Thursday, December 30, 2010
Winter in the city
I had not anticipated how much I would like living in the city in the winter. Winter in the country is beautiful, of course. I particularly liked when I drove the country roads after dark at holiday time. It was just lovely to see the lights on the houses all alone in the distance. Country people seemed to always put up Christmas lights which were delightful to see shining alone in the darkness.
But I am a nervous driver especially in bad weather, especially in the dark. I have had years taken off the end of my life from the stress of driving in the winter in the country during or after bad weather. I have never had a problem making the car go through the snow. The problem is in the stopping. There are unseen ice patches all over the place, and well, I have ended off the road more than once having the car be totally out of my control along that way. Just a few seconds, mind you, but enough to make me feel total fear. And of course, there is also the issue of visibility. I generally prefer to be able to see the road, where I want to go and what is driving along with me in the various directions.
But when I moved to the city, I selected a home that was on public transportation routes to work and within walking or public transport distance to everything I really need for living here. I can and do walk to 4 different major grocery stores (with another coming soon when the new downtown store opens up.) There are drug stores, a hardware store, office supply stores, plenty of restaurants, bookstores, plenty of places to buy clothes or shoes, a state wine store, several bakeries, many coffee shops and most important, a local yarn store (LYS). In case I have a need I can walk to Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, the Apple Store, Victoria's Secret, the Gap, Banana Republic, you name it. I can now get to a Target store by using TRAX, passing a Lowe's along the way I would walk. More than one bus will get me to a suburban mall with Macy's, Sears and all that jazz. I can get to the airport with a not too expensive taxi ride, and in a couple of years I'll be able to get there free with the new TRAX line. I'm set.
I do use the car in the city, mostly because I have one. For a year I managed without one, and it wasn't bad at all. But I do still find it convenient when I need to obtain a lot of things that are heavy ... milk, juice, water from the artesian well, wine, cat food, cat litter, stuff like that... to plan a route so I can get everything at once on a day when it is clear and bright. Once a month does it.
It snowed last night, and it's snowing again tonight. The city looks lovely. I have plenty of the things that are most important (cat food and cat litter) as well as a refrigerator and cupboard full of ingredients to be cooked up into all kinds of delicious dishes. The electricity works just fine. My yarn stash is overflowing, and there are so many books that need reading. Little Cat, the CFO (Chief Feline Officer) is right here with me, content as ever. I went out for a walk earlier today to one of my local coffee shops (LCF's). I had pasta for supper. Tomorrow I'll go out walking again in the snow and cold.
The heart of the city is the place for me in the winter.