We've pretty much conceded Spring is here in Southeastern Connecticut, if not just a little more saturated than memory suggests, and not a moment too soon for most of us. Our weekends and many 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 if you had 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. Two and a half or so decades 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.
Truth be told, my ship has probably sailed as the place never opened last year, and come to think of it, maybe the year before that as well. The go-karts, which are in the back are operating (at least the place is open) but plywood still covers the windows on the front building facing the highway and will continue to do so I fear for some time to come.
Not sure how these decisions get made but know, technically, they are not in my lane to make. It just seems a little unnatural to me to have batting cages but no batters with go-carts a plenty but no ice cream cones nor tongues to lick them. The struggle, I've discovered to my chagrin, is real.