Driveway Member Gratitude

A New Orleans double shot gun house. Photo by Carla from the blog NOLADetails.

Growing up in New Orleans,  my grand mother’s house  was unique– it was the only house on the block that had a driveway and a garage.   The 3000 block of Iberville Street on one side is the back of Warren Easton high school and on the other side is a row of double shotgun houses.   (A shot gun house is arranged room after room after room with no hall ways.   You go through each room to reach the next room.   It is said that if you fire a shotgun in through the front doorway,  the bullet will pass all the way through and out the back door without ever hitting a wall.)   My grand mother’s house appeared from the street as a single shot gun house with a driveway,  though like the other homes on the block it was actually a two family dwelling,  with a front and a rear apartment.     A while back I looked for it on Google earth and was pleased to see that the current owners have restored it and have it looking like the classic New Orleans dwelling it is.

It seems to me that my days as a member of various organizations is all very much in the past for me.    I’ve come to realize that I really am kind of a lone ranger.    While I love to collaborate and work with others,  I really am most comfortable setting my own agenda and doing my own thing.    I have been realizing however,   that I have this month been largely vacationing from this blog in August.    It’s funny, really,   I haven’t been out of town or offline or anything.    I just haven’t felt like writing blog posts each day and so I haven’t.     I am hoping that as we slip over into September I will soon get back in the habit of daily blogging,  and thus get my Empire Avenue scores back up.  (Day after day,  the market maker keeps pushing me down fifty to eighty cents each morning.)    Now that it is fall I am also hoping to get started on my long delayed updating of Walking Down The Avenue.

Gratitude is not an easy thing for me to write about.   Actually,  I am very grateful for the many blessings I have in my life.    I know that I am fortunate to have a roof over my head and food in my belly.   I am also grateful for the insulin and other medications I have which mostly keep me going.   And I am most grateful of all for my beloved huzband,  who loves and cares for me.     I think being loved and cared for is probably the most important thing for everyone.      My thanks today to Vince Perriello who suggested today’s three words.    Got three words?    Please leave them for me in a comment and I will be sure to credit you when I use them.



37 comments on “Driveway Member Gratitude

  1. While I appreciate your points on gratitude, the one key take out and learning I got from this piece was the concept of a “shot gun house” – wow ! beautifully explained – will never forget this one ! And by the way, while I thrive in groups and company, I am happiest when I am with myself – doing my own thing – I related to that as well ! Thanks 🙂

    • It’s a New Orleans thing, I believe. I’ve never seen houses in that style anywhere else. I believe the reason for it is that at one time taxes were assessed based on the width of the dwelling, which lead to all of those long narrow houses.

  2. Your assignment to find three words dealing with gratitude is quite difficult. It took me a while to come up with “fulfilling simple life”. After living in the U.S. for 55 years, the complexities of living mounted up. Everything seemed more difficult than it needed to be. Much of my time was spent just auditing my life so I wasn’t taken advantage of too terribly much. I mean, what may have been the final straw was in trying to understand and weigh different cell phone plans. It was taking 2 hours and several sheets of paper for the salesperson to outline the features and benefits for me. Well, I moved out of the country to a developing nation in Asia. Life has gotten incredibly simple. My cell phone and plan was purchased at a 7-11. My employer did my income taxes for me as a matter of course. I now have more time to enjoy my life and actually feel grateful.

    • Actually, I am not looking for three words on gratitude. I am just looking for three words. Three random words. That I can fashion into a blog post. I am myself grateful to be retired on disability. While I miss paydays, I am just thrilled to have no demands on my time, which I’ve come to think of us as the most precious resource.

  3. Sometimes, revisiting those special places from our past helps to guide our present and our future. The restoration of your grandmother’s house stirred a sense of gratitude for you as it saved and preserved a memory for you. Everyone needs to stop for a moment and consider the joys of our lives, and where we can express gratitude to those who share and give of themselves for others. Thanks Alan. Have a wonderful day.

  4. It’s good to hear that you reMEMBERed to express GRATITUDE for your DRIVEWAY. Too few people truly appreciate these easily overlooked amenities.

  5. What a greta story. I recently found the house I grew up in in Northern Ireland on Google Maps and it was a trip down memory lane. The house looks identical as nothing changes very quickly in that part of the world.

  6. Pingback: Driveway Member Gratitude « My Blog

  7. The house sounds quite nice, I grew up with no halls downstairs and a hall upstairs where everyone slept. Houses over the last 20 years here in New England seem to have added halls on both floors… Just a conspiracy I say…. and don’t get me started on Gated Communities…

    • I have rarely visited gated communities and can appreciate your point of view on that score at any rate. I don’t think I ever experienced the type of New England house you describe during my years in the Boston area. Though I have seen lotsa variations on the triple decker, which took a vertical approach to a similar land use issue 🙂

  8. I am glad you have had a little break in August. It’s what you are meant to do, you know. ‘The Dog Days of August’ were not invented for a film with Al Pacino, they appear in the original text of the 1552 Prayer Book in the Church of England. So chill out, but don’t forget that from Labour Day (cracking the whip here!) we would love to see you back in full action.
    By the way, I appreciate the thirst-quenching and low calorie backdrop to your piece…:>)

    • Thanks so much, Laura. I just love hearing your take on things 🙂 (and I hesitate to point out that watermelon is not low calorie and should be enjoyed in moderation)

  9. I don’t think I’d heard the description of a shotgun house either, thanks for that… and thank you for all the posts to date. I hope the hurricane spares the house and that you get interested again. If not, then I hope to see what you do get interested in because in all likelihood that would interest me too!

    • I really am going to try to get back to daily starting in September. I am also going to bring the #definethis word game back and expect that my Empire Avenue scores and price will bounce back in the fall. Thanks so much for being a regular visitor and commentator, Vince.

  10. Pingback: Driveway Member Gratitude « charlieslang

  11. I think it would be more challenging, and more fun to read, if you were able to encompass all three words in one cohesive post, rather than to write a little thought on each word separately!

    • Your point is well taken, Charles. I will try to be more cohesive and to tie the three paragraphs together more, though to be frank this is not an easy thing to do and I fear I may always fall short of the expectations folks would have were I to incorporate this into my little rules 🙂

  12. New Orleans is certainly a very special place and I feel as though growing up there was a unique and special gift to me. I don’t know that I will ever be able to visit again (there are certainly some disadvantages to being retired relatively young on disability– and for me not being able to travel anymore is sadly one of them). But I know that I will always cook the food that reminds me of home and tell my little stories about the place that I grew up. And in this way it will always live on in me, even if some day, God fobid, the toll of subsidence, sea rise and global warming ends the time New Orleans is an actual city. (very sad smile)

  13. Pingback: Driveway Member Gratitude « Laitom’s Blog

  14. Interesting bit on driveway with my memories of semi-detached dwellings in my student days exactly as you described – clear shot through the dwelling. In semi retirement as throughout my life, belonging has been important to me, for the community it brings and the mindful activity required. That in the main, despite some turbulent times, my efforts have been appreciated I am also grateful.

  15. I grew up around Shotgun houses in the Florida panhandle and am glad to see many restoration projects bring them back. I’m glad that someone restored your childhood abode. My own grandmother’s house has not fared so well. It saddens me as it was built by my children’s great-grandfather’s own two hands. He was the last of the renaissance men and to see it being dilapidated saddens me, too. Today is my grandmother’s birthday, so this trip down memory lane was appropriate. Thank you.

  16. Pingback: Eulogy Courtyard Economics | Libdrone's Thoughts and Musings

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