Mid-August Adventures Outside

Our phone/internet was down for four days. A gift of quieting the house. I did, however, have adventuring to do. One event even got a sidetrack to the neighborhood where I grew up.

Everything changes, of course. I’m always interested in the revitalization of the old communities of the city.  My parents moved the family to the home I remember about 1950. That street is about at the horizon point in this photo – 2 long blocks. Times beyond counting, I walked down this street, to school, to church, to shop, to catch the streetcar and then the bus. (New water lines and paving in process)

IMG_6407 The tall hedge ends the block in a funny point and a Catalpa tree grows there – it always has. No doubt age and weather have taken their toll but the tree, while severely pruned, still flourishes. Those are countless seed pods hanging down among the heart shaped leaves.

IMG_6404 We would cross the street and continue the walk   down 4 more long blocks before crossing the main street and then uphill one short block to my favorite place. IMG_6409 No, it doesn’t look like much today in its reconstruction, but then, it was a place of wonders. The Public Library. I read that this branch opened in 1920, a gift from Andrew Carnegie, and by 1950 was already too small for the community it served. But, for me, it opened doors to worlds. It was the place where I met so many new friends! The Five Chinese Brothers, Beany Malone, Cherry Ames and so many other characters and their communities of friends.

Oh what a joy when the new library was located just across the street from the Catalpa tree! Only two blocks away and an easy stop on the way home from most anywhere! Don’t let the ugly façade fool you, even more wonders were waiting inside!

In those long ago days, libraries were closed on Sundays and when nothing else was planned, and all the books were read, we could sometimes persuade Dad to take a Sunday afternoon drive. Frequently, it would be in the country side I now call home, but sometimes, it would be through Loch Raven, which you may recognize as one of my very special places.


The Drive is closed to motorists on weekends these days and there are not many places to stop. One can no longer walk out on the overlook at the edge of the dam and feed the carp who live in the lake, but, it still is my weekday peaceful adventuring place. I am grateful for the blessing of long connection.

I’m ever mindful of the privilege of living in the country and being able to reflect back on nature’s changes on this piece of land we call home as well as being able to roam the back roads of this beautiful state.

These reflect the last few days of adventuring near and farther:



2 thoughts on “Mid-August Adventures Outside

  1. Cathy

    Elaine, I enjoyed your childhood reminiscences. We lived in so many places when I was a child but I’ve been able to revisit two of them in the ensuing years. But even where we live now we’ve been here so long that I find myself looking at where the library used to be that I took my boys to, the building where my first child went to kindergarten, which is now a private school, and remembering as though that life belonged to someone else.

    1. Elaine Post author

      Oh Cathy, I know what you mean. there are so many changes in our community that I surely wish I had thought to take pictures along the way. Country houses gone, the corner grocery, the little community shopping center, corn fields… There was once a local restaurant that did a vaudeville type show weekends; we promised our young selves we would go sometime. We arrived home from an overnight flight in the early hours of a morning somewhat confused by the vacant lot. It was victim of one of several fires that changed the community over the years.
      It is very much like a life that belonged to someone else. I no longer remember what our little crossroads looked like when we came.

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