Saturday, January 10, 2009
Small Town Traditions...
Here I am again...watching the snow fall. The weather report promises that we will accumulate at least 7 more inches of the white stuff. I don't really mind...it's warm and cozy in my living room. I don't have anywhere I have to go and am happy to sit back and watch it happen. My only wish is that I had a fireplace. I mean, my house is over 100 years old, you'd think there would be one, wouldn't you?
My house was originally a farmhouse. The land around here was mostly farmland and the village (which is only about 1/4 mile from my house) was vastly different. I've read up on the history of Jamesville and it was a very important stagecoach stop between Albany and Rochester/Buffalo. My town had 3 or 4 small hotels and the train station is still in existence.
Although the train still rumbles through here several times a day, it doesn't stop here. The "Depot" is now a community center. It's a beautiful building which now is the meeting center for the Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and various other clubs and groups.
In the summer and spring the local garden club makes sure that the building's planters are overflowing with a sea of colorful flowers. They are also the caretakers of our small but beautiful little park in the center of town. You can find those dedicated and talented growers out there like clockwork every Wednesday and Saturday mornings...weeding, watering and tending to their flowers as if they were precious jewels and they were the only ones who could care for them properly.
Of course, as the seasons change, so do the flowers. Early spring finds the crocus, peaking their tiny little heads up through the snow and reaching for the sun with all the strength they have. Later, just in time for the Memorial Day Parade, the tulips and daffodils are in full color.
In summer the Clematis and Trumpet vines are making their brave journey upwards and over the porch columns of the Depot and perhaps, if it's a good year, over the top to the roof!
Autumn finds the planters and gardens in rusty red, and orangey yellow colored mums. Baskets of pumpkins are on the porch and the leaves are like a painting of reds, yellows and orange.
The first weekend of December brings the tree lighting ceremony. They call it 'Light Up Jamesville' and garden club is at it again. This time stringing the tiny star like white lights on the trees in the park. The "Depot" is lit in a riot of colored lights that outline the entire building and they have already strung the tall evergreen tree that is in the side yard with twinkle lights guaranteed to make every child giggle with the delight and wonder of Christmas. Santa Claus comes, listens intently to each and every child and then hot chocolate and cookies are served.
Unfortunately, I miss the celebration of the lights every year as all the town businesses have agreed to stay open through the celebration (partly to offer an open door and a place to warm up) and I will be found in the Antique Shop with my friend Chris, offering hot mulled cider and cookies to the families that look for shelter from the cold. The choir from the church wanders through town (and stops in all the shops) Christmas caroling. It's a wonderful time and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Chris owns the shop and I fill in for her on weekends when she needs to take a couple of days off or team up with her when we have an event such as this celebration.
So, by now about 3 inches of snow has fallen and the thermometer reads 12 degrees. I'm warm and content, my cat, Coco is fast asleep and it's well past 11 pm. It's been nice to remember the wonderful things I love about my small town and the people in it, but now it's time I tucked myself in for the night.