I love old movies and have been known to binge watch TCM (Turner Classic Movies) a few times here and there. When I think of the late 1950’s and 60’s, I think of the quintessential era for the American family. Families ate dinner together and kids walked to school. Life has changed a lot since then and life is now overly scheduled. It’s not a bad change, it’s just completely different from my parent’s childhood and even my own. However, there is a neighborhood in Canfield that has been able to hold onto some of the characteristics of those classic eras.
There’s a house in this neighborhood…
- 2 story colonial
- 2,036 sq. feet.
- 4 bedrooms
- 1 ½ baths
- 1 gas fireplace
- 1 electric fireplace
- gas heat
- central air
- full basement – unfinished
- closet entry attic – GREAT storage space!
- 2 car garage
- new windows and roof
- updated kitchen and bath
- HUGE deck
- large shade trees
- fenced in backyard with woods beyond the fence
- no outlet street
Sounds like a normal house, but the dimensions of the house are simply that…dimensions. The details of the house can only be known by someone who lived in that neighborhood.
In this neighborhood newly weds live next door to empty nesters, and first time parents live next door to the parents of growing teenagers. In this neighborhood, you call your neighbor before you call a repairman. Parents don’t find babysitters on websites, but rather within their neighborhood where responsible teens are plenty. In the summer, you see kids riding their bikes and families walking the block together. The sounds of kids in the sprinklers fill the air and you know that there are several houses of children gathered in one yard. There are childhood pick-up games and the annual friendly neighborhood volleyball game hosted by the same family every summer. The end of summer in this neighborhood is memorialized with a block party to top all block parties – games, food galore and music provided by our local and very talented teen garage band. Even neighbors that have long since moved away always return for this event. It’s more like a family reunion than a block party, and the highlight is always a visit from the local firemen and their truck. Younger children gleam with excitement as they see the red truck rounding the corner and run in anticipation at the hoot of the horn.
As summer turns to fall, small groups of children gather every few houses to wait for the school bus, but while the weather is still pleasant older elementary kids choose to walk to school by cutting through backyards and waving at neighbors as they pass. In the fall, you see families working side-by-side with other families to get all the leaves to the curb for the city pick-up. With the trees empty and the woods that surround this neighborhood in full view, the summertime forts built by both younger elementary children and middle/high school boys still hanging onto their childhood are revealed. The deer that are barely seen through the greenery, are now regularly watched as they walk through the woods. Halloween is almost a major holiday in this 1 ½ block neighborhood, beginning with the “Boo” tradition when a friendly ghost is taped to the front door as a small token of candy is left behind.
When fall comes to an end and the holidays seasons begin, baked goods are plenty and waiting to be shared, and the sound of carolers can be heard at the start of winter break begins. A friendly knock on the door and a plateful of Christmas cookies passes hands, as snowmen are evident of a fun filled snow day enjoyed by many. Snow blowers out in full force, are often clearing multiple driveways without question. As spring arrives, so does the sound of yard work, but in this neighborhood the older boys are always looking for spring clean up jobs and the help is welcomed by all. When a truck load of mulch arrives in a driveway, it is greeted with shovels and wagons from houses around.
Living in this neighborhood is little like living in a time capsule, where childhood friendships are formed and neighbors become more like family.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, these neighbors came in droves with prepared meals, prayers and the offer to accompany me to treatment. I was a waif compared to the person I had been before my diagnosis, and without a word these neighbors jumped into action with only kindness in their heart. When the ambulance was called, neighbors showed up to do all they could, take my children, put our dogs away, call my family and stay with me until someone arrived.
Deciding to move was not an easy decision. It wasn’t for a bigger house in a new neighborhood and it wasn’t for new construction. Maybe we watched a little too much “Fixer Upper”, but we decided to renovate an 1890’s farmhouse. Farm life is great and allows us to live on the same street as my parents. The only thing farm life is missing is our quintessential neighborhood.
I’m writing this post because I love this house, these people and this neighborhood. A walk through or a showing only illustrates the dimensions or accommodations of the house. I want this home to go to a person or family that will be able to enjoy the neighborhood that comes with it. I want this house to give the same happiness to someone that it brought us for ten years, and I want to see it well loved. I don’t feel like I’m selling a house, but more like I’m playing match maker. This is not just any house, it is a house waiting to be a home again.
Please share. It’s sad to see this home without a family.