“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter in the city...my neighborhood wrapped in snow

I live in the city, about a mile from the Canadian border. My neighborhood, recently designated historical, is filled with homes 100+ years in age. Mine is an Edwardian - others are highly ornate Victorians - painted ladies - craftsman. A few homes, just around the corner from mine, sold as a kit in the old Sears & Roebuck Catalog at the turn of the century for about $750.00 complete!

Winter in the city is much different than in the country. In some ways it is more magical. On evening walks with my dog, lights twinkle off newly fallen snow - multi-colored reflecting pools of holiday cheer. During the day, you can take a short walk and see little chickadees flitting back and forth grabbing sunflower seeds from generous feeders - a fluffy black squirrel running up the side of a tree with a peanut (an offering from a kindly resident) all set to have a holiday snack. When the wind blows gently, all around you snowflakes will softly make their way to earth - you feel as though you are on the inside of a winter-wonderland snow globe. The tiny flakes land on your eyelashes and mittens and nose and hair. The dog you are walking begins to change color from red to white.

When snow falls quietly - without wind to disturb its assent to earth from the heavens -  it will perch itself on every object forming a cold, soft pillow - a pillow that can be disturbed with the slightest movement of air. Millions of perfect, one-of-a-kind buddies stack on each other until a little dusting of snow becomes a mound of white perfection. The old Adirondack chair left outdoors takes on new life appearing as though it is cushioned with down, soft and white - it looks inviting and comfortable - a place to rest a tired and weary soul. The corner fire hydrant sports a soldier's helmet - standing straight and tall - at the ready - waiting for a call to service at a moment's notice.

That's my house in the middle photo
Winter in the city doesn't provide vast expanses of trees with not a sound to be heard. You won't find the undisturbed tracks of deer or bear. You won't be able to lay down right where you are to make a snow angel as you did when you were a child (you'll need to go home for that). But, at the right time and under the right circumstances, it has a magic all its own - a magic that comforts the heart and beckons you to visit a neighbor or wave at a stranger as you pass by or take your long-suffering dog for a walk or just stroll through your neighborhood as the natural light fades and the holiday lights on the surrounding homes paint the evening taking you back to your childhood and the wonder you felt waiting for Christmas to arrive.


Anonymous said...

I live in a town of a populations of about 1800 as it is the town that my Uncle writse about in his poetry. I grew up here & in spite of all the complaining I do about the snow & cold I don't think I want to live anywhere else!!
Merry, Merry Christmas!!

Protege said...

What a beautifully poetic post and a tribute to a winter city. You make me see it with quite a different eyes.
I am the lucky one living on the borderline of both; a stone throw from the magic of downtown, amidst the beauty of the country side.;)
LOVE all the pictures, you have an eye for the beauty in details.
Have a lovely Friday,

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

My town is one of about 2,000 and we enjoy all the small pleasures you would expect. I love your post today...thanks!

Claus said...

What a wonderful post! What a beautiful way to write and describe your surroundings. I'm jelaous! - in the best of ways of course ;-)
Snow does not exist here. I long to meet it though, and hope that one day the dream will come true. For us, here, Christmas is rather tropical :-) with sun and blue skies. I will write a post about such local Christmas environment next week.
Beautiful pictures Mimi! You home looks lovely and warm. thanks for sharing!
Happy Holidays!

Betty (picture circa 1954) said...

You're only a mile from Canada? You really are way up there. I love your neighborhood with the pretty old homes. The snow is beautiful. We get snow too! :) I check your temperature every day and I'm afraid my dog would have to learn to use a kitty litter box. :) I'm such a whimp.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Your words are so beautiful when your write. I can feel what you say. I can smell the air that you describe. I can hear the silence.
You live in such a beautiful place.
So far away- so very far. Thank you for sharing the magic with us.
Merry Christmas to you!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh Mimi, this is beautiful. You do live in a winter wonderland. It is so gorgeous all lit up at nite. I have missed so many of your recent posts. It has been crazy busy around here, and at work. But now we are on winter break until Jan 4th. Woo hoo! I am gonna have to try some of these recipes. Yummo! Wishing you a blessed day! Happy weekend. Tammy

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How lovely! I enjoyed this tour very much, and think it looks like a Christmas wonderland. Such lovely homes, loved yours, and I enjoyed seeing the snow and the decorations, too.


Sheila :-)

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Hi Mimi,
If you're only a mile from our Canadian border, then you must get pretty much the same weather we get. You know what it is like to have a white Christmas just as we do.

I dropped by to check out your Pink Saturday post but I guess you didn't get it up yet. Anyway, Happy Pink Saturday and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Christmas blessings,

The Pink Birdhouse said...

An absolutely PERFECT post for Christmas!! I know just what you mean about a town christmas. I still miss living where I grew up, getting to see the lights on the neighbors house from our windows, see them outside, and if we got lucky and it snowed everyone would be outside shoveling sidewalks together and there was a special closeness among everyone. My family would love to drive or walk around the neighborhood just to see the Christmas lights and decorations on the houses, and my favorite place was the section of town that had all the Victorian homes in it! Now THAT was a magical place at Christmas!! I still love those homes and make sure I drive thru that section time and again when ever I fly home to the old neighborhood for a visit. I love your home, Mimi, it is fantastic!! Just like something I always dreamed of owning myself some day. I did not get a home like that, far from it as a matter of fact since there are no homes like that here in Germany and mine is a brick house. But I am glad that i can share your homes with you thru blogger!! Enjoyed this post immensely!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS. ~~ Debby

Sierra Rose said...

Magical post and wonderful music playing in the background! Makes us think of hot cocoa by the fire.
Just lovely.

Sierra Rose and mom