Sunnyside has its wild places

I grew up across the street from a horse pasture.

In my childhood memories there are horses, running around doing horsey stuff. I remember being strictly forbidden to go into the place, a rule I often obeyed.

By the time I was a teenager the pasture was gone, turned into a new housing development that meant more neighbors and traffic. In fact, by the time I became an adult, most of the wild places near where I grew up were paved over and developed.

Which is one reason I like Sunnyside.

True, I live in a development, but right next to the Aho houses is a good old-fashioned arena, Specks Arena. And thanks to being a reporter I’ve been able to visit the arena covering events being staged there.

This past weekend I had the honor of spending several hours at the arena during the fifth annual Sort-4-the-Cause event, a fundraiser that supports families impacted by cancer and other diseases.

The first thing that always amazes me about walking the few short blocks to Specks is the sheer contrast. One moment I’m in suburbia with perfect lawns, chuckling sprinklers and wood-frame houses, then I walk through a tunnel of trees and green onto a ranch filled with horses and cowboys.

While I certainly don’t fit into the crowd at these events, I’m always made to feel welcome. Soaking up the atmosphere of the event is fun.

And the sorting of calves itself is amazing to watch. I used to watch the horses across the street when I was growing up, wandering and running together. But watching horses at work, accomplishing tasks with their riders, is so much better. It’s like a memory fulfilled.

Sunnyside has a lot going for it. One of its perks is still having a few “wild places” hidden right inside town.

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