As I look out my window on Mesta Park, I recall our first meeting from another window long ago. This one belonged to my parent’s 1956 Chevy, an unstylish clunker of a car, with four doors and a two-tone white and maroonish red body. But there was nothing clunkerish about the old neighborhood moving past its open window. Both the Chevy and I were mere babes in comparison to this place that already then was pushing seventy.
But some neighborhoods, like people, wear their age well. I hear good bones help. And this one had them, in the form of tall graceful trees, fully decked out in a fringe of summer green leaves. Like soldiers standing at attention, they lined up protectively on both sides of the street to create a cool and inviting sanctuary, with limbs arching high and across Walker Avenue. As the Chevy passed under their canopy, I caught a glimpse of the rows of houses anchored upon the hilly side streets. Some were mansions, kept unpretentious by their next-door neighbors, most of which were comparatively modest two stories. Built long before cookie cutter homes would fall into fashion, each possessed its own special style. A few were even decked out in gingerbread trim.
As the neighborhood fell away from my eyes, my ten-year old mind continued to wonder about the people who lived there. What were they like? What kind of jobs did they hold? Did they have children? Did they have cooks and maids to help them keep house? What did their everyday lives look like?
My dream to live in an old house was born from these unanswered questions. Even now that I live here with my husband and two dogs — in a sturdy old house in Mesta Park — my everyday life seems like the stuff of childhood dreams, possessing a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ quality about it. This may sound sappy. But truth often is — and as it’s revealed we often appear foolish — which may be why many, including me, have gone great lengths to hide it. No more. I’m ready to risk ridicule for truth. Because the true stories of everyday life are too good not to share.
So beginning now, from this window, I’ll share bits and pieces of my everyday life and story, even at the risk of looking foolish.