1 Shot Wednesday: March Street

My stepfather died three years ago. 

Photos trigger memories and transport one to the past. That is the purpose of the Wednesday 1 Shot series.

This photo is from my hometown in Illinois. Just a typical street on the blue-collar side of town. The sky lacks definition. A misty rain coats the trees making them look gangly and tragic. Cracked streets and decaying homes suggest depression in our town.

The setting echoed how our family felt about the passing of a steadfast man who devoted decades to my mother–mind, body, and soul. Maintaining his corner of the world with dedication, he ignored the drama of humans surrounding him and expressed love with pride in his home and garden. He was a man who showed love not with words or touch but by action.

At this point, he would wave me off and tell me not to be so melodramatic. So I will try to obey. I raise my beer can and salute. “Thanks for taking care of Mom.”

March. Sadness & Hope

The wind blows. Soon, the leaves will fill the branches. The sun will return. Soon, a walk down this simple street in the heart of my town will elicit the nostalgic scenes from my youth and replace the chill. But not today.

 

60 thoughts on “1 Shot Wednesday: March Street

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  1. A powerful memoir indeed, and a fitting tribute to a good man.
    That street is very ‘American’. I have never seen a street anything like that, anywhere in the UK. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. In middle America, you’d see a lot like this. Big yards. Gardens. Tiny houses. Two story houses. Big houses. Gigantic houses. Siding, wooden, brick, stone–I’d say that’s what is different than England where they seem similar…

          1. Very rarely. Most are very old, and they have preservation orders which make it law to have keep the thatch. It has to be renewed regularly, so is expensive to maintain. Fire insurance on such houses is also very costly. 🙂 x

  2. That’s a wonderful photograph and a really good post. “Maintaining his corner of the world with dedication”…I’ve been doing that for quite a while! He sounds like a man I would really have got on well with!

    1. Oh, John. I bet you would have. He was the most content person I ever met. He wasn’t complicated. He was happy to talk to you as long as you didn’t get too personal. What he liked and loved he did so with enthusiasm. Loyalty and industry were two of his virtues.

  3. Sometimes our memories can make everything seem like yesterday. You spoke so well in this post, you brought up some of my own. Thank you, Cindy.

  4. Ah Cindy, I wish for my Mum’s sake that I could write the same about my stepdad as you have yours. I remember these kinds of streets from my visit to America, I miss America! You make me pine for it.

  5. Great post Cindy 🙂 I can only echo what everyone else here have implied. Everything about this post (visually and literally) is beautifully done. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  6. I was raised in a gold mining town whose days of glory had passed on to be the centre of a large agricultural basin. I remember the surrounding blue mountains that enclosed a wide river plain. I loved that whole valley where my Dad who came through the 30’s depression traded his way through businesses and farms to become reasonably affluent. But after thirty years living and working overseas I returned looking for those memories and found they were all gone. The city had spread and modernized and I came away disappointed. I’m glad your memories are preserved in this photo. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing, Ian. Our little town is stuck in a time warp. It’s hard for an area to progress enough to survive and hold on to the tight-knit values of a community. “They” keep talking about a speed train that would link our area to Chicago. That would change everything — for the good and the bad — like what happened with your valley.

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