the house on hawthorne

(aka. Luminary Lane)

Every year, the Sunday before Christmas, our neighborhood becomes Luminary Lane. That evening all the homeowners (most of us anyway) put out luminaria to line the street & sidewalks. For Christmas decorating, it doesn't get much easier than that -- a bunch of paper bags, candles, and some sand, all on one night -- and the effect is really much nicer than some of the other Christmas lanes that go all out. It has tested our mettle on a couple of occasions, like when the temperature is in the single digits with a brisk wind.

This is our new digs. Well, kinda new... we've been here since 1999. And it doesn't look much like this anymore; the obnoxious spruce tree is gone (check here later to see what happened to it!), as is the white paint & black roof (next time I'll hire someone to strip the roof!). This is the photo used by the realtor when it was on the market in 1999.

Here's a more current photo, after a few years of sprucing up. Note the absence of the oversized blue spruce, the nice new roof, the new paint, etc... One thing I'd like to do away with is the trumpet vine at the south end of the house. It's a beautiful plant, with great flowers (it's also called a hummingbird bush), but the problem is with it's self-propagation; it's got roots running all over the place, and it shoots up new plants wherever it pleases. Usually in highly undesirable places. Yes, that's a whopping one-car garage. And no, I can't even fit a single car in it. What with bikes, scooters, and whatever other toys the kids can scatter about the inside of it, I have to spend several hours each fall to clear it out enough to get a vehicle in. And of course there's no room on the lot for a wider garage; the lot is 70' wide, the house and garage is 60', and city building code calls for structures to be a minimum of 5' from the lot line. Maybe someday we'll go tandem with it.

This is an aerial photo of our neighborhood in Sioux Falls, called Park Ridge. Our block is in the center, and is kinda unique in that it is oval-shaped. Hawthorne Avenue runs North/South, but between 22nd and 26th streets it splits in two, with Hawthorne on the East and Park Ave. on the West.

It's difficult to see in this picture (click on the picture to see a slightly larger version, or click here to get a view from Google Maps — my favorite time waster!), but our house is on the right side of the oval, fourth from the top. I think the photo is fairly old, but the only thing that's changed is the size of the trees.

The neighborhood was developed in the mid/late 1940's, and was fairly upscale in its time. It's still a very nice, quiet place, with Spellerberg Swimming Pool two blocks to the West, and Jefferson Grade School three blocks to the East. The Park Ridge Mall can be seen on the left, which is home to some nice little shops and an excellent restaurant, Spezia. Their Prime Pork Loin is to die for! We catch the aroma from their wood oven in the afternoons if the wind is right... reminds me of camping every time.