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Writing 101-Day 2: Room With A View

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Photo courtesy of anankkml www.freedigitalphotos.net (photo cropped)

Photo courtesy of anankkml

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

1972, it’s early evening and there’s a slight breeze in the summer air at the playground by 167 and Jerome Ave in the Bronx. I’m laid out on a blanket under a tree with Mami; Papi is practicing his soccer kicks on the grass with my Woolworth’s purchased imitation soccer ball. Occasionally, the rumble of the number 4 train can be heard passing on the el.

Two other families, one Puerto Rican and the other Dominican, ten to twelve deep are setting up together about twenty feet away. We recognize them; they’re regulars here too. They both live in the next building over from us. We’re the only Hungarian family they ‘know’.  The men set up chairs; they ready their congas, bongos, tambourines (panderetas), guiros, and maracas for entertainment. The women set out food and beverages, enough to feed an army, it seems.


This is a guiro. To learn more about amazing Hispanic instruments, click on image.

Mami and me get up off our blanket and walk over. I already know Mami offers to help the women. They accept. I go to play with the kids. Papi and the men wave hello. One of the older boys goes up to Papi and they start to kick the ball around.

Pretty soon it seems as though three families had come together. Mami brings our lone blanket closer and calls me to bring my bicycle, the one that I am still trying to learn how to ride. The breeze carries the delicious smell of arroz con gandules and fried chicken. My mouth can’t help but water. After dropping my bike off by the blanket, I glance over and notice potato and macaroni salads, chips, and all manner of sweets. At seven years old, I’m loving it.

Sometimes, what I wouldn’t do to go back to such an easier and carefree time. I was young and didn’t feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders on my worst days. I had my beloved parents with me. That evening in the park with the two families turned into the start of a beautiful friendship between the three families.

I can still hear the rhythm and the beat of the congas in my head to this day. Milo, one of the sons of the Dominican family, became my best friend. We became so close that my parents allowed me to spend a summer in Santo Domingo the following year.

One summer back in time would satisfy me. That’s all I ask.

16 thoughts on “Writing 101-Day 2: Room With A View

  1. Thanks for bringing me to this moment. It’s very touching. I don’t know how many families spend evenings in the park like this anymore. If they do, everyone is probably on their tablets. Here’s to simpler times.


    • I agree because I’ve seen it. I don’t understand this generation. My daughter is 26 and she even had a discussion with her best friend about the gifts their children get.

      For Christmas, her and her husband got their seven year old daughter the new iPhone. AN iPHONE!! Who does that? She explained it away by saying that her the daughter needed a phone in case of emergency. SMH.

      Christa, the simpler times are long gone. I think they left with my generation.


    • That is crazy. What if she loses it? I heard that it has become a status symbol among kids. I don’t know if that’s healthy.

      Here in Panama giving your child an iPhone for Christmas is like handing them a death sentence. People will kill them for it.


    • I know, I know. It’s common sense. Some people just don’t have it. These parents went to high school with my daughter. I had hoped they would’ve learned something over the years. Apparently not.


  2. It’s a lovely memory, Lilica. The length is just right. And your setting is solidly placed in the first paragraph. Just one thing: the third paragraph is a little awkward. Did you mean “I already know Mama is going to offer to help.”? And then you have Mama and the narrator walking over to the women and then the narrator immediately going off with the kids. It might flow better if Mama goes to help the other women and the narrator goes off with the kids.


    • Hi innatejames! Thanks so much for the feedback. I thought the same when I went over that paragraph but wasn’t sure how to change it. I was so concerned about keeping the post at a decent length because I didn’t want to bore anyone since we have so many to visit. Thinking about it now, it makes more sense to have just had Mami go to the women and me go to the kids. I’ll have to pay a bit more attention to the details.

      This is based on actual memories, well best as I can recall. Since we’d seen them before, Mami used to help them set up because she was helpful like that. The actual friendships didn’t blossom until that evening.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Nate. My name is Eva. I use Lilica or Lily as my pen name for writing. Mostly I do write what I want to, but I’m trying to be considerate because of the writing U. 🙂 Did you complete today’s assignment yet? I’m going to head over and check!!!


    • OMG, I’m going to get nothing done for the rest of the night. I’m hooked on your blog already. I bought a two year membership to My Heritage, but my daughter found my father’s naturalization papers for free with a trial at Ancestry.com and I can’t find it on My Heritage even with an advanced search. Frustrating. I know so little about my family tree. So little records. Not even my parents birth certificates.


    • I’ve never tried My Heritage. But I’ve noticed each website tends to specialize in certain documents. Have you tried familysearch.org? It’s free and very useful. Make a username and you’ll have access to see more documents. Let me know if I can help you!


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