Thursday, January 15, 2009

"And the sky is a hazy shade of winter"*

More snow fell this morning. Worse than that, we're experiencing an extreme cold snap here in New England. My outdoor thermometer is reading 7.7 degrees right now (yes, that's Fahrenheit!). Winter is getting a bit old...and there's still over two months left of it.

A spot of winter brightness comes from a little collection of mine. My grandmother started a collection for each of my sisters and me on our eighth birthday. My two older sisters both collected Madame Alexander dolls. My younger sister ended up with a porcelain animal collection (I think made by Lennox).

When my turn came about, my grandmother took me to a store called Happy House in the mall. It was just the two of us, which made me feel very special (when you grow up in a family of seven getting one-on-one attention from an adult is a nice treat). And she was letting me pick out my collection all by myself.

Something caught my eye when I first walked into the store. It was a winter village with buildings that were bright colors and shiny. They were so pretty, and they lit up! I didn't want to be hasty, so I made sure to walk all around the store to see what else they had to offer. My eyes kept wandering back to that village, though, and that's what I picked.

Years later, my grandmother told me she tried her hardest to get me to pick almost anything else in the store. There were pewter figurines, Precious Moments figurines, and a bunch of other small collectibles to choose from. Apparently, my grandmother thought it would be better for me to pick something smaller than a village, seeing as there was seven of us living in a tiny two-bedroom house.

But I was eight and didn't care about practical matters like space, and besides my collection was starting with just one building. I may have been small myself (and I was even small for my age...I always said if my siblings and I had been a litter of dogs, I would've been the runt that got drowned), but I certainly wasn't thinking small. I now have over twenty buildings and countless accessories in my Snow Village. It's still growing too, although not as rapidly as when my grandmother used to add to it twice a year (once on my birthday and again on Christmas).

I currently have it displayed in two different rooms on a total of three different surfaces. I'm a bit more discriminate when I add a large piece to it these days because I don't want to have to buy a second house just to accommodate the village. There's just something about the yellow lights radiating from all the windows and all the smiling people bustling around town that projects a warmth...even though it's the Snow Village.

Stay tuned for pictures!

*Simon and Garfunkel