The other day the girls and I took some pictures on one of our regular walks around the neighborhood, so we could show ya'll a little more of our new home. One of the first things Collin told me after his job interview at the university is that Huntington is a neat small town, full of cool old houses. But this picture above illustrates one of my favorite parts about the town: kids are much more welcome than in more "enlightened" cities like Bloomington. This sign was already on the tree in front of our driveway when we moved in, and I smile every time I see it.
When I tell friends from back home who have just seen pictures of our new house that our house is quite modest for the neighborhood, I get a lot of disbelief. But here's what I mean: This house is across the street from us. Although it seems well maintained from the outside, I'm not sure if anyone is actually living in this house. We'd really love to see a big family move in - like Collin said the other day, it needs a Tacy.
This stately house directly across the street is the oldest on the block, built in 1850.
Huntington is a heavily Catholic town, and both large churches are a block away from our house. This is S.S. Peter and Paul, and we love hearing their bells ring in the hours and half-hours.
The Huntington City Township Public Library! This is a very important place to my girls. They love coming to play in the children's section, and they have very good weekly storytimes that we've just started attending. Every time we go past the library on our walks, the girls bounce up and down with excited recognition.
This castle-like building contains the mayor's office, the police station, and until recently, the downtown fire station. We get to visit it every month to pay our water bill, and when we visit Annie likes to pretend she's a princess in a tower.
Like many Indiana towns, there is an enormous courthouse in the center of downtown.
Looking down the main street downtown. I didn't realize until taking this picture how many American flags line the streets in Huntington. In many ways, this is just what you picture when you think of "Small town U.S.A." Or, for those of you who grew up with my favorite radio drama, we're totally living in Odyssey.
One of Huntington's claims to fame is right here: the tenderloin sandwich was invented in this downtown diner. Nick's Kitchen is exactly what you'd hope it is - a thriving lunch and breakfast spot which feels like it hasn't changed a whole lot since the 1950s, but isn't worn out, dated, or consciously vintage. It just keeps serving good food to loyal local customers. Although, having eaten there a few times now, the hamburgers are actually better than the tenderloins. And the milkshakes! They give you a glass full and all the ice cream still in the shaker - it's enough for our whole family!
Walking back up the main street toward our home, we come to the other huge Catholic church in town, St. Mary's. S.S. Peter and Paul was the first Catholic church in town, and was originally a German-speaking church. St. Mary's was founded by Irish Catholics who, understandably, wanted an English-speaking church. Today they jointly house the Huntington Catholic School, with the elementary at one church and the middle grades at the other.
Most of the really big houses in town are on this main street. This amazing house is diagonally near our back yard. Check out the stone lions, and don't you love the hanging baskets of ferns?
We share a back fence with this enormous house, built in 1883. A very nice retired professor lives here.
...And we're back home again! The best part is that it's really starting to feel like home. That's not to say that we don't still really miss Bloomington and have waves of homesickness for our old church, but we're growing to love it here.