Friday, January 27, 2012

Live Oak Park and Such

This post is for my fellow Fallbrookians.
To grow up in Fallbrook is to go to Live Oak Park.
I have more memories than I can count centered around that park.
I love it just as much now as I did then.
Probably more.
I always wished I could live in one of those cool, old ranger houses.
Still do.
I always loved the towering, gnarled, oak trees.
Still do.
I always loved the finding acorns stuffed in trees by acorn woodpeckers and squirrels.
Still do.
My love for Fallbrook runs deep.
So does my love for Live Oak Park.

The only complaint I have about the park is that all the old playground equipment is gone.
You know the equipment we played on as kids?
The big merry-go-round that we'd get spinning at crazy speeds and then throw our heads back as we spun and tried not to get sick.
My brother and his friends would hold onto one of the handles and drag the lower half of their bodies in the dirt as it spun.
We had so much fun with that thing.
Then there were the super tall swings, the super tall slide, the bumpy slide, the big teeter totters, and that swing thing that you had to stand under and swung from with your arms up above your head.
Remember that one?
It's all gone.
Replaced with new, probably safer, equipment.
I miss the old, paint-chipped, sharp-metal-edged, head-injury-inducing stuff I grew up with.
But my kids like the new stuff just fine.
We visited the park with the cousins a couple of days after Christmas.
Lilly and Lizzy like to share everything.
Only sometimes.

Baby Abby.

William and Cora on the strange teeter-totter contraption.
William loves Cora so much.
They really understand each other, I think.
And she is sweet to him--so she's even better than a big sister would be.
Because sometimes big sisters can be bossy, or bratty.
(except for mine--she's perfect.  and i'm not being sarcastic)

I think my love for nature--exploring it, learning about it, studying it, and simply being out in it--started at Live Oak Park.
As a kid, I imagined it to be the wilderness and loved taking off on the "trails", searching for adventure.
It's a beautiful place for exploring.

Especially at this time of year when the grass is green.

A little bit of rain brings out the mushrooms.

And way up there in that Sycamore tree, we saw some acorn woodpeckers.
I wish I had brought my zoom lens.

I'm glad this park of the park hasn't changed.
There is something about those old, stone walls lining the creeks that I just love.
They bring back very specific memories.
Like the time I was 13, wearing my pink jeans, purple shirt, pink scrunchie, purple socks and pink and purple hightops, trying to keep all of them clean by just walking on the sandy parts of the creek bed. 
A boy offered to hold my hand and jump down into the deeper part of the creek.
"Let's jump together," he said.
"That's OK," I said with a toss of my ponytail.  "I can do it myself."
Is it any wonder I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 18?
I was never very good at flirting. 
But I did always love to explore that creek.
Still do.

It's a bit harder now, with Davy in tow and Lilly to help up and down.
James had his first brush with stinging nettles here a couple of years ago.
Now he knows to look out for it.
And poison oak too.
They don't let danger deter them.
And they're dying to go in that tunnel.
I remember feeling the same way.
My mom never let me.
I haven't let them.
I guess some things never change.

Oh those were some stinky and muddy feet heading back to the car.
But they had fun.

And when we got back, there were gingerbread houses to make.
But mostly a lot of candy to eat.
Because, you have to do up Christmas right.

And before we left Fallbrook and Christmas 2011, we swung by the Christmas house for a musical light show that rivals anything that Disneyland has.
And it's free!

I'm exhausted.
Cheers to another wonderful Christmas.
Love from,
PS. If you are a bit of a Fallbrook nerd, or at least interested in its history, I found this, which talks a lot about the history of Live Oak Park.
There are some good stories in it and pictures too.


Melanie said...

Oh, Greta...while you were at the Christmas house you should have stopped by. Didn't you know I live next door?

My boys' favorite memory of Live Oak Park is catching crawdads in the creek with a piece of bologna tied on a string. We even brought one home and kept it in the aquarium for a few days.

I'm so enjoying your Christmas posts. I hope I can get back to writing today or tomorrow. Hugs.

Rainbow Gardens said...

I still drive by Live Oak Park every day on my way home from work! Lots of memories for sure!

Betsi* said...

Oh! Live Oak Park love. My school did PE there because we didn't have a sports field. I think I left behind a layer of skin everytime I went down the broiling hot Really Tall Slide in the summer! And I remember a little kid getting stuck underneath the merry-go-round and emerging with a head injury. But it's still sad to me that they're gone.

Avocados and Geraniums said...

Greta, Thanks for the Fallbrook memories. Yes, of course I'm a Fallbrook Nerd, and proud of it:) I loved the Fallbrook history link you had. I'm always looking for great info like that. I too have a ton of childhood Live Oak Memories. Thanks so much.

Kate@SongsKateSang said...

Lovely, lovely pictures!

meg + andy said...

Hi Greta! These beautiful outdoor pictures are making me a little jealous as i'm huddled inside with 10 layers on because its only 19 degrees outside! :)
So, i have a couple CM questions...would you mind?? i couldn't find your email address so sorry to make this comment so long...
ok, so this is our first year homeschooling and after the last couple months i've decided to switch to the CM method. So, i've been reading all kinds of stuff on her and have been scouring the online "curriculum"/book lists of simplycharlottemason, charlottemasonhelp and amblesideonline...and they are each so different? I think i remember reading that you follow ambleside but do you do that exclusively? Also, my oldest, Will, is 6.5 so i'm trying to figure out if i should start with the kindergarten level and gradually move into year 1?....
oh man, i'm sorry to flood you with this. I've been searching for any kind of CM support groups or individual people in my area who are going this route and i've come up dry. kind of a bummer. anyway, no rush on answers and feel free to email if you'd rather. thanks lady :)

Greta said...

Meg, I can't reply privatly to your comment with an email because you are registered as "non-reply"
Can you send me these questions again at and I can answer them in detail?
I'd love to any help that I can.
And I have a couple good resources to share with you.
Love from,

Greta said...

Oh DUH!!!!
I didn't read all the way to the bottom of your comment.
I'll email you with the answers to your questions sometime this weekend.
Love from,

annettethebrunette said...

I live in Escondido! Why have I never heard of this beautiful park?! Taking the kids this week!