Last Sunday morning, Marcus took his brand-spankin’ new son and 3 of his daughters trap shooting and ATM riding. Whoops. I meant ATV. Ashley accidentally called the ATV’s (all terrain vehicles) ATM’s (automated teller machines), and the blunder shall be passed down to all generations of those that love her.
Ashley invited me to the historic walking tour of her neighborhood, which is 11th and E. This William Penn apartment building is so very interesting.
And this castle was built in the Middle Ages.
Here is my tour guide explaining how defending soldiers poured cauldrons of boiling butter onto the greasy heads of the invading forces. Or something like that. I wasn’t listening very closely.
Our most favorite part (there were many) of the castle was the carriage house in back, complete with hobbit doors. Ashley thought that Someday, when she was a professor’s wife, she would like to live in a carriage house with hobbit doors. I imagined her children curling up under the table during dinner parties on their lovely brick patio. I don’t care if children only curl up and sleep happily in books. That cannot deter my imagination.
And I can also pretend it wouldn’t be cave-like in this house with ivy covering the windows. Oh, how ivy makes everything feel so English.
Ashley determined she would be happy living on the porch of this home. Leaded glass for every window? It could have more square footage than her apartment, too. Could be a mite chilly in January. Perhaps you could build a peat fire. Do we have peat around here? Maybe buffalo chips would be a better option. It doesn’t get greener than digested grass. Maybe we should promote buffalo chips as an alternative heating source. Pioneer Park’s buffalo better get busy.
The clay tiles on this roof are outlandish!
And this house? Let me tell you about this house in three words:
Stained. Glass. Awning. Who the heck makes stained glass awnings now? No one. That’s who.
This home could hold its own,
even without its over-the-top stained glass windows.
This Spanish hacienda (Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. But when you don’t know Spanish, you have to use what you got. ) had a granite counter on its outside bar. We wanted to see more, but almost got our heads wedged in the fence. Marcus’ brother once got his head stuck in their church’s outside stair railing. Fortunately, we learned from his mishap.
A relief (?) and a sculpted fountain in front? Get outta here!
Last but not least: the overgrown flower garden.
Ashley has recommended I stop worrying about all my perennials growing all over each other because of this yard.
Ash: See, Mom? You can just leave that area by your sidewalk. Isn’t this lovely?
Me: (thinking of the area enclosed by my sidewalk looks like my house is vacant) It is lovely here, honey.
Even though the yard was enchanting, overgrown and wondrous, I still need a sense of order. In some parts of my yard, that is. Like right by the front door would be nice. I’ve given up subduing all the nature around my acreage, but darned if I can’t dominate a few square feet by the front step.
The next two apartment houses had lovely, but more orderly plantings. Ashley and I were admiring the scene, and making sarcastic comments about a sign on the house that said to take deliveries to the back. We were wondering what tenants in Ashley’s neck of the woods would need delivered in the back, when out stepped the landlord with a jolly face, sporting a reddish-gray beard.
I asked him about the flowers (truly interested, but also hoping to divert his attention away from my previous comments), and he told me a 67-year old lady in the house with the overgrown yard does all his landscaping. In fact, she volunteers at the Sunken Gardens and the rose garden at the Folsom Zoo. Furthermore, they had strolled down to the Sunken Gardens the evening before to soak in the beauty. He recommended Ashley and I visit it soon. I told him I had visited recently, and it was breathtaking. At least as much as I could see in 6 minutes.
We stopped in a Hispanic grocery store on the way back, and peeked into the adjoining laundromat. There was a little boy sitting on the table, patiently watching his mom fold clothes. I wanted to go pick him up, but I really need to stop picking up every kid I see. It takes me a long time to get anywhere, and parents get alarmed.
I told Ashley I love old architecture, and all the labor-intensive craftsmanship we had witnessed. I admitted I used to give God’s natural creation more credit, and thought mountains, rivers and oceans would always be more awe-inspiring than mere buildings. And most of the time they are. But my trip to Manhattan a few years ago changed my view. I was astonished by what man had created, and I realized since we’re made in God’s image, and He plants His seeds of creativity in us, buildings and cities could be awe-inspriring, too, and God can still get the glory.
Thus ends my tour and sermonette from the neighborhood east of 11th and E.