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Stories: Kathy Barnes-Lou

Kathy's mom at the Old Growth gate
Kathy’s mom at the Old Growth gate

Kathy was kind enough to share this heart-warming memory from a trip to the Old Forest with us. Share your story at!

Good People in the Old Forest of Overton Park

While taking in the warm winter day a year or so ago, my mother and I made our way through the Old Forest in Overton Park. I pushed her in the wheelchair she now needs and we moved through the space slowly, sometimes talking about our beautiful surroundings, other times saying hello to fellow two and four legged walkers, runners, and bikers. There was plenty of time for silence and pondering too.

As we wandered along, we met a young couple with a newborn baby in the stroller, and their two dogs. They were generous with their time and asked if they could take our photo. Mom and I grinned like possums eating persimmons. We did so, partly, because that is how we are all trained when we are the subject of a camera lens, but we smiled because of meeting, even briefly, a young family with lovely and kind spirits.

Along another stretch of path, I found myself navigating those small round sweet gum balls (bombs) that have fallen from their owners and before I knew it, my ankle turned over, and down I fell, all the while holding on to Mom’s wheelchair. It was a s l o w motion fall. If you have seen someone water skiing and fall while still holding onto the rope, you can envision me in the Old Forest falling, as I never let go of Mom’s wheelchair.

As I rolled around the forest path, another young couple made their way to me as I tried to rise and the gentleman lent me his hands and pulled me up, along with my brief embarrassment. The couple remained with Mom and I until they were sure I was okay to walk. Once again, beautiful people becoming part of our journey.

So thankful for the Good People in the Old Forest of Overton Park.