July 24 – Grand Oaks (ONP #205)

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Sometimes a New Place stares you in the face every day, and you are so used to seeing/not seeing it right in front of you, you don’t even realize you could explore it a little more deeply.

Grand Oaks shares a parking lot with the hospital where I do my Physical Therapy. Three times a week, for almost two years now, I have parked in front of Grand Oaks, knowing vaguely that it was a retirement community, but never doing more than scanning its facade.  I’m a busy person, after all, usually running late, intent on getting to or from my destination.

With desperation as my motivation though, (I was short on ideas and time for New Places today), I looked a little more closely at Grand Oaks today:  Hmmm, that’s a pretty garden walk, maybe I will stroll down . . . ; Hmmm, I wonder what is around the corner . . . Pretty soon I had circled the whole building, explored the main entrance and parking lot and found the secret stairway up to the hospital parking lot.  I almost went inside, but a sudden downpour came along, so I scurried on my way and will save the inside for another time.

One random thought:  Why, “Oak”? So many of the my New Places have “Oak” in their name:  Dumbarton Oaks (May 27, ONP) Oak Hill Cemetery (May 28, ONP), Oak Ally in Hamburg, PA (June 19, ONP), and Oak Place in Washington DC (Feb 5, ONP), not to mention the Twin Oaks neighborhood (Feb 27, ONP).

Why not other trees?  “Grand Elms,” or “Dumbarton Sycamore,” or “Grand Ashes,” or something.  Well, maybe I can see the metaphorical argument against “Grand Ashes.”   But still . . . let’s show the other trees some nomenclature love, people. . .