Thursday, March 17, 2011

Memories of Hobbit Cottage

I took a day trip to my hometown yesterday.  My good friend Donna came along for the girls' day out!  My childhood memories are nestled in the rolling hills of north Alabama.  First, we did the usual tour of my old junior high and high school.  The high school is in the process of being renovated.  What I had remembered as bright and shiny has become old and rusty.  So, it is definitely time for a face lift, though I hope they don't "overdo" it.  So many  memories on those paths between buildings.  We fretted about homework, giggled over the cute guys, and dreaded the first bell of the morning ringing. We drove by my little elementary school, and it was in session even during this Spring Break week for most of us.  The area had gotten so much snow and ice in January and February that Spring Break for them must be make-up time.  I remembered the days of dodge ball and school plays.  The building seems so small now. It loomed large when this once upon a time little girl started first grade there and spent the next five years in the little private school with only ten classmates.

Next, we set out to visit a street that was dear to me.  It was the street where my Great Aunt Ora lived.  Her house has been "redone."  So, it really bears no resemblance to the stately white Victorian gingerbread that I recall.  The one thing that is remaining though is the old front porch swing.  There is a glimpse of it in the picture below.  Aunt Ora's neighbors were the Greens.  They were an older couple who owned the cute cottage shown in the other pic.  Donna and I agreed that we each wanted a cottage just like this little "hobbit house."  The side courtyard is the cutest.  As a little girl, I wanted to go inside that house so badly, but my Aunt Ora, who was always one for good manners, told me that the couple was elderly and did not welcome many guests, if any.  That was 50 years ago!  The present owners didn't seem to be home yesterday, but one of these days, I must go by and knock on that door when they are there to give me a tour!
The "Hobbit Cottage" from my childhood.
Side courtyard of  "Hobbit Cottage."
Great Aunt Ora's House

What are your favorite memories of places from your youth?  I encourage you to capture them today with a snapshot.  This trip was inspired by my friend Donna's visit to her old neighborhood last weekend.  She had told me how she and her daughter had visited her grandmother's neighborhood.  They had found that so much had changed.  Houses were gone.  Only grass stood where she and her family had enjoyed holiday gatherings.  Donna and her daughter took pictures of that which remains. Yesterday I realized that no matter how the facade of a house changes or the landscape around the dwelling disappears, no one can take the memories from the mind's eye of the child from so long ago.

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