I was goofing around at TerraServer the other night and did a search for an aerial shot of our house in Baytown. The image is pretty grainy (which is why I didn't make it bigger), but something made me do a double-take. Our car is parked in the driveway. The photo was taken in January of 2002. We were still living there.
I think the car is our Taurus, which I drove until a drunk driver decided we didn't need it anymore in 2003. I stared at this blurred image for a long time -- trying to imagine what three-year-old Julia and I were doing that day. The image date is Jan. 27, which was a Sunday, but I'm not sure that's correct. I also found an aerial shot of our church supposedly taken on the same day, but the parking lot just has a few cars in it -- including one that looks like Chad's -- so the photo looks more like it was taken on a weekday instead of a Sunday.
At any rate, the picture made me think about how much I loved our neighborhood in Baytown. Lakewood was a beautiful, azalea- and magnolia-filled neighborhood that ran right up to the edge of Burnet Bay. David G. Burnet, who served as president of the Republic of Texas for a short time, purchased 17 acres in the area in 1831. Nathaniel Lynch, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old 300 colonists, owned a few hundred acres there, and Burnet ended up buying a lot of it from Lynch's descendants. Most of present-day Lakewood is contained within the land once owned by Burnet and Lynch. I loved living in such a beautiful, historic place. We could look between the waterfront houses across the street from us and see the San Jacinto monument against a gorgeous sunset just about every evening. David G. Burnet's wife Hannah is buried in an unmarked grave in what is now someone's front yard just down the street from where we lived.
Here are Julia and her best friend Meagan at the Lakewood neighborhood pool, which has been in continuous operation since the 1950s. Meagan's dad grew up in Lakewood, and she has grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who live there. Lakewood residents (except us!) typically don't move away. We knew several families who have lived there for generations and who go to church, work and school in Lakewood -- almost never leaving the neighborhood.
Here's Julia in the LONG driveway in front of our house. It was perfect for sidewalk chalk!
We love our neighborhood here in Bryant, too. And, after the fixer-upper we had on North Burnet Drive in Lakewood, I was nothing less than jubilant to move into our current house, which is only a few years old and needed no work done to it at all. But I'll always miss Lakewood. Maybe I'll retire there someday.