as i sit at my little desk and gaze across booker street, procrastinating because i have to do some work and purging/packing this morning, i know that i will be so sad to leave the two shotgun cottages that sit across from me.

i fell in love with these two cottages, which are mirror images of each other, on the first day i visited booker street, and i'm convinced they are the only two in cville. i've often imagined buying them and saving them from the ravages of time and neglect. they are very plain little houses, with their white-on-white paint scheme and faded, grey shingle roofs. they are more than a bit rough around the edges, but gorgeous to me, nonetheless.

miss francie lives in one and she has been the most caring and kind neighbor. in warm weather she sits on her stoop and quietly watches over our short little street. i hear her leave each weekday morning, earlier than any person should have to go to work. her little house is in jeopardy of being sold out from under her, being listed for sale on the MLS as a "teardown" without her knowing. her landlord still denies it's on the market. she has been an active caretaker of her little home, mowing the large yard each weekend and making each minor repair as she's able. i worry about her and her home, and will worry even more when i'm gone.

the other shotgun has been vacant for more than two years now, used as a junkyard for the owner's 3, or sometimes more, crap cars, parked both in the yard and on the street, and as an occasional pit stop for folks who are clearly not residents of the neighborhood. it's more than a little uncomfortable to have a vacant house across from your own, but we're used to it on booker street, where there are 3. the city seems not to care about my little hidden part of the city. out of sight, out of mind, i suppose. the vacant shotgun has one of the largest, most gorgeous, and stately trees i've seen. (there are quite a few notable trees in my neighborhood and all will be missed.) i think it's a hickory, as it drops thousands of nuts each year. this tree needs some TLC, but it is generally in great shape for its age, which must be as old or older than my house (90 yrs). in the summertime it provides an unbelievable canopy of shade from the rising sun. i worry that the tree will meet the same fate as the shotguns. the power co. is bound to decide it needs to come down to protect the awfully ugly and haphazard overhead power lines.

should anyone in any position of change read this, please try to protect these little gems. they are truly unique in the cville landscape and deserve to be preserved and cared for.


last days on booker street

i have few remaining days on booker street, so i thought i might post about what i'll miss in the 'ville, cva, and my life here generally. not sure there'll be many things to miss, but we'll see what i come up with.

the first thing that came to me this morning as i thought of writing this post, during my long commute to the office, is that i'll miss the winter raptor sightings. each morning during the cold months i can spot at least one and sometimes up to five, red-tailed hawks perched high in the trees scoping out their prey. they see to stand sentry over my winter commute keeping me safe as i cross the windy, icy mountain pass. their robust white breasts are stand out so boldy from the bare trees making the hawks very easy to spot. yet i wonder if anyone else even notices them. (i probably watch the landscape more than i should while crossing afton mountain.) this morning i think i even saw a pure white hawk.

i don't know what kind of wildlife i'll encouter on my walks around chicago, but maybe i'll document them from my new 'hood in the windy city.


antiques roadshow

when someone finds out that the painting they bought for 100 bucks at the thrift store is really worth 50-70k, what do they do with it? why is it so exciting? are they validated that their investment was a good one? are they gonna run out and sell it for the cash?

wonder if any of my investments will ever pay off like that? don't know if i could ever part with any of my pieces, though.



the best things are the most challenging

raising a brody is the most difficult endeavor i have ever undertaken, but man, he's a good snuggler.

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