The Street We Live On

We live in a basic little house in an OK part of town.  The city we live in is awesome (I can’t imagine living ANYWHERE else) and we live within walking or biking (or short-ish drive) to most everything we love.  The house itself – it’s ok, too.  It’s what we could afford and has just enough space not to make us crazy. And wood floors. They were on the must list.

But my hubby and I always laugh because we bought the house before we had kids, and had we had one already on the way, perhaps we would have made a different decision. Busy Busy streets (where people drive too fast)  surround our home, and mostly older or single people live around us. Maybe now we would have bought one just a few blocks away (where all of the families chose to live and the streets are super quiet).

But there are a few things about our house that that I just wouldn’t want to trade.  I love to look at this list through the eyes of my wee ones. I love thinking about how they will grow into adults, probably not thinking twice about their house versus their friends’ houses (I never did), but will remember these things fondly:

  • Our neighbors. God forbid they ever move. They aren’t allowed.  They don’t have kids of their own, but have become Our AND our children’s Bestest of friends. We share gardens, we share house keys (and ovens on large occasions), and barbecue and beer on spontaneous summer nights. They back us up with the extra tables and excellent food when a party is in order and frequently make a few extra brownies to send our way. They and my littles share good-mornings out our windows. They’ll always remember B and L and their laughs, and her snake, and how B always asks my H if he wants to dig dirt and garden with him. Aaaahhhhh, they top the list.
  • Airplanes. Our house is in a flight path. Some people would see this as a detriment. But seriously – airplanes! Above our house! A zillion times a day! So close that you can see their numbers, and markings, and make our TV reception die! They bring out the kid in me every time they go over head.  My kids will always remember those airplanes.
  • Friends. We have lots of friends who live nearby. And our local community center is just around the bend. All are down a few busy streets, but that’s OK. My kids will learn to be safe.
  • And maybe Close to the Top of this List? Ella’s Deli is right around the corner. Ella’s is the place that all of the locals and tourists bring their kids to eat. Every table, every inch of ceiling and wall space is covered with moving things and collections, and lights and noises. There is an ice-cream parlor, too, that serves the best ice-cream in town. The real stuff. The ice-cream has an ingredient list that says “Don’t even ask. This is the best ice-cream in Wisconsin and it tastes so good because it has gobs of real Wisconsin cream, tons of real ingredients for boat-loads of luscious flavors. That means it’s not low-fat, low-calorie, or low-anything, and that’s why everyone loves it. You want nutrition, eat carrots.” And Ella’s even has a real carousel outside.

Ella's Deli Carousel

On random days – those without special occasions – I love to grab our bikes and strollers and walk (carefully, across a busy road) to Ella’s. We get ice-cream, and we ride the carousel. It makes ordinary days special, and being a kid awesome. It makes being a parent pretty amazing, too.

Ice Cream

And when the wind is *just right* on a summer day, the sound of the carousel floats into our upstairs windows. I sometimes see my eldest sitting at the window-sill, watching the trees (and the parking lot that sits behind our house) and listening to the Carousel. I know that someday he’ll hear that familiar sound, and he’ll tell anyone who will listen that he had the bestest home any kid could have. He won’t care about the laundry list of reasons why his mom and dad wish they could have had something just a bit different. He’ll remember this list (much expanded) as all of the reasons his OK house was an Awesome Home.

H on the Carousel

– EC

  1. We live tucked behind the busy streets in roughly that same area of Madison. We rent. We love our street, but just a skip away things are a bit trashy. On the one hand, our immediate neighborhood seems so quiet and quaint and nice. But when I’m giving directions to someone? “Head down the ugly, busy street toward that porn shop. If you’ve hit all the fast food and checks cashed joints you’ve gone too far.”

  1. June 3rd, 2011

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