Sunday, September 04, 2011

My tour for Lydie

The other day while Mom was in surgery for her cyst (before the bad news), Lydie and I took a tour around Birmingham. The hospital was so close to where I spent my first 10 years of childhood that I thought I would show her around. (The boys were in classes all day at the hybrid school.) She is the perfect tourist, as she oooos and ahhhhhs over everything, always asking for more.

First, we toured the Highland Avenue area of downtown Birmingham. My great aunt who I was named after lived there and I have many memories there. She was never married, a fully devoted school teacher, and a lover of children. She was a big part of my Mom's life because my Mom's dad died when she was just six or seven, so Aunt Margaret came along side my Nana to help raise my Mom and her brother.

Here is her apartment. It has a beautiful courtyard. My brother and I thought it was HUGE when we were little. She lived upstairs, and Ms. Lucy and Ms. Claira lived downstairs. Those ladies taught us a variety of card games and always had gum on hand. We spent mostly every Saturday afternoon there with them. It looks exactly the same.

Nana and I walked this sidewalk many, many times. We would either just walk the 4 or 5 miles home, or we would catch the bus. Nana never learned to drive and somehow managed just fine. We passed Nana's church on route.
Nana's house is still the same color and very much the same on the outside, with the exception of the missing porch swing. Nana was Lydia's namesake (Lydia Mae). Some of my fondest childhood memories are from this house- sewing, baking, learning to braid my hair, gardening, house keeping, and having parties. My Nana was lovely and probably the most influential person in my life.And directly across the street lived my Grandmom and Granddad. Their house is still the same color, too. My Grandmom was a lively, extroverted, very well put together lady. She LOVED having us over, along with my cousins. She loved to cook and always, always told me, "I know for a fact that I have the prettiest grand babies around." She made me feel special. My Granddad was a kind, salt-of-the-earth type of man. Full of integrity, quiet, steady. They made a beautiful couple.And a few miles down the road is where I lived from birth until 5th grade, which is when we moved to Homewood (the suburbs). This house was white with red shutters when we were there. There was a touch of red everywhere- the master bedroom, the kitchen (countertops!), the wallpaper, even the truck, because red was my Dad's favorite color. Sweet, simple life in this little house. It's for sale now. A part of me wishes we could move in.Lydie and I had a blast walking and driving down memory lane. I wonder what she will tell her children one day about her childhood?

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