August 23, 2009

Small Town Snapshot Sunday #23

It's Small Town Snapshot Sunday! Read the rules and get the banners here. Be sure you include the link to your post at the bottom of this entry and also, tag your post "stss" or "small town snapshot sunday" so people can search for it and find you! THE LINKING MECHANISM IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST. PLEASE LINK TO YOUR ENTRY TODAY, NOT YOUR MAIN PAGE! Be sure to use the code snippet on your own page so people can just hop from page to page doing their "small town tour". If you can't get yours done exactly on Sunday, you can always backdate it! (Sometimes I'm late myself!)

My post this week has no pictures. Due to time constraints and other various hubbubs in my life I wasn't able to get out and shoot anything. So, I'm getting creative and making a "word snapshot" instead.

This is life on a street in my 'hood.

Imagine a hill in town, a large bump in a valley landscape. It's carved on one side by a river that winds beneath craggy bluffs and is frequently overgrown by privet and other native growth.

At the base of the hill is a tiny little town, struggling to survive. The last industries gone a year ago, swept away by a tornado (literally), an ailing economy, outsourcing to Mexico. And yet it still maintains a gentle repose in the shadow of the hill where we now travel.

Up the hill we walk. On the right a historic house with a red tin roof. An Englishman lives there. He likes to take afternoon tea. He also lost his house to the tornado and moved to this one and refurbished it. The children of the neighborhood use trash can lids to slide down his hill when it snows.

Behind the Englishman's house used to be a big garden owned by an old woman who owned the house before she died. Now it's an ugly brick fourplex. This is change, this is progress.

Down the street a little house that used to be blue, but now it's yellow and looks much better. Ten years ago the house was overgrown by the landscaping and slowly it's reclaimed. And today as we walk by, indeed, there's a man on a red riding mower driving in circles with a determined look on his face. He will defeat this nature that never rests. And so he never rests. On the screen porch a woman sits typing on her laptop. She looks at us thoughtfully as we walk past.

And then there is The Whorehouse. Not really one, but that's what all the fellas down at the fire department call it because it's a two story building with porches all along the front, upstairs and down. Young women sit on the railing or stand leaning looking down as we go by. It reminds the guys at the firehouse of those Saturday afternoon Westerns they watched as a kid. It looks like a saloon adorned by Women of Ill-Repute.

Eventually we pass a school looking quiet and lazy on a Sunday. Forgotten yesterday, dreaded today as Monday looms just around the corner. Off to the right is a side street that has a lush flower garden where birds love to sit in the trees and sing. We turn there because we can't resist.

And as we walk we look in the ditch for frogs and find instead a used pregnancy test that's negative. We speculate on whether this is good news or bad news for those concerned.

Around the corner are two churches and a museum, all with ample parking but nobody is there. Church is long over and they've all gone home to stuff themselves on roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and flaky buttermilk biscuits. We imagine them loosening their belts or even their pants and exclaiming to Maw or Grandmaw how good the meal was. And then on to Sunday afternoon movies brought to you by people who want to sell you storm windows or aluminum siding. Clint Eastwood or John Wayne a Sunday fixture in the post-lunch drowsiness in front of the TV.

All along the streets are houses old and new, quiet and happy homes for the most part. At least they look like it from the outside. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

But as we walk we speculate and daydream and invent stories to amuse ourselves until we come full circle, back down the hill, past the man who is finished mowing and covers his mower lovingly with a blue plastic tarp, past the laptop lady who closes the lid and moves inside to start dinner for her children. Or something.

I hope you have a great Sunday no matter where you are!

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  1. Wendy, What a lovely walk down a street in your small town. Great post. It's late, I'm tired, and my boys start PreK tomorrow. I'm a sad mommy but also happy. I'm off to bed so that I can handle the last day of my babies being "babies".

  2. What beautiful visuals! I loved taking this walk with you...I can imagine the man fighting against his lawn and the old Englishman sipping his tea. What interesting diversity; thank you for sharing!

  3. Wow, Wendy. This is why you have 818 followers! You've just proved that a thousand words can paint a picture ...

  4. Thank you for the lovely word pictures. Sorry I'm so late in posting. You'll understand when you've read my post. I only briefly touched upon my week.

  5. Ah! Loved this post! Loved it!

    That was totally a Sunday afternoon. Good memories of Sunday supper at grandma's and a good Western. I somehow manage to get a little melancholy watching the commercials because it takes me back.



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