Feeling Nostalgic

I’m working on a little project at my son’s house, I’ll be sharing it real soon. Today it involved putting together a table.

Table Assembly

 

I love the city where they live. I need to take some photos of some of the houses I saw today. They were wonderful! The streets in this area are wide, tree-lined avenues with sidewalks on both sides. As I drive down the streets, I feel like I’m in another world, another time. I find myself getting misty-eyed and hopelessly sentimental.

Then I see the mail carrier walking door-to-door with his mail sack slung across his back and I think, this feels like a movie, can this all be real? There are still places in this world that feel like home-town America, communities where you really know your neighbors.

I stopped into a hardware store today to purchase garden gloves and everyone in there knew each other. I loved listening to the conversations going on between neighbors as I waited to pay for my purchases.

Later in the day I snapped a photo of this beautiful house from the car. I love all the dormers across the front, the windows on the side…love everything about it!

House

 

Many of the neighborhoods have alleyways that run behind the homes. There’s virtually never any traffic on them and they offer a nice buffer between the backyards of the houses on the neighboring streets. Such a great way to build a neighborhood, so much better than subdivisions where backyards face out onto other backyards and other houses. I miss the design of the old neighborhoods so much! Do you miss it, too?

Alley Behind Homes

 

Looking forward to sharing more of this project soon!

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Comments

  1. I do miss it, I also MISS the privacy we had. Our back yard looks right into our neighbors home and vise versa. Thank God they are wonderful neighbors and now great friends. The house you showed is beautiful!!!

  2. You’ve touched my heart with this one, Susan. Your mention of the mailman really took me back. I remember the alleys so well.

    Can hardly wait to see your project.

  3. Oh, Susan….neighborhoods like these are what my dreams are made of. So beautiful! I prefer it much more than the mass-produced, cookie cutter tract that is so prevalent here in CA! Thank you for sharing….enjoy!

    • Although when we lived in the Belmont Heights area of Long Beach, CA it had those alley ways behind the quaint houses!

  4. Lisa Kennedy says

    This is very reminiscent of the neighborhood where I grew up in Louisville, KY. My parents still have their mail delivered through the mail chute in their front door.

  5. Oh my goodness, what wonderful memories! I wish my kids could experience, if only for a day, that childhood. There isn’t anything like it, those were the days. And about the mailman….we had a corner house and I’d stand there everyday with a glass of ice water for him. Thanks for the memory. Looking forward to seeing your project.

  6. It still is like that here. When I was growing up the mailman always put the mail in the mailbox on the porch. We walked down the sidewalks with the many trees every afternoon. My best friend lived five houses away and we caught bugs for our sixth grade project together. We also walked to the grocery store right down from us to buy our daily honey buns. We had a little old lady that lived across from us and she didn’t like children. We threw a ball too far and it landed in her yard, she said she was going to take an ax to it!

    It was and is still full of characters. I see many who have moved away go online and reminisce about their youth here and how they long to live here again.

    I live in the same town and feel so grateful for that in so many ways. A man that moved here and put down roots started calling our little town Mayberry publicly for many years. Everyone does know each other in the hardware store here. That said, crime is moving into our little Mayberry which saddens me so.

  7. Yes, I miss it too…….you must be in the midwest or northeast…… I come from a small town where everyone knew your name (and all your business), it was easy to walk downtown or take a bus up the hill to the campus……it was a different time. What I miss the most is the front porch, everyone sat out after dinner and called back and forth across the street. It was simple fun. Above our porch on the second floor was the ‘sleeping porch’, a large room with lots of windows used only during the summer. We slept out there on old iron beds when it was so hot, thought I’d die!! All the streets were tree lined, that’s the first thing I did when building my house was plant a tree in the front yard……and now it provides wonderful shade!!! Enjoy your visit with family!!

  8. Looks like such a lovely neighborhood. I can remember how safe and nice neighborhoods were when I was a kid (I’m 63 now). The saying that it takes a village to raise a child was the way it was then. We had a lot of mothers and if we did something wrong, our parents would know by the time we got home. We knew to mind!

  9. I agree Susan, really touched my heart. Love the house…home.

  10. Such a lovely house. We live 5 minutes from our small town. When you said the locals were all talking to each other it reminds me of the conversations I over hear at the grocers, drugstore, etc. It is wonderful and charming and friendly. Their town sounds lovely, maybe you will find a little cottage to downsize to there.

  11. Dotti O. says

    Hi Susan, I love your blog and topics, but rarely comment. But you really had me with this one! I love these neighborhoods too. Unfortunately where I live, the area most like that has much crime. What a shame! That pic brings back a lot of memories……….the mailman…we always knew when he came because we heard the heavy metal top clang on the mailbox on the porch. And the porch….. Sometimes it seems that progress misses some of the best features. Have a great weekend, and I can’t wait to see your table project. (P.S. Thanks to you, we are back into puzzles. Have the Nancy Drew, and just purchased Ravensburger’s Sanctuary of Knowledge and White Mountain’s Old Bookstore.)

  12. Mary Ann Davis says

    I love this house also. I love traditional style and love to follow your blog. It seems we like the same things most of the time! I live in a small town in Tennessee and everyone knows you (and everything about you) but I love the small town feel. When sickness, death, any kind of sorrow or celebrations of joy occur, everyone know and offers help or congratulations. I remember my childhood when we walked or rode our bikes in the neighborhood and our parents never had to worry about us. We didn’t even lock our doors. Sad to say, we can’t do that anymore. Crime finds it’s way everywhere now=just not as bad in small neighborhoods.

  13. Bernadette says

    It looks like a neighborhood in Asheville NC, where I live!

  14. My daughter is house hunting. We have looked at several large, old homes with the alley behind. I absolutely love the old neighborhoods. Unfortunately all of the ones we have seen would be great restoration projects (a little more restoration than they can afford) and a little to pricey with all that is needed. I know the perfect home is out there!

  15. Oh Susan I so agree with you!! What a lovely post:-)

  16. *sigh* franki

  17. Jane Entrekin says

    Susan,
    I have lurked around your porch for years & only now feel prompted to comment :-). An Atlanta area native, I have lived in an historic mill village in SC for 14 years. An alley runs behind my little 1925 house, sidewalks up and down the street, the mailman walks most of the neighborhood and my mail is dropped through the slot in the 90 year-old front door. It’s easy to get wrapped up in life and forget how sweet it is here.
    We all have large front porches but the screened porch I added years ago is my sweetest spot. Yours was one of the inspirational pictures I shared with my contractor. See, you’ve had influence on one of those nostalgic neighborhoods 🙂
    Love your blog and your porch!

  18. I just got back from a trip to New Orleans. Walking around the 100+ year old homes in the Garden District was a feast for the eyes……but you had to really watch your step as the roots of the old oak trees would heave up the brick and slate sidewalks. The ornamental iron fences were spectacular!

  19. Love this post Susan! Love the old houses with character too! 🙂

  20. I love, love, love your blog. So much inspiration. As a young mother in the 70’s, starting to fabricate custom window treatments from my home, I learned to love the type of books you show case. The heart of your blog finds a companion heart that loves the wonderful world of creating a home. Just sharing blog posts like this one makes us all long to build a more beautiful, peaceful and connected life. Thank you.

  21. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Grrr … you’re such a tease! 😛 Can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the table. I am currently working on a table project too. I’m finally over the hump (thank God. Seriously, THANK YOU, Jesus.) Lol. I thought I was going to pull what is left of my hair out. Anyway, curious to see what you are up to. And YES, the brick on the corner is gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. I love the sun room. Very pretty. Would love to see it inside. Say … why not knock on their door and introduce yourself as the country’s premiere lifestyle and decor bloggist and see if they invite you in to take pictures. 😀 Haha. Hey, it could work. If people in France, Germany, Australia and Sweden are reading your blog, maybe that person in Ohio is reading it too! Have fun and please don’t make us wait tooo long. (P.S. Hugs to you-know-who) 😉

  22. Lynne Schrom says

    I grew up in a city of beautiful old homes, not a subdivision. We had an ally where we played basketball, badminton and tag, running down the ally to the central court where all the kids played the summer long. Houses surrounded the central court and my sister and I had friends who lived there. It was just the best! Thank you, Susan, for all the interesting subjects you find to write about here. Love your blog!

  23. Bernadette says

    This looks like Kimberly Avenue in Asheville NC. Could that be the place these pictures were taken? I live in Asheville.

    • No, it’s not that area, but I love Asheville. I used to have an Aunt who lived there and it was wonderful when we visited. Just beautiful!

  24. This looks like my beloved Richmond, VA which I miss so much. Love Atlanta — with its zillions of things to do, but I soooo miss Richmond. 🙁

    • I’m in metro ATL too and always wonder if I’ll miss all the fabulous shops and restaurants if I move. Might have to make a few trips back from time to time.

      • I know! I specifically started following you when it looked like we might move to ATL — so I started following you sometime in 2014 and we moved late in 2015. “Knowing” you helped make the movie a little easier. You recommended your pest co. and I use them!

        But I really, really miss Richmond. I’d move back in a heartbeat even though it isn’t all cosmopolitan like ATL.

        Am I gathering that you’re moving? Did I miss the news?

        Alley

        • Atlanta does have so much to offer. My son and dil have encouraged me to move to their area and I would love it since I could see my grandson a lot more. Just a big decision since I’ve lived in my home almost 25 years. Hard to leave friends in the ATL area, too.

          • Yes, it’s a huge decision. Our culture seems to encourage moving as an adventure. Maybe, but a hard adventure.

            I can give a billion moving tips — like find a blogger like yourself in that area and follow her! 🙂

            My twins are 12 and I like to think that I’ll follow them when they have kids. For me. . . life is too short to miss out on family. As dear as friends are. (And I say that as an older mom. I’m not a spring chicken.)

            Good luck w/ your decision,

            Alley

  25. Just a comment re: alleys behind homes. My husband grew up in a 1922 bungalow w/ an alley behind. And he’s adamant that we don’t move into houses w/ alleys. He said that criminals used alleys as an easy way to move around neighborhoods undetected. (Or they were doing bad things in the alley because there are no street lights and nobody watching.)

    I’m not being a downer; just sharing info. from a guy who grew up in this type of home in modern times.

    He lived in a nice area that backed up to a sketchy area — so maybe that was more of the problem than the alley itself.

    Alley (ha!)

    • That’s a very good point…hadn’t thought about that. I do love the alleys but it probably does depend on the area you live in…whether they are a good idea or not.

  26. Hi Susan,

    Lovely post. I grew up in a neighborhood with a “corner store” and a HUGE tree in the front yard! Just a small one story cottage-type home with two bedrooms and one large bath. Loved that house!

    I’m fortunate to have a front porch in my current home which I decorate seasonally, have a mailman who walks the neighborhood and neighbors who are the best in the world!! When it snows, they actually shovel or plow my driveway as I’m a single woman. They take such good care of me!! I am blessed!! The house is 28 years old, and many of my neighbors are the original buyers.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
    Trish

  27. This is our neighborhood. We even know our mailman’s name, and talk often (he delivers our bulk mail after vacation too). We are known to take 90 min or more for a 50 min walk, simply because we stop and talk with so many neighbors in a 2 mi radius. I guess I sometimes take it for granted, but I have always had this kind of neighborhood my entire life. I do feel blessed to have it.

  28. Grandmom says

    Beautiful homes. We sort of live in a mini version of these homes; small two-person home (but 2 extra bedrooms for family & friends). We have all the rooms (foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, den, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths) but they are all small, especially by today’s standards. We love this little home so much that we bought it twice! The homes in our area are all different & have good yards. Our mailman rides a cart but hand delivers mail to the front door, and rings our bell if I have packages. It isn’t open concept, no stainless steel appliances; but we have creaky hardwood floors and a working rotary phone-in-the-wall. We’ve lived here for 20 years & I hope we’re here another 20.

  29. Julianne says

    Lovely home and post! Reminds me of a street in West Georgia, our hometown. Thank you for sharing!

  30. bobbi duncan says

    Oh, does this ever bring back the memories! I long for those old times. The village I grew up in (Moorestown, NJ) is still like that, and I feel blessed that it’s just a 50 minute drive from our home so that we can return often. Our mailman was so nice and he always made a big deal out of bringing my Humpty-Dumpty and Nancy Drew books to the door in person. Of course, my Mom’s homemade goodies were probably the driving force behind that lol! There are numerous great neighborhoods in Ohio, especially in the NE sector and around Dayton in the SW….so charming. You just feel you’re really a part of a neighborhood like that, where people know each other and look out for one another. Know you had a great time, except the bad weather trip home I just read about. Glad you made it home safe and sound!

  31. Hi Susan! I have been feeling for a while now that you have been thinking about moving. Seems like you have been getting your house ready to sell with all the landscaping and other projects. I don’t know…just a thought. Life is short and it would be wonderful to get to spend as much time with your grandbaby as possible. They grow up so fast. It would be hard to leave your home of 25 years, but follow your heart. It will lead you home wherever that may be.

  32. I know this is an old post but yes we know our mailman and the people at the grocery store and bookstore too. I don’t live in the hicks but we have a very nice way of life here. There are still nice small town USA communities out here. Don’t read the best list towns…..it’s the unheard of towns that are the real gems. Plus we have the Cleveland Clinic haha so that a real safety net!!

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