Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finding hope where least expected

My grandparents, Leon and Irma, in front of their home in Detroit circa 1940

My scheduler, a particularly concrete thinker, sent me to the wrong zip code to open a hospice case last night. As my escort drove me down the street, I couldn't help but think about the times I spent on that block and how nothing looked the same anymore.

It was the same block where my mother grew up, my grandfather raced pigeons and brewed "root beer" during prohibition and my grandmother ruled with an iron fist, but oh how the place had changed. I looked in vain for familiar homes and landmarks.

Mom's childhood home (and the entire neighborhood) was gone and while I was expecting to see the usual carcasses of those homes, overgrown weeds and the detritus of neighborhood thugs, I saw instead a thing of wonder.

A brand new Habitat for Humanity neighborhood had sprung up in its place.

One can't replace the craftsmanship of the early 20th century on a shoestring budget, but instead of neighborhood blight and despair, it appears that hope has moved into town.

I'll have to thank the blockhead who sent me here because she was too lazy to check the correct zip code. I owe her one.

13 comments:

sapphireblue said...

Wow! I love that photo! Sorry you got lost and not of your own fault.

Anonymous said...

"Blockhead". I adore you.

Silliyak said...

As Vonnegut says, (And is quoted in Tidings Of Magpies) Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

I was going to say "karma" but Silliyak said it so much better.

Finding Pam said...

That must have made you feel good to see that urban blight had not destroyed your family's old neighborhood.

Jadekitty said...

Hope springs eternal, and it's beautiful to see it played out in small places.

SkippyMom said...

The only saving grace to travelling to my Mom's funeral in October was passing by grandparents and great grandparents farms. Such lovely memories I remembered - brought a smile to my face.

Things have a funny way of working out, don't they....a definite cool moment :)

[love the pic]

Brenda said...

Thumbs up for Habitat for Humanity. So glad they came in and helped out and you had a chance to see it.

Stephanie V said...

I'm sure there's a lot of sayings to cover this - that was an amazing benefit to being lost. Misdirected, I guess.
That's a lovely photo of your grandparents. And how heartening that something good is going on - much better than weeds and sadness.

peggyln said...

My grandmother grew up in the "Germantown" section of Detroit. When my aunt drove me through, it looked like bombed out Dresden. I've heard such wonderful stories of the city 70 years ago. Good to hear that some of it is rebuilding.

Sandy said...

that's cool that Habitat is doing something there.

Entre Nous said...

I love these old family photos :}

bettyjf1 said...

That's a great story; I'm sorry your grandparents home is gone; but I love Habitat for Humanity and the hope they bring people. Love the old picture too