I used to swing.

@postaday 317; #postaday2011.

Maybe you misunderstood? I’d stand on the wooden seat and hold onto the chains and swing so high. My friends would bob up and down on the other swings. Some with rubber seats, some with wooden seats, and we’d swing in unison, and the whole set would thump and thwack and pull up as though it would be uprooted by a bunch of 8-year-old sassy munchkins in hand-me-downs pretending they didn’t hear their mom calling and not noticing that the street lights came on. Because, how could we watch for the bats if we went in before it was really, really, really dark?


Right now we have an opportunity to help Hawaii get funds for an amazing park that is planned for Niu Valley, in the lot below Niu Valley Middle School. It’s not just a park for kids. The plans look amazing! This is a park that has a kids section and a section for adults to work out, play sports, and for EVERYONE to get their fitness on. I am proud to include that my employer’s community outreach arm, Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation, has pledged funds to help these impressive plans materialize. And YOU can help! Get on Facebook and LIKE the Let’s Play page. Then scroll down and vote for Niu Valley‘s park plans. If you ask me, they look far more exciting than the competition from Maryland, Maine, Ohio and Georgia!

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid set free in the neighborhood park for hours? To run out of the house after breakfast, come back for lunch, and run back out to play with friends before dinner? I drive by Spring Garden Park in Riverside, N.J., whenever we go back to the East Coast.This was the park where I spent so many days having fun with my friends. A Google Maps 2010 photo shows the park, with a new gazebo and some really lame, probably federally approved “safe” amusements for the kids to play on. As in Hawaii, swings are no longer a part of playground scenery. Monkey bars are questionable. Sliding boards are rare. And if there isn’t a charging station for a kid’s hand-held Sony PSP or Nintendo, then you might have to field such questions as “Why are we here, MOM?”

This particular park planned for Niu Valley is in a nation-wide competition for funds from “Let’s Play.” Here’s its description:

Exploring Koko Crater's xeriscape is fun, but, you gotta watch out for the freaky vegetation!

The Niu Valley Community Association is a small unincorporated non-profit community organization, which has been in existence since the 1960s. There are over 700 diverse families that live in Niu Valley. While the proposed community-build project would serve the specific community, because Niu Valley Park is next to the only public middle school in the Kaiser Complex (pop. 30,670), thousands of children would benefit as the proposed playground will be open to the public.

THOUSANDS! We can make this happen by voting daily at the Facebook Let’s Play page. Please scroll down to Niu Valley and cast your vote! If this happens for us, small-kine keiki to those big-kid retirees will find Niu Valley a fun place to play until the street lights come on!


By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

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