Saturday, February 20, 2010

Houses I Have Owned

February 20, 2010

Driving back to my little cottage this morning I noticed that I was not only taking the long route, the scenic route, I was destined to pass three houses that I had owned when I lived in Fairhope. I looped around the long end of Bayview Street, once named Bayview Avenue (a name more melodious, and rhyming to boot), passed the curve, and saw the little creole cottage I once occupied with my late husband Jim Adshead. The once small one-storey has grown over the years and now looks rather imposing from the street, but still says "old Fairhope" with its situation on the lot and the oaks surrounding it. Then I crossed Fairhope Avenue, drove over the filled-in gully where the street replaced what had once been a little footbridge, and on my right was the beautiful bungalow where I last lived in Fairhope, the house I called "The Captain's House," because it had been built by Capt. Roberts, one of the bay boat pilots from Fairhope's early days. I've written much about the captain's house on this blog--using the little search window you can find many descriptions of it. Much of my heart is in both those houses.As I neared my rental, three houses away as a matter of fact, I came upon the house I once owned on the corner of Liberty and Pine Crest. Small and compact, this is a little 1950's cottage, like so many in the "fruit and nut" district (so named because of the preponderance of streets named for fruits and nuts), that doesn't look like much outside but has a lot of charm once you cross its threshold.

All these houses have been extensively remodeled since the days I lived in them. They look spruce and bright, and beckon the passersby to come in for a visit. In many ways I wish I could do just that, but I also know that my time in each of them has passed and I am off on another journey. Happy houses. Beautiful day.


Steve said...

Had I lived there, I don't know if I could have left. Love the Bayview cottage, with its porch and "come sit a spell" charm. I can only imagine the warm breezes off the gulf, and the sun setting its long shadows all around.

Mary Lois said...

Of all my Fairhope houses, Stephen, I think that's the one I miss the most. A wonderful family lives there now, and their oldest son is a writer.

I also built a house in nearby Montrose, but don't have a picture of it yet. Will post if I get one.

Christopher said...

I think if I looked through a whole buncha boxes, I could find a picture of every house I've lived in, few would be as beautiful as those.

Jemaneye said...

And yet, no Spanish moss in the trees that I can see. Big comphy homes are sure a contrast to the Spartan adventure of the Pinecrest cottage. Simplicity has it s merits, but Jim and I would be climbing the walls for something to create, some mess. Heart is where the home is. A house is where one stays. I find satisfaction when house and home are the same.

Mary Lois said...

There are all kinds of art projects and a whole community to revive and get involved in, but I didn't come on vacation for either. Thought I was going to write a book but life got in the way (as it does in Hoboken) and I had too much going on to discipline myself in that way, at least this trip. Losing my hard drive was no help either.

As to the Spanish moss, this area has lost a lot of that over the years, probably through some kind or blight it is said. The many hurricanes took some. You can find it, but it isn't dripping off every tree.

Jamaneye said...

Write a book in a cottage so near to home, yet so far away... that is really nostalgic. It seems that the nostalgia part, along with some loss of drive has won out.
Maybe the force to leave your edenic and once utopian Fairhope is also the force, or source, for new writing, with a new hard drive to boot. An empty drive and an empty head may soon lead to new
lines to be read.
Call it something like 'Spaish moss
survives the blizzards of 2010.'
Tidy surroundings in not so southern atmosphere may generate the discipline that you need forging ahead up here. For us, 'stuff' in our hovel and space helps us to create by entertaining thoughts of potential. Words that stimulate mental images can't just pile up like 'stuff' waiting to be turned into someting. Words are always there ready and merely have to be arranged in order for others' to read. Jim and I can hardly wait to see what prose develops upon your return home.