Ode to Main Street
The photo is blurry but the memories are clear. This was us, 12 years ago inside our little apartment above the salon on Main Street, Ellicott City. It was Thanksgiving Day, our first since leaving the place I had called “home” for 7 years prior.
I had gone over to Adam’s wine shop that morning to get something to go with the turkey. Earlier that week, I had been down to the Stillridge Herb shop to purchase French Country placemats for our little glass table. That morning, my daughter was playing with toys purchased from Mumbles and Squeaks toyshop and I was wearing a shirt I had purchased from the eclectic, Discoveries shop near The Phoenix restaurant.
Some of those shops and shop owners have long since closed their doors or left, but their memory and the place they held in our lives will live with me forever.
I am haunted with the recent photos of the flood devastation. My old apartment door is now above a sinkhole with at least six feet of earth missing from the building’s foundation. (door with man squatting down )
The shop owners all knew her. Miss Betty at the antique shop next to Salon Marielle used to help my daughter pick out antique doll clothing for her stuffed animals. On Halloween, my sweetie dressed as a kitty and we trick or treated to each shop. She didn’t like candy like most kids, so her jack-o-lantern bucket was filled with a bag of Stillridge Sweet Herb Farm potpourri, a postcard from Rebecca at Stilllife Gallery, fairy dust from Forget-Me-Not Factory, an antique coin from Taylor’s Antiques, an apple from Yates Grocery and a flower hair clip from Mr. Garland at Rugs to Riches.
Parking Lot D, now covered with mud, was where our car sat each evening when we lived on Main Street. My daughter was just three years old. It had snowed one Winter day and she and I went out and cleaned off cars, made snow angels on Tongue Row and were the only two later walking under the B&O train bridge in the morning light.
In early Spring of that year, she made a flat, paper kite with yarn tied to it, and we “flew” it in the parking lot. It just dragged on the ground but she was convinced it was flying. That’s the magic of being young and she took me flying right along with her belief.
After she would go to sleep at night, I would lay on my air mattress in our living room and listen through our thin, glass windows to all the people walking, laughing and talking outside as they strolled down the street. I would wake each morning to see the light bathe the tops of historic buildings. Our cat, Emma would hop onto the windowsill and keep the birds on the wires company.
I cannot imagine what the residents, merchants and employees of all those Ellicott City buildings are going through now. I do wish to thank them all for every kindness, every smile, every day and night that they made our year on Main Street a place where my daughter and I could laugh, grow and rebuild our lives.
May each day and night bring a rebuilding to Main Street Ellicott city as it did for us.