I have a new past time. It’s called driving the bird streets.
This began one morning a couple months ago after I dropped off my grandson at his parents’ day out program. I had a million things to do back at home but decided I’d just take a little drive first.
That’s when I discovered a pocket of 60’s and 70’s ranch-style homes a few miles from my house where all the streets are named after birds.
I was instantly smitten.
As I drove around in my nostalgic haze, I half expected any minute to hear David Cassidy belting out “I Think I Love You.” (If you’re too young to know who he is, you’ll just have to trust me. He was hot stuff when many of these homes were built.)
These houses and this neighborhood have a feeling that’s hard for me to describe. Basically, they just feel like home, like the two houses I grew up in, like the one my mother still lives in.
That afternoon when I picked up John Michael, I showed him the bird streets. I realized I was talking out loud when I heard his two-year old commentary from the back seat, mimicking me.
“Ooooh, I like that one.”
“There’s a cute one.”
After I had circled the same block a few times he must have thought we were lost because he sighed and said in his little concerned voice, “You trying to get home, Jilly. You just trying to get home.”
A number of people questioned my decision to stay in my house when my 34-year marriage was ending. Too many memories they said. You need a fresh start they said.
While those are valid points, I still don’t regret my decision to stay in the house where I have lived since 1992. I was the one who cared about the house. I was one who had made it my sanctuary. Now I wonder if I might move at some point and maybe into a neighborhood like the bird streets. Something smaller, with a smaller yard, closer to town, closer to what I grew up in…maybe so.
There’s something appealing about living in a house that looks and feels like what I used to know. Maybe I’ll move one day; maybe I’ll never move. We’ll see what God has in mind.
But for now, whenever I need to feel like these houses make me feel, I drive over to the bird streets. I roll down my windows, open my sunroof, and turn my radio off. I don’t need the radio when I’ve got my own soundtrack playing in my head.
Bird streets, I think I love you.