load of sand home from the store, let alone all the way to my backyard. I can just see myself with our tiny plastic pail and shovel making a bazillion trips from the back of the minivan to the yard, scoop by scoop.

Wait. I have a better plan. Let’s just drive 12+ hours and go to the beach!

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