Saturday, September 28, 2013

A walk around the neighborhood

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.

This is our favorite new business: Antiqology. They're an antique/vintage store that also sell over 100 varieties of vintage and gourmet flavors of soda, dime candy, and delicious hand-dipped ice cream. The ice cream and the root beer floats alone are enough reason to visit; that it's a nice evening walk from our house makes it perfect.

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.


  1. I love it! I'm so glad to hear how you are enjoying and adjusting to your new home, it looks wonderful. I grew up in a similar "historic" village where the big catholic church (I still miss the bells), town hall, public library and "soda shop" were all within walking distance past grand old houses (ours was new--built in 1920). Idyllic! And I your house looks so neat!!!

    I had always dreamed of raising my children in a town like that, so I have had to adjust my expectations with our growing family in a one-bedroom high-rise where the nearest grass is a half-mile away, but it's just a testament to how God blesses us in different ways in different seasons. There are so many wonderful opportunities in the city that we wouldn't get anywhere else, and I'm realizing that I will miss it a lot whenever we do move. :)

  2. I know what you mean, Emily! Once you get used to and grow to love one kind of place, it's hard not to miss it when you move somewhere different. Even tonight, Collin and I got to go on a date for the first time in a long time, and I had to remind myself not to be upset that there weren't any ethnic restaurants with the spicy food I was craving, and to be satisfied with the very nice pizza place we were able to go to. Since moving I've had to consciously dwell on the good things about this new town/job/church instead of comparing it to what I'm used to from our old home. It's a good reminder that no place we live on earth will ever really be "home", and that's a good thing!

  3. Your back door neighbor has wisteria!!! Can you see it from your house?

    I think our home school co-op needs to read Laddie and take a Gene Stratton Porter field trip with a stop in Huntington! Hint, hint, Heather U! ( : Of course, the girls are reading Betsy-Tacy next month, so maybe we should take a field trip for that, too! It looks like Huntington would be close enough to substitute for Mankato, though there's probably not a big hill.

  4. Looks like a great town. Nicki and I thoroughly enjoyed your tour of the beautiful old houses. We would love to visit some day.

  5. Sam! You should totally come visit us! We would love to have you and Nicki and the kids out here.

    Heather... not sure there are any wisteria, at least not in their front yard. They have a white fall clematis that is in bloom though. Even more interesting... they have a fig tree in their back yard that they occasionally get figs off of (it dies back down to the ground every winter).