Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still Thinking About...


The Thinker, The Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, PA



...the simple knits. This is my first ever just plain-ole stockinette sock. It has practically knit itself this week. This week has been difficult for we former residents of Woodland Heights.

Woodland Heights is an incredible neighborhood about 5 minutes from downtown Richmond, a place where Mr. S and I had the pleasure to live for our last 5 years there. It is a streetcar suburb, with old houses, front porches, sidewalks and grandly beautiful trees. It is right along the James River, so there were nesting hawks, eagles, and amazing seabirds in the air. You could carry your kayak to the river and shoot the rapids, or lug your tube home after a three-mile float.

This is the neighborhood where our children came home from the hospital. I walked here daily, pushing strollers and trailing toddlers. In Woodland Heights, there are young families, lifelong residents, gay, straight, white, black, professional, tradespeople, artists, students, yuppies, hippies, fiddlers, harpists, arborists and entymologists.

It was a neighborhood where the bread baker delivered, where Friday night cocktail parties rotated, where a snowstorm meant a blizzard party, and a hurricane meant grilling sides of salmon by candlelight with your neighbors in the backyard. It's a neighborhood with a coffeeshop, a gourmet take-out, a barber shop, two playgrounds, quarterly fundraising spaghetti dinners, a Holiday House Tour and a babysitting co-op.

It is also where the Bryan and Kathryn Harvey lived with their daughters, Stella and Ruby, and on January 1, 2006, their brick Woodland Heights home is where the Harvey family died. This week's trial of one of their murderers has at times brought me to my knees with grief and horror.

I apologize for the non-knitting nature of this post, but this has been at the forefront of my mind, and weighed heavily on my heart this week and this year. On this, a personal journal I share with my friends, Ann and Mo, and with you, our readers, I need to reclaim Woodland Heights in my memory, and remember it here as, for the time that we lived there, truly, the best place I've ever lived.

11 comments:

Martina said...

It is sad when bad things happen to good people. I hope that your memories continue to be the pleasant ones you wrote about. They made me want to live there.

iSeL said...

I've been following the Harvey's story ever since we went to the World of Mirth and learned about their tragic death. For some reason, I just couldn't let go.

To read and watch the news and the horrible, heartless confession by that monster has made me cry and hurt again.

I know there will be a significant scarf left, but your town will heal and so will your memory of it.


{{Hughs}}

jody said...

what a horrible, horrible event. i can't imagine how it must feel to be a part of that in any way. i hope, with time, that you can reclaim more of the good that was woodland heights, and that anyone who cared for the harveys get the peace they truly deserve.

Ann said...

Thanks for your post Liz. The first day of the trial, I read one sentence too much of the paper and carried it out to the trash at an arm's length. I spent the next 20 minutes alone in the garden crying.

Since then I have avoided all of the media coverage. I feel as though I can best honor the Harveys by focusing on the beauty and joy and MIRTH around me and not succumb to the terror and darkness that lurks in a few.

It's a cool day, my windows are open, I've already chatted with neighbors, and we're going to ride our bikes to the coffeeshop. It truly is one of the best places to live.

Devorah said...

***HUGS*** Share them with your family and hold them close.

Susan said...

Liz, I know how you loved that neighborhood so, but I wasn't aware of the Harvey murders. At the point at which I read your post, one of the murderers had already been convicted, and I am struck by his admission that what he did was senseless and pointless. If anything, this makes me appreciate my family much, much more.

Brandon said...

I've been overwhelmed with grief ever since the trial started last week--it's been difficult to think of anything else and as someone who knew the Harveys for a long time, the senselessness of the crime--I thought at least we would get some kind of answer as to why with the murderer's confession--is again fresh and ever-present.

Mo said...

Missing you more than ever ...

Laurie (Moo!) said...

What a horrible and sad story.

I'm speechless.

The monsters are being punished. Not enough, I'm sure.

Cherish the good memories. Love your family.

SpiderWomanKnits said...

I am unfamiliar with the Harvey's story but can completely sympathize with your experience.

I am a Simon's Rocker (alumni) who saw a community shattered by the Wayne Lo shootings at the school.

As time passes it also heals. Hold on to your good memories and your faith in good things.

Maggi said...

My brother lives across 31st Street in the next block; I didn't visit his house for the first half of the year ~ until I had to go water his plants when he was with our hospitalized mother in NC, and I wept at those boarded-up windows. But then we had the Day of Mirth at Granite Pool and celebrated the Harveys, and I was good until this trial. It HAS been a hard week, but reading your post has helped me.