Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A tribute to Winston-Salem.

The day before we pulled out of Winston-Salem for good, I think I cried on-and-off pretty much the entire day.

Life was pretty grand in the Ardmore neighborhood of Winston-Salem. We lived within walking distance to no fewer than four parks, one of which was located on the rooftop of the hospital. We could also walk to the grocery store, the Dollar store, the bagel shop, Rick's school, Carson's pre-school, the post office, the YMCA, an entire shopping center, and the library (although the hills are killer). That community was so good to us. Our favorite bagger at Harris Teeter would hug the boys every time we went and often gave them quarters to get a treat out of the candy machines. And our favorite cashier at Aldi would send me text messages when special produce sales popped up. (I know; we really had it good!)

We had the best of neighbors. During naptimes I could often be seen sprinting out of my house and either across the street or around the corner to borrow some missing ingredient for that night's dinner. Our next-door neighbor, Barbara acted as a grandma to the kids, letting Carson come over to watch important basketball games on her TV and giving the boys unlimited cookies. We were further surrounded by a wonderful church family, so many mothers and women that I learned from and aspire to be like.

That last night in Winston-Salem, I walked down Queen Street one last time to drop something off at Carrie's house. As I looked down the sidewalk towards the medical school and hospital, I pictured Rick walking home: a former daily occurrence. The kids and I would often await his arrival, spotting him at the top of the hill in the distance and then racing down to meet him. Four years ago, it was Carson, toddling down the sidewalk to greet his dad. Then, much sooner than we expected, there were two boys waiting for their daddy. And in Rick's final days of medical school, he got to walk home facing a big four-year-old riding his bike down that sidewalk, his brother lagging behind on his trike, and a spunky little girl running as fast as her little legs could carry her. (And then there was the again-pregnant mother, probably wearing exercise pants and a T shirt, bringing up the rear.)

So many changes and memories from our four years in Winston-Salem! I hope our kids can retain something in their memories from that wonderful little city.

The day before we left, Carson and I drove around to take pictures of a few of our favorite places.

The race car carts, the free cookies, the super double couponing, and our favorite bagger, Johnny.

The family medicine doctor's office where the kids and I went. Our favorite nurse, April, who cried when we left. I will so miss having people I know and love care for me and our children, especially during labor and delivery!

A visit to this little pet store was often the reward for making it through series of errands. When we first started coming, Carson was terrified of most of the animals, especially the back wall of fish. Then one day he announced that he was ready to see the fish, and he hasn't been afraid since.

Sometimes I would get a little embarrassed at this store when the boys would yell, "hey, POOPERS!" to the ferrets, for obvious reasons.

Lots of Saturday mornings when Rick was at work or with the Scouts, the kids and I would walk down to the bagel shop, our own container of cream cheese in tow (since I am too cheap to buy theirs). The kids LOVED these bagels, and I loved the relaxing breakfasts since bagels take a while to chew.

"Daddy's hospital." We liked watching the construction of the new part of the hospital, especially watching the crane from the rooftop playground.

I joined the YMCA during our last year in Winston, when Rick was away for a few weeks at a time. Having a place to work out while someone watched the kids was wonderful! Oh, how I miss kickboxing!! And the kids loved Hanes Park, which was just across from the Y.

Downtown Winston-Salem. Whenever we saw the "Winston-Salem buildings," we knew we were close to home.

Cute little Central Library. We've been coming to weekly storytime here for four years! Carson started participating as a shy baby sitting in my lap, and by the time we moved he would complain he was bored of storytime and would prefer to go look for new Magic Treehouse books instead.

Although writing this post is making me cry, interestingly enough I haven't felt super sad about leaving Winston since we moved here to San Antonio. Our new house here is pretty much perfect, and we instantly met friends here, so there has been too much good to feel sad.


Kiersten said...

I am glad that you are liking San Antonio! I always loved visiting my cousins out there.

I think I will have a difficult time too when we have to leave Champaign-Urbana after school. And I love our Aldi cashiers, too, but I think the texting is pretty great!

amandaruth said...

I love seeing all you photos! Congrats on the graduation and the move! Good luck in TX!

Scott and Lori Smith said...

WOW! This makes me miss you guys and winston salem! Oh wait, I'm still here! Neener neener neener! But truly, you had it made here!

Meg said...

This is a wonderful tribute to the city you started your sweet family in! Winston is such a great place to live and I feel blessed to be starting our family here, too! Loved reading through your memories of Winston. Hope you guys are getting settled in to SA!

Emma and Dan said...

Aw. I feel the same way about Winston. And although I have family and good friends here, there was something really special about the girls there and how we all shared the "husbands in school" experience.