Friday, July 19, 2013

From My Front Porch ~ July 19, 2013

from my front porch

Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps even a glass of lemonade, and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  

Around the House Town

Unfortunately, I was not able to coordinate a visit on my front porch last week.  Did you miss our weekly porch chat?  Actually, I won't be able to sit with you on my front porch today either, but we can sit and visit on my parent's porch!  I've been in Greenville, South Carolina for the past ten days, visiting with my parents and trying to help them out a bit, as my dear mother continues to be on Hospice care.

Since Greenville is where I grew up, I thought I would move our tour from my new house to my old home town!  Ready to take a stroll down Memory Lane with me??

Here we are at the first house I lived in when my parents moved to Greenville, SC when I was 5 years old.  It was a tiny house located on a rather busy road.  I took piano lessons from a young woman who lived next door and who was a music student at Bob Jones University.

I did not go to kindergarten, which was optional back in those days, so I started school in first grade.  I walked to school, but it was not two miles up hill both ways!  ;)  It was just across the street!  My Mom walked with me for the first week or two, until I ever so sweetly told her that it was OK if she wanted to keep walking with me, but I was just going to pretend she wasn't there!  {guilty grin!}

One of my primary memories from that first year of school was taking home a box of crayons, and my Mom marching me right back to the school and forcing me to apologize to the teacher for having stolen them.  (How many parents still instill that kind of honesty in their kids??)

The name of the school was Northwood, and it later became my middle school.

We moved to West Virginia after my first grade year, so my Dad could work in his father's Heating and Air Conditioning business. So, I attended the first half of second grade there.  That didn't work out too well; so my Dad returned to his Engineering job in South Carolina, and I finished my second grade year back in Greenville at Brook Glynn Elementary School.  This is the house I lived in from around 1970 until 1977.

Brick ranches were very popular in Greenville in those days!  In my mind's eye this house was much bigger and nicer with a larger yard than what I see now when I drive past it!  :)  This house was located in a nice middle class neighborhood at the time, and the elementary school I attended was on the same street, so I once again walked to school.  (It was only up hill on the way there!)  ;)

I loved school and have many happy memories there!  I used to walk to school with my neighbors from across the street, and we played a lot in my yard after school.  I remember playing softball and kickball, practicing cartwheels in the grass, riding bikes, playing Barbie dolls, catching lightning bugs, playing hide-and-seek, going roller skating on Saturdays and sometimes to a movie matinee.  (Obviously, these were the days before electronic entertainment!)   I was always jealous of my neighbors because they had a big ole station wagon (like the Brady Bunch) with an extra seat in the back that faced backwards.  When we rode places with them, my sister and I used to fight over who got to sit in the "way, way back seat!"  :)

Here is a picture of my elementary school.  It has obviously been renovated and updated, but it still looked much like I remembered it.

Once I entered 6th grade, I went to Northwood Middle School. My Mom drove me to school, and we also participated in a carpool with the neighbors. Those were the difficult pre-teen years, and I remember feeling awkward and self-conscious.  My main memories of those years are tainted with fear, because of the bomb threats and regular fights in the hallways due to the racial tensions that occurred from the forced racial integration of the schools. The black kids were bussed from across town, so that we would have the "right" number of black kids in our school.  The price of progress is often high, and it was a very difficult time to be growing up.  One of my most vivid memories is of the black girls barring the doors to the girls restrooms and not letting any of the white girls inside.  I've always been one with a small bladder, and that was pretty traumatic for me!  :(  I also remember being fearful during those years every time I heard a big jet fly overhead, feeling sure that the Russians were coming to bomb us!  (Perhaps that was a common fear for a child who grew up during the Cold War era! Were any of you scared of that, too??)

When I drove by Northwood Middle, I learned that the school had been torn down and a brand new one built four years ago. 

My 9th grade year was a very difficult one for me, because I fell into the wrong crowd in my new high school.  :(  At least partly because of that, my Dad bought a "new" house that summer and moved us into a different school district. This house was a bargain buy, because it was a real fixer-upper located in a very nice neighborhood.  My Mom and Dad worked unbelievably hard cleaning and painting that house so we could move into it when school started.  This was when I first learned to paint, as my Dad let me paint my new room myself with considerable coaching from him!  (Painting is a skill I have put to use dozens of times since then!)   

My parents totally transformed that house through their diligence, teaching me what a good dose of elbow grease can do to a house!  I loved that house and have many great memories there!!  

For 10th through 12th grades I attended Eastside High School.  I rode the school bus mostly.  This picture is of a much newer, nicer school, as the original buildings have been significantly expanded, renovated, and updated since I was a student there in the late 1970s.

While I was never popular, I did develop some good friendships during this time with other Christian young people.  What do I remember most about my high school years?  Having a blast with my youth group (including a mission trip to Harlingen, TX), being on the newspaper staff, being a member of the marching band (where I was part of the flag squad), cheering our football team to victory when they won the state AAAA football championship, hosting an international student from Brazil who became a lifelong friend, and being in the Homecoming Court one year.

Here is a picture of the church that I attended during those years - Edwards Road Baptist.  ERBC was a big part of my life, as I was involved in a large, active youth group and most of my friends were from that group of young people.  I was saved and baptized there, and I got married at this church in 1983.

Well, that's it!  I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my hometown and the memories that it evoked!  

Family News

As I mentioned, I've been in Greenville, SC with my parents for the last couple weeks.  So, I'm going to share some pictures from my time here!

My Dad has picked many quarts of blueberries, and has kept me (and my sister who was here before me!) busy baking him blueberry cobblers!  He laughs at me because I like to try a different recipe each time!  :)  His favorite was this Blueberry Crumble!  

One afternoon, Dad and I went out and bought some fresh peaches from a roadside stand!   

I encouraged my Dad to get out and play golf a few times with his golfing buddy while I was there to stay with Mom.  Here he is practicing his golf swing!  :)

My Dad enjoys working crossword puzzles and cryptoquotes and I love working the Word Jumbles.  So, we unscrambled words together every evening, always trying to see who could get the words first!!  :)

Meanwhile, back at home, my oldest daughter, Tiffany, celebrated her 28th birthday (perhaps I'll have pictures next week), and my second oldest daughter, Ashlyn, flew to Ecuador on a 3-week mission trip!  You can follow Ashlyn's adventures as she leads a team of photographers and ministers the gospel to children on the Global Encounters website.

Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit!  If you have time, please drop by and visit with my dear friend, Lori.  She blogs from the front porch of her cozy little log cabin nestled in the woods of the South Carolina mountains.  You will enjoy her warm and witty writing style!  Tell her that Elizabeth sent you!  :)

Also, would you mind taking a moment and voting for me?  My blog is in the running to be in the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Large Family Blogs for 2013!  :)  Voting ends July 24th, and you can vote again every 24 hours!  ;)  THANKS for your support!  :)

Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!!

This post is linked up with:

I Choose Joy!



Gena at said...

I love reading your front porch posts!

Gail Burton Purath said...

How fun to revisit some of the homes and schools from your upbringing and always nice to visit your parents as well. Your family is such a blessing. Elizabeth, I have a question. I couldn't tell for sure, but do you live in NC or SC presently? I've been wanting to compile a list of bloggers in my area (I live in a suburb of Charlotte, NC)with hopes of sometime in the future getting together for a seminar of some kind, closer than the mega-blogger seminars and less expensive. Let me know if you'd like to be on that list.
bless you,

Linda Sears said...

what a fun visit! Though I've never been to the Carolinas, I think we grew up in the same era, and lived in houses built in similar time periods - seeing your pictures takes me back to my own childhood memories :)
Ah, those were the days, though I'm happy to not actually relive them again.

Abby May said...

It was so fun to read through and see the posts about your childhood. I truly enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing! :)

Judith said...

Thanks for sharing this.I really enjoyed visiting with you in your hometown and having a tour.

Mel Caldicott said...

Wonderful to read from over at the UK. Fab photos and some great memories you have shared. Thanks so much for linking up at Essential Fridays. Blessings said...

What a wonderful read. Thank you.

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