I’m grateful for….
When I was 5 years old the only present I wanted from Santa was a “Chatty Cathy”. A doll with a pull string that talked. Mom and Dad were struggling financially as elementary school teachers and cautioned that Santa might not be able to deliver. I refused to accept that and thought my heart would break Christmas morning when there was no Chatty Cathy under my tree. I recall vowing never to want something that much again.
I’ve broken that vow repeatedly through the years. I really wanted to be the Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition. I longed for an amazing staff who shared my passion for our trails, parks and open space. Each time I’m out on one of our trails I revel in my good fortune and “chat” with most people I pass as if someone were pulling my string.
I partly blame my parents for my stubborn optimism. Shortly after that Christmas, my Dad mumbled about Santa’s mistake and tucked a brand new Chatty Cathy into my arms. Lesson learned: don’t easily give up on something you really want.
Truth is, I was a “tomboy” and never did like dolls – Cathy was my first favorite and last. I eventually buried my Barbie doll in my backyard. I loved baseballs and footballs, tree houses and bicycles, deep forests and long paths.
This time of year I think about those wonderful Christmases of my childhood and enjoy the gifts of beautiful public spaces that General Palmer and others gave us all those years ago that we celebrate today.
-Susan Davies, Executive Director