Frederick for Granted
We take things for granted. All of us. It’s intrinsically human that we stop smelling the roses and stop feeling the warmth of the sun’s smooch on our cheeks when we get too much. A lover’s embrace is never the same after that first, stomach-tingling moment.
I’ve had a lot of time to think lately, as we all have. I started to think about all the things around me that are right next to me but can’t be touched. All the parts of Frederick that I still have yet to explore, that I could have spelunked, but I chose to Netflix instead. Such a mistake. Such a stupid, stupid mistake.
Think about all the cool places around Frederick that you drive past every day, that you wish you could go to right now. The bandshell in Baker Park, listening to some hep cat weave a tapestry of sound into the pink-and-orange cotton candy overhead. First Saturday, when all us native and adopted Frederickers can toast marshmallows and talk to our neighbors about the little things we small talk. That small talk draws us closer together as a community, which is what First Saturday is all about.
There is Carroll Creek Linear Park with its modest, slow-moving water under bridges and walkways. A beer festival or whiskey festival or cheese-tasting festival or [insert food here] festival, hopefully just getting started. Tons of different samples with no lines and a glass that never empties. Acquaintances becoming friends and friends becoming family over clinking glass and laughter. Hugs and kisses.
The Frederick Fairgrounds is home to so much more than the fair. Buying bulbs and herbs on a spring morning, eyeing classic muscle cars on a summer afternoon.
Then there is the Weinberg Center for the Arts with its productions and people seated next to one another, chuckling or sobbing together as one crowd. Rounds of applause and standing ovations in celebration of weeks, months and years of hard work and focus.
Heading to Walkersville means taking the train through sprawling Crab State countryside. The windows open and in wafts the smell of verdant green and honeysuckle. Hearing the kids behind you squeal in delight as the train choo-choos for the first time, for their first time. Ding! Ding! Over a bridge and through the woods.
Or how about summertime baseball with the Keys? Lots of cheap seats for sitting next to your BFF and trying to catch some foul balls. A beer brat and some nachos, and some pulled pork, and some peanuts, and a couple beers, and a hot dog, and a Coke, and a crab cake sandwich, and some popcorn, and some Cracker Jack. Stands full of people. All of us cheering and booing together. Hey, I’m a Philly fan, what can I say?
And evenings at the custard stand (that’s what I call them), ordering a triple bacon cheeseburger (American cheese only, and lots of it) and a hot apple pie sundae. Fresh Maryland apples, brown sugar and cinnamon simmered together for hours before being loaded into a pie, baked, and then spooned over vanilla soft serve. Topped with whipped cream, buddy … America!
Don’t pass by these things again. Good times are gone far too quickly and hard times seem to stay around a bit. Time is a funny abstract thing that is fickle in the worst way. Don’t take those moments for granted, Frederick.