movie night in the park

We don’t all live in a small town, but if you’re looking to experience that small-town feel, there are ways to do it. My neighbors recently announced that this summer they plan to set up movies in the park, once a week, until school starts up again in the fall.


David Tsay

The idea first took off in 2007 when neighborhoods across the US decided to set aside specific nights when they would “take back their parks.” It motivated them to get out and meet their neighbors in an attempt to deter mischief after hours.  It isn’t all that hard to make it happen.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. If you don’t happen to have an inflatable movie screen, create your own using the side of your house, garage, fence or other type building, then cover the area with a white sheet.
  2. Make sure you have access to an electricity source and a LONG extension cord, probably around 100 feet and don’t forget a surge strip.
  3. Find a good location for your projector.  Make sure whatever model you have hooks up to a computer, tablet or DVD player and that you have access to the movie in the corresponding format.
  4. Set up your speakers. If you don’t own a decent set of speakers, ask your neighbors. Someone always seems willing to bring a pair they have sitting around in their garage. Even a Karaoke machine will work. Just know that you will need to make sure you have the right jack to hook up to the DVD player.
  5. If you need extra lighting, you can always hang twinkle lights or tiki torches so people will be able to find their way to the bathroom in the dark.
  6. While everyone arrives and is milling about trying to find their perfect spots for their blankets, yoga mats, and chairs, you can always offer short cartoons until the main feature starts. Anything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies would work. Let Daffy Duck or Porky Pig entertain the kiddos until the main event.

After all your hard work, grab the popcorn and pretzels, then sit back and enjoy a night under the stars.

Here’s a few movie suggestions to get you started:

  1. Lilo and Stitch
  2. Tangled
  3. Dumbo
  4. Toy Story
  5. Monster’s Inc.
  6. Ratatouille
  7. Brave
  8. Cars
  9. Shrek
  10. Zootopia

The main thing is to have fun and get to know your neighbors.

books 9 and 10 in the series


Books 9 and 10 in the series.

Sandcastles back cover: 

                           A new town. A new beginning. A Christmas he’ll never forget. 

Quentin Blackwood has come to Pelican Pointe to replace Jack Prescott as the town’s one and only doctor. But he’s in for a tough time, especially since nurse Sydney Reed doesn’t quite trust him. But that’s just one of the many problems Quentin must face as he tries to help a teenage boy and his grandmother going through hard times.

It’s all happening with Christmas approaching—a holiday that should mean hearth, home, and plenty of family. But with Quentin, it only brings up haunting memories of a past he’s tried to forget.

Will Pelican Pointe be able to work its magic on the new doctor in time for him to find a new meaning to the holiday? Or will despair win out one more time?

A doctor at a crossroads. A woman who’s given up. And the boy who brings them together.

Beneath Winter Sand back cover:

        A brother who disappeared. A mystery worth solving. A love worth finding.

Hannah Summers lost her innocence the day she came home from school and found police cars in front of her house. Her parents are dead, her loss is deep, but its more than that—her baby brother, Micah, is missing.

Vowing to find Micah no matter what she has to do or how long she has to search, Hannah ends up in Pelican Pointe with more questions than answers. She’s holding on to a shred of hope that Micah is still alive. While Hannah isn’t looking for love, one resident has other ideas. Caleb Jennings has his own demons to deal with, but he wants more than anything to help Hannah find her brother.

Little do they know they’re about to embark on a life-changing course, a course that will end her twenty-year long search and solve a mystery of what happened the day her parents died. Along the way, they’ll uncover a former politician’s scandalous life, and reveal secrets long buried.