Thursday, March 14, 2013

Detroit in March 2013...#2

We played and did laundry this morning, had lunch and went down for a nap but...  nap didn't happen.  I had been warned that there was a window of time when going down would result in a nap but if missed, there would be a wide awake boy playing and calling for attention from his bed.  So in time I decided that I had missed the window and a late nap was going to be worse than no nap so we got up and went outside to explore the neighborhood in the car which lives in Cozzie's yard but may belong to the Farnsworth community.
My camera was very slow and I had difficulty getting cute shots today. Oh well...
Ready to roll...
The sun was shining gloriously but it was quite cold so we bundled up to be outside.

One block of Farnsworth street in Detroit is a close knit community of people who are committed to rehabbing homes and reclaiming a neighborhood.  There is much work yet to be done but much has been done already.  Lots where abandoned houses have been removed, have turned into a community garden, orchard and play place.  Bees in hives are maintained by the ambitious and generous folk committed to living economically and environmentally sensitive.  Our son and his wife share the values of the community and are fixing up a house at least 100 years old. 
Checking out the chickens in a neighbors backyard...
This was the winter skating, hockey rink...
 An alley goes through the block with houses on one side and mostly cleared lots across the back of those houses.  These empty lots once had homes and families who made their livings in Detroit.  But hard times caused the families to abandon their homes and move elsewhere to find work.  In time, the houses deteriorated, got abused and became the property of the city.  Many of these type of homes have been burned.  The city has removed what they could, covered over what they could and this has left the city with many areas which have now become useful for conscientious folks to reclaim and restore.  Gardens and orchards are seen in a number of areas.  The devastation of so many places in Detroit can seem overwhelming but there's a small, tight-knit community on a block of Farnsworth who are bringing health to one area.  They are focused on the distant future and are fixing what has become theirs.
Farm equipment is stored in the backyard adjacent to our son's home.
Following our time outdoors, we connected by skype with Cozzie's other grandparents who live in Arkansas.  We were just started with our connection when another Skype call came in.  This call was from Singapore.  Papa and Mama had just arrived there where they were a day ahead of us and 12 hours different.  It was 4:30PM for us and 4:30AM for them!  We had quite a good connection and Cozzie was happy to see their beaming faces.  We chatted with them for a bit but they were needing sleep so after their call, we returned to the call with the other grandparents.  Nice to have that option.

 We were in need of some groceries so set off for Trader Joe's after the calls.  The car's gps had it already programmed so I drove to it without any trouble.  This was a first for me - shopping at a Trader Joe's.  I have heard many people rave about them. 

My experience was not stellar but the food may be.  We parked on the street and had to plug a parking meter.  Then it was a bit of a walk to the front door.  There's no parking lot for the store but it is beside a parking garage and across the street from another metered parking lot.  Cozzie had been very excited about going there because they have little shopping carts and he gets to push his own cart through the store with some of the items for purchase being entrusted to him.  No little carts were there when we arrived.  That was a major disappointment as you can tell from the one photo I took in the store.  After check-out, there was no one to help carry groceries to my car so I pushed the cart with my 3 bags to the car, unloaded those and then walked all the way back to take my cart back rather than leave it around the corner from the store.  And then this was the time that the one car door that sometimes refuses to close decided to refuse to close.  So I left the car door open - after many attempts to close it - returned the cart and walked back with Cozzie and fortunately found everything safe and just as I'd left it.  And the expired parking meter, which had gotten all my change, had not yet been noticed by a meter reader.  After getting into the car, the reluctant door had a change of heart and decided to close.  I had been praying for that to happen and do think that brought about the great conclusion.  

So I may need another Trader Joe's experience before I decide I'm not a fan but for now I'm thinking I really like the HEB choice I have back home.
"I was so planning on having my own little cart to drive around this store!  My day is ruined!"
We are faring well and having fun together.  I'm very thankful that the parents have arrived safely in Singapore, that we are healthy and that it is now bedtime for me!  I am blessed.

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