In My Neighborhood :: Special

by Stefani on 10-October-2007

Pillow and Pooh

In 1972 a little cotton-headed boy was given that copy of Winnie the Pooh for his second birthday. Three years later, his family moved to Austin and built the house that we live in now.

At the same time, a few hours drive south of here, a little girl was napping, her head on a pillow that was cased in that same blue floral print as the one in the photo above.

That little boy and that little girl grew up, fell in love, weathered some highs and lows and eventually were monumentally blessed with three little boys to call their own… little boys who appreciate a good Winnie story, atop a vintage pillowcase, in their Dad’s boyhood home.

What is special about my neighborhood? Simply this: my husband grew up on these streets and within these walls. He romped in the same creek, rode his bike on the same path, climbed the same trees, and scaled the same courtyard wall.

Wall Walkin'

I swear, sometimes I can almost see him, hear his laughter, all mixed up in the boy chaos that surrounds our home and spills out onto our street. The ghost of the boy that Daddy once was, plays hide and seek with our imaginations.

I think though, that all of the things that I’d like to say about that, fall under tomorrow’s heading of “home.” So I will save the nostalgic sap for then. If you like that sort of thing, I assure you, I won’t disappoint. I like to finish strong 🙂

Until then, I will leave you with two of today’s very special happenings and a host of stuff that I think is pretty special from Flickr.

1) I got to have a real live (okay phone) chat with Eren today, and y’all she is just as charming in “real” life as she is on her blog. I even got to hear her little men in the background, running in and out of the backdoor, asking for more popcorn. You know, you can share emails, read all about a person, collaborate artistically, even feel like you know them, but to hear a voice, that’s another thing entirely. Very special. Thanks, Eren.

2) We cancelled our satellite service and are moving our TV out to Daddy’s office (in our backyard), where it will wait for special movie nights. I’ve been thinking on this for a long time now. I think there are some great things on TV, both for the mama and daddy, and for our guys too. I think in moderation, it can be a really cool learning tool and even some worthy downtime entertainment, but I was growing weary of it stretching over us, like kudzu. When your kids are quoting their favorite shows several times a day, and when their first instinct after lessons, meals, or soccer practice is to ask for the remote, well… it was just time. I hate to admit I’m a little nervous. It is so. very. nice when they will all sit and be quiet for a little while, but we will adapt and be better for it I think. Stay tuned, so to speak.

And speaking of worthy things at which to gape, here are some recent Flickr Faves:

Recent Faves

1. ???? color memory 04, 2. overgrowth, 3. yellow, 4. Day 252/365…….Fall in my hand, 5. Dreamland – Mariano en el Citroen (2), 6. boys’ desk, 7. a i r s t r e a m, 8. pin cusion jack-o-lantern, 9. Danae, 10. Washboard, 11. Untitled, 12. newest acorns, 13. red+yellow, 14. Untitled, 15. easel, 16. Peter Peter

Ahh, so much “scope for the imagination” as Anne would say.

Join me tomorrow for the final installment of Neighborhood Week.

Next week, we’ll be back with lots of new learning endeavors, explorations and craftiness.

Sarah Jackson October 10, 2007 at 9:19 pm

It’s such a treasure to have that connection to the past. In Seattle, we owned Jeff’s grandparents’ house. My kids were growing up in the same home as their grandmother had. We had neighbors that Jeff had known his whole life. Oh, how I miss that. I envy you.

Anne October 10, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Well, if this is just the beginning, I cannot wait to read your strong finish. Should I have tissues handy? You really know how to capture a feeling with a simple photo.

brit October 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm

I have those same special feelings about my little guys and their dad. Your captured it well. Now if I can just keep them out of the creek a little longer!

And for the tv..you’ll do fine. One of the special things about this road is they never ran cable out here and unless you have a satellite you can’t get it (even the satellite has to be well positioned…cellphone coverage is spotty here at best) Movies make me feel much more in control of what the boys are watching even if it is the brave little toaster (weirdest movie ever). When we visit people with tv, i’m so hyper sensitive to the commericals, some of which are violent!

I”m all for tv…but I usually only watch it while quilting….I like the slow steady girl movies and documentaries.

yada yada yada….so what was the result of the Blue Yonder storm anyway?? How are things going now that you revamped?

erin October 11, 2007 at 5:05 am

i went for a mostly tv free summer and it really worked for us. now they can watch it only on the weekends and they really don’t ask to much. good luck!

and i second your thoughts on chatting with eren…i, too, have had that pleasure. charming is the word i would use. 🙂

Rick October 11, 2007 at 6:12 am

Good on ya for banishing the TV to the back yard. When boredom is relieved by automatically reaching for the remote, the opportunity for creative activity is lost.

jade October 11, 2007 at 6:15 am

No TV?!?! Wow Stef, if I could only be so brave. You go girl! Also, love the writing about your husband and children. So very sweet.

cloth.paper.string October 11, 2007 at 6:50 am

love the weaving of the past and the present in your home, your neighborhood. special indeed!

Lisa Clarke October 11, 2007 at 7:02 am

I grew up in the house my father grew up in, went to the same school he did, bought candy at the same corner store he did. It’s a special connection to have, I think. I have never hesitated to share that little fact with anyone because I think it’s special and somewhat unique. So many people leave home for more exotic places, but I think roots are a wonderful thing.

As far as the tv goes, you are a braver woman than I… We don’t watch it now as much as we have in the past, but I still don’t think I could have it physically removed from the house. We’ve resisted any kind of cable, satellite, or extra channels, and we only have one set, so it’s not as much of a monkey on our backs as it could be!

Lori October 11, 2007 at 7:26 am

aw, thank you so much for featuring so many of my photos, stef! :^D

beautiful post. when my husband and i were in our early 20s we would talk about how someday we would bring our kids back to visit .. and then .. we never left! we couldn’t bring ourselves to go; it was too late — this was “home”. now the boys run with a soccer ball through the garden where we got married, we decorate graves with my grandma every memorial day the way i did when i was their age, and .. it’s all good. :^)

emilyruth October 11, 2007 at 7:51 am

i grew up not far from where i live now & i always think of it a bit negatively i hate to admit, like, i never moved, never went out to explore the world…but your writing on this post made me so glad to be a girl who gets to say to my kids ‘when i was a little girl that giant strip mall was just a field’:)…truly, i am glad that i know every little nook & crany of my town but sometimes i do spin it to make negative comments about myself…i think i’m going to stop doing that:)…& i’m going to continue to travel around & explore that way…it does make coming home to my real life home really great

Marjorie October 11, 2007 at 8:25 am

Nicely stated. And the photo on the rock wall is great!

This has been so fun, in fact, that I just burned my pancake 🙂 Oh, well..

clara October 11, 2007 at 9:14 am

i would want to stay in such a special neighborhood too! someday i hope to get an opportunity to move back to my old neighborhood which i miss so much.

reserving the telly for special nights is a great idea!

Di October 11, 2007 at 10:55 am

What a lovely thought – the ghost of the boy daddy used to be! I love it!! I can understand why your neighbourhood is so special! And good on you losing the TV, I must admit that I live alone and so the TV is on most of the time I am in the house even if I am not watching it – but the noise and the flickering lights remind me that I am not alone in the world even if I am alone in my house!!

Heather October 11, 2007 at 1:51 pm

This was wonderful.

Molly October 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I’ve been extremely curious about how you came to live in the home of your husband’s family. In fact, I’ve almost asked! Can’t wait until tomorrow.

Leigh-Ann October 11, 2007 at 5:30 pm

your words are so special… love.

Raine October 11, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Oh, your lovely post got me all choked up – I’ll be reading tomorrow’s with tissue at the ready. 🙂

Meg October 12, 2007 at 7:45 am

How many times a day do I wish that I could pull that cable out of the tv and throw it away. I hate TV and hardly watch it myself except when I shouldn’t. And my kids are glued to it and I am always battling them to turn it off. I would cancel it if my husband would let me. He watches it the most and I don’t like the example it sets. Icky TV. Good for you for putting yours in the background! Enjoying your posts about home.

Tracy October 15, 2007 at 5:36 am

Oh! There’s mine! I love all of those flickr faves. you have such a good eye for imagery. And your words. Are lovely.

sarah October 17, 2007 at 8:52 pm

i know this is so 2-weeks later but i wanted to thank you for that photo week. your write-ups were so heartfelt and beautifully versed. i really enjoyed the story of your home and it’s history. beautiful stuff.

and thanks for the flickr favorite (the little pincushion picture)!! i’m pretty new to this blogging community and it’s crazy to come back to a site i read and find a piece of myself on it… there is definite comfort and peace in connection.

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