Friday, January 23, 2009

Places I've Lived

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After living on Arden Street for a few years, we bought a house across the street from my grandparents so my mom could take better care of my Nana who was sick. In the picture above, to the left you can see my Papa and Nana's house. It's still standing but in awful shape. My cousin Charlie bought the property and they have a trailer behind the house. To the right is the lot where our house stood. It's gone. A tree fell thru the middle of it during Hurricane Ivan. My parents weren't living there at the time. They had moved out to Milton by that point and had their own problems with Ivan...4 feet of water rushing thru the house.
Blackwell Lane was a anachronistic neighborhood. Though surrounded by urban sprawl, this tiny lane resisted growth. Many of the residents were elderly, having lived there nearly their whole lives. The problem with the area was that as the older folks died out, the houses would rent out to a rough crowd. The neighborhood went downhill fast and is pretty pitiful even now. The sprawl passed it by when the neighbor with the most land refused to sell so the new Wal-Mart could go in. My parents were hoping beyond hope that the area would go commercial but it never did.
Still, it was a fun place to be. I had friends in the 'hood. This was my teen years so a little rebellion goes along with the stories. My friend Gary's parents had a two-fold oasis for our teen fun. They had a carport with a little bedroom in it. Gary turned it into a hang out for us. They also had a huge camper that we would spend nights in. I won't divulge all that we did but let's just say that many was the time I listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon under black light with a lava lamp nearby.
Sometimes it was great to live near my grandparents. Other times not. Their yard was about an acre. Our yard was about an acre. Both had to be mowed and raked, depending on the season. Guess who did that? The lane was also near our church so it was easy to walk back and forth when the mood so struck. Since there was a ballfield at our church at the time, there was always something going on during the weekends. It beat sitting at home.
That was the last house I lived in with my parents. I never got a last look because they moved to Milton and never looked back. That's okay. I have my memories of the place and that's plenty.

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