Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Pilgrim

This world can be a rather mysterious place, even for a pretty normal guy. 
This is The Pilgrim. It's an apartment building on West Street in the West End. Walk in and ring his room. He'd buzz me in. I remember it always being toasty warm on mornings in winter. Bear a bit to the right and 'call' the elevator, and it was usually there in 30 seconds or less. Slide the heavy brass to the side and open a cage-like inner door and you were in. The ride to the 3rd floor was fast and the short amble down the hall was always met with the door ajar to let me. I'd sit at the small table overlooking the street below or take a place on the couch, and we'd talk about just about anything: antiques, our old farmhouse, a cruise that was in his future plans, some politics or even a course in Celtic he was planning on taking. I miss those visits. J- does too. We often travelled there together.
Dad's been gone since Christmas Eve 1997. 
Here's another little secret of mine.
Until last year, I would drive out of my way not to venture down West Street.
It was too hard.
Once about 5 years ago, I took a 'wrong' turn and found myself on the street.
I focused straight ahead.
Wouldn't look to the right.
I guess I'm better now.
I took this photo last week.
I really like this building.
Some significance?


  1. The building looks warm and inviting. You have good memories, and that is so important.

  2. Such a wonderful description of this place, I almost feel like I was there. Wonderful and poignant memories.

  3. Good for you. Losing a parent is very difficult. And while the pain eases, it never really goes away. This photo is a step in the right direction, methinks.

    Re your comment on Ocala: We rode by the place yesterday. No cows. Just lots of gopher holes and cowpies! Then we went home for breakfast.

  4. Now you've got me in tears, Birdman. So glad Someone led you to your pilgrimage destination and changed everything.

  5. I like to read about people who had such love for their father. Mine was .. let's say "not that kind". I envy you those beautiful memories .

  6. I almost heard that elevator door as I read. What palpable memories. Tears here, too. I can relate.

  7. I'd say he'd been waiting for you to have a drive by. Hence the Wreath still hanging on the outer wall.
    Very touching.

    BTW: We call Kylee 'The Cheese". TeeHee

  8. I feel a bit teary here, Birdman.

  9. Perhaps there is a significance. I like MB's explanation a lot but maybe he expected you for Christmas?

  10. Some places in our life are hard to handle until we are ready which can take years sometimes -- good post -- barbara

  11. Some memories take some time to get used to. Nice post.

  12. A beautiful story and picture. Glad you shared it. I am moved.

  13. A very touching post, Birdman. My father almost died this past fall, so I have a tinge of feeling of what it must be like to lose a parent. The tinge was almost too hard. Good for you for taking this photo.

  14. Many a day was spent in pleasant conversation here. Thanks for the memories of Dad. Love the snowy look. Priceless.
    Elenka, you need to do this painting! Pilgrim? Aren't we all just that.

    Lakeland Checks In

    1. I try to avoid painting 4 gazillion bricks if I can help it.

  15. How beautiful! Those are some wonderful memories you have. My Dad passed away on Christmas Eve too, in 2004. The ironic thing about that is that my son is named after my Dad and his birthday is on Christmas Day. A mixed bag of feelings for me around the holidays for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I understand...I know this place...lucky you & your Dad to have had the time together...

  17. A poignant post today that seems to have touched numerous viewers. I was reading them all solemnly until I saw Elenka's comment about not painting so many bricks. That broke the spell!