We've pretty much conceded Spring is here in Southeastern Connecticut and not a moment too soon for most of us. Weekends and after-dinner evenings are spent working on yards, mowing grass, planting bushes and mapping out flower beds and vegetable gardens.
As I drive back and forth to work on Route 12, I keep waiting for my semi-official harbinger of summer to arrive. In Ledyard, on the same side as the Catholic Church and across the street from the Subway/Civil Engineers complex is a seasonal shack (I was going more for the assonance than a description) of a tiny place with a big parking lot that offers go-kart rides, batting cages and soft-serve ice cream. It's never been clear to me if it's a package deal or if you can choose one or the other.
The parking lot, which you can access from Route 12 at the foot of the hill just at the stop light, is a busy place most weekends from late Spring through early Fall as all manner of organizations use it as a staging area for fundraising car washes. There's hardly a rain-free Saturday when the Ledyard cheerleaders aren't holding up hand lettered signs to catch motorists' attention for the world's greatest "donation-only" car wash and there are always dirty cars and willing hands and hoses behind them.
So far, this year that hasn't happened. It always seemed to me to be a clever idea to have someone scrubbing away on my rims and tires while I was scarfing a chocolate soft-serve or swatting a few big flies over at the batting cages, except I've never actually stopped into the place. Seventeen years of driving past it, on average six days a week twice a day, is a heck of a lot of missed opportunities. I'm an advocate in theory, but come up a little short in reality as is so often the case in so many things.
I may not get the chance to ever change my ways as the place still has all of its plywood windows, so to speak, in place, but I am hoping that perhaps the owner is waiting for the Memorial Day before setting up the go-karts and unpacking the waffle cones. My concern is compounded by having no idea who owns the place or finding out what's happened to him (them?), if anything. Perhaps I could drop a note to the Town Council or even to the church.
I would assume that they might have some basic knowledge of the owner's whereabouts and intentions. And, quite rightly, I think they would share my disquiet over the continuing absence. Let's face it, those ice cream cones aren't going to lick themselves.