Let me live in make-believe

I have always wanted to live in a make-believe neighborhood. Think Mr. Rogers Neighborhood; not plastic freaky pre-planned suburban neighborhood.

When we were kids I loved visiting Heritage Hill. I could completely envision myself living in that weird old community and wearing costumes every day. Don’t be mistaken, I didn’t want to WORK there; I wanted to LIVE there.

My obsession with HH ended after our first trip to Disney World. Epcot Center completely trumped anything I had ever seen before! The costumes were brighter, the architecture cooler, and the food was MUCH better. My only decision centered around which country I would live in.

Flash forward many years and I am still fantasizing about living in these make-believe communities. Every time I am in a castle or a plantation my brain is trying to work out where I would put our furniture. The problem has always been that no one would ever allow me to live in these places. That is until Old Salem.


Old Salem is a unique neighborhood in Winston-Salem that was founded by the Moravians in 1766. It is a walking/living museum, yet there are still private homes intertwined with the buildings designated as historical sites. I could totally live there! I imagine a Saturday morning where I could walk my dog down the cobblestone streets, stopping at the bakery for fresh bread. Then we could stroll through the town square and wander up to the cemetery.

There is a hat shop, museums, Salem College, a tavern, and several other specialty buildings. I was happy to see a cobbler, but he only makes shoes from the 18th and 19th century and none of them had heels. I would avoid his shop. Damn flat shoes.

Since I can’t quite convince Michael to move there, I figured the next best thing would be to relocate my parents. My mom seemed apprehensive about this, but she could envision my dad in period costume working at the blacksmith. He already seemed at home there. All the grandkids could visit and he would make them guns.


We all agreed that the best thing would be to transplant my sister Elizabeth to Old Salem. Her lease is up soon and she is possibly looking for a new place. Just the thought of her in this quiet and quaint community had us laughing to tears. She’d be the town drunk stumbling down the cobblestone streets heckling and throwing things at all the costumed ladies in their bonnets and long skirts. She could throw rowdy parties in the square and get fined by constables on horseback. We say this all in the name of love. If we didn’t love her dearly, we would make her live in a fort instead. A fort, Elizabeth, a fort.