Editorial: A simple pleasure: a kid and dirt

Published 8:43 am Thursday, March 3, 2011

Editor’s note: We thought you would like to get to know some of our journalists. This week in the editorial space, the members of the Tribune newsroom write about their interests.

Top 5 activities to do in Albert Lea with a 3-year-old

1. Plant a garden.

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2. Play in the park. (Albert Lea has 42!)

3. Attend storytime at the Albert Lea Public Library. (This is a secret jewel in Albert Lea!)

4. Go for a walk. (Around the lake, down the street or on a trail.)

5. Go to Hy-Vee or Nelson’s Market Place. (If you’ve got to do your grocery shopping with a 3-year-old in tow, these places are the best to go because they have carts with little cars for the children to drive.)

Being a mother and a wife, I’ll admit some of my own hobbies have taken a back seat — at least temporarily.

My hobbies of painting, movie-going and reading have been replaced with putting together puzzles, trying on princess crowns and reading books about Elmo with my 3-year-old daughter.

But I’ve never been happier.

Being a mom to an energetic little girl is sometimes exhausting, but it’s helped me to learn patience and how to work efficiently.

It’s also helped me to look into new opportunities in Albert Lea that I might not have otherwise ventured into.

I’ve found that Albert Lea has a lot to offer young families if you just look around.

Two summers ago, I started renting a community garden plot during the Vitality Project at the Spark Avenue gardens.

It’s turned into a family affair — tilling the soil, planting the seeds and then watching the fruits of our labors pay off. Last year, my daughter was fascinated with the whole process!

We doubled our plot size this past summer and are looking forward to it again this summer.

Albert Lea also has many other wonderful outdoor opportunities for children, whether it’s the lakes, the parks or the trails. You could spend all day outside in this city if you wanted!

I guess in short, you could say my newest hobby is doing things a 3-year-old would enjoy!

After a sometimes very serious or complicated day as a reporter, it’s enjoyable to take a step back to a time in life when things were simple.