It was May Day in Laurel—a grand occasion for sure if you live downtown. The official start of summer. Although Ben believes fervently in the public school system, I think the idea of sending our someday would-be children to St. John’s is absolutely charming:
Our nutritious dinner.
Always the view from where I stand.
Lean down here, Mitter!
Ben and the youth were working the rides and painting faces afterward, so I rode my bike back home and made the block because the weather wouldn’t allow me to go inside yet. This is the first time in years we’ve had a true, honest-to-goodness spring. For a little over 2 months now we’ve had gorgeous blue skies, April showers and temps in the 70s which has left every blade of grass and every leaf the most electric green.
I turned onto Magnolia Street, rode past our apartment and kept going. The boys from Agape Church are in the process of repainting the facade of The ReView—and it’s made the whole block look shiny and new (and yet still very old). Passing Cafe la Fleur, a little crowd of people were in line clamoring for a table (and the crab and corn bisque, no doubt), and I could smell the smell that will always and forever remind me of vacations. Something like steaks on a grill, rich pastas and buttered bread—and my mouth was watering right away. I thought of St. Augustine. I turned the corner and caught a shiver when the night breeze hit me and that delicious smell followed me to 5th Avenue. Past the coin shop (open from 1-4 pm, per Mr. Kernel’s preferred schedule), right onto Oak Street where a group of white-haired ladies were chatting on the stoop of the YWCO. I parked my bike and watered our flower boxes (which are flourishing, can you believe it?!), and now here I sit to tell you about it.
If you don’t love Laurel, you’ve probably never left it long enough. I love this city passionately and can’t imagine why everyone isn’t rushing the realtor offices to get a piece of property in the historic district, the epitome of quaint living. Nights like this, I feel like I’m out of town, carefree and on vacation. Many nights in this neighborhood feel that way.
I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!