The sun will shine and warm the air. Snowbanks will shrink to reveal brown grass. Then with the suddenness of an eighteen wheeler on the Interstate — the temperature drops and winter blows in.
It’s rather like waves on the lake against the shore. Advance. Retreat. Rinse. Repeat.
Residents learn to be cautious. Memories need to be long enough to cover a multitude of possibilities. You see it everywhere — winter coats and boots remain on the back porch, within easy reach. The front loader stays on the tractor, at the ready. Winter precautions for plumbing stay in place.
Drinking fountain under wraps. It proved to be a good idea when over ten inches of snow arrived 36 hours after this photo.
Perhaps you notice it more in small towns. Or maybe they manage to keep some things for more years.
On a recent visit to the inspiration for Crystal Springs, I stopped at the Legion Park. They’ve made improvements through the years. They have restrooms with flush toilets now. (You don’t want a description of what they had during my childhood.)
Off to the side — across the drive from a play area with modern climb and slide toys for the smaller children — I found these familiar items.
Some of them are housed in impressive buildings. The main building of the St. Louis Public Library recently had a facelift and overdue detailed cleaning. If you visit — be sure to look up and marvel at the ceiling.
Branch libraries, and those in medium-sized towns, run from elegant old buildings to sleek glass and steel. Most have separate areas — actual rooms — for children’s, teen, reference, study, meetings, classes, and computers.
Then there is the small town. Let’s be specific and reference the model for Crystal Springs (check out the three romances set in this fictional town).
The current library is housed in a long, narrow frame building. When I was a child, it was the doctor’s office. Some older folks still referred to it as the “furniture store building”. And I do believe it had other uses before then. The location is great. It’s on main street next door to the elementary school. Parking across the street. Tavern and convenience close by.
Inside they have all the necessities. Books for all ages. Magazines. Audio books. CD’s. Computers. Newspapers and a quiet spot to read them. And friendly staff. They host events and clubs for adults and children. And even the occasional book signing.
The author chats with a home town resident at her debut book signing.
According to the calendar — spring will be two weeks old tomorrow.
How does it look outside of your window?
Bare brown grass? Lush early flowers? Shrinking snowbanks?
In the fictitious village of Crystal Springs — they are eager to see the last of the snow on the shady north side of the barn melt. Gardens are being planned. Farm machinery is being checked, repaired, oiled and greased up — ready to go as soon as the fields are dry enough. Mud rooms display their name. And on a fine day — blankets and quilts are hung on the line for a good dose of fresh air.
Need some reading to match? Open up Hiding Places and join Linc Dray as he faces the problems of an orchard in June — plus his own unique challenge.