When I look out my window in the Spring I can see infinite shades of green. I particularly enjoy that green that we only see in the Spring when the leaves first start popping out. Recently I had the opportunity to go out of town to visit my daughter, Tess, in Arlington, MA. During the drive while on the NYS thruway and the MA Turnpike I so enjoyed looking at the trees just showing off their new leaves in their particular shade of green. Then on my way home, several days later, I noticed how much the trees had filled out in just a week! Glorious.
Now when I look out my window I see kids playing on the playground at Skiddy Park, hear the basketballs bouncing right across the street on the court, hear joyful sounds of people outdoors and even the radios blaring in the cars passing by, sharing their music!
My hope is that the sights and sounds that I am now experiencing will continue to be peaceful, happy ones. Sometimes in the Summer tempers flare up and things get out of hand. This year I hope it will be different. Perhaps I need to fly my prayer flags once again. At least it is a reminder for me, maybe it will be for others as well.
I become a dangerous driver during the Spring, how about you? How can one keep their eyes on the road when there is so much competition in our seasonal blooms?
I have certain routes I like to drive in the Spring when I am out and about. For instance, many years ago before there were so many Eastern redbud trees (my most favorite Spring bloomers) around I would drive over to Midland Ave. where I knew there was a nice large one. Now I have my own and it is strikingly lovely at this very moment. Also I have noticed many more of these trees in and around Central New York.
When I go to my daughter’s house in Camillus I love to travel through the streets of Westvale to see the variety of blooms — shrubs, flowers and trees. I love the daffodils in Lipe Art Park. I like the tulips at my neighbor’s house, thank you Karaline Rothwell. And then when I come home I am greeted by daffodils, grape hyacinths and some lovely little purple flower that I do not know the name of. Must have planted it though!
And now? My gingko tree has started to put out its leaves, miniature to begin with and so delicate. Fortunately I am not driving while I look at this tree.
It happens all at once doesn’t it? The grass is green. The flowers start coming and they don’t stop. First the crocuses, then the daffodils, now the forsythia and tulips. The magnolia trees are almost there and then it is non-stop through the rest of our flowering trees. There is a green hue seemingly floating over and around most trees.
Then the best thing of all happens: Winter disappears in our memory. How else can we Central New Yorkers consider still living here during our winters?? The Spring is intoxicating, Summer is utterly delightful and Fall, well how does one describe the incredible beauty that surrounds us in the fall?
We live for our seasons here in Central New York. I am sure you each have your own favorite. Mine is the one I am in, except for wintertime. That one I tolerate.
Here we are, on the cusp between ugly and beautiful. You get it, right? Drive or walk around and it is just drab, brown, tan, gray dirt-colored. But Spring is on the way and there is hope!
One of the things that helps us here on the Near Westside is our colorful houses. When I first changed my house colors from yellow with brown trim to turquoise with brown trim, my son who was painting came in with the turquoise paint covered brush and said, “Mom, are you sure about this color?!” Well, I do not want to say I set a trend but in the years since then we have acquired so many colorful houses in the neighborhood. Just on this street alone we have two shades of blue, green, yellow, peachy beige and multi-brick. Other streets have similar mixes of colors and it is a lovely sight.
My twin grandkids when they were 4 named two houses close by: tomato soup house and mustard house. Here are the photos of the tomato soup house and the mustard house. Yep, the bright house colors help keep me going during winter and drab season.
There are some very beautiful things about Winter that I love: the quiet, the way the snow equalizes all the neighborhoods, bare branches with wet snow laying on them, the way everything glistens. What I notice the most though is the depth of the quiet on a Winter’s evening when I go for a slow, thoughtful walk. If it has been snowing a lot the snow deadens your footfall and there is not a lot of traffic near where I live.
But let the warmer air move in and voila! Noise returns. Car windows are down and the music blares (I guess their mother taught them to share!). More people are out and about, gathering and having a visit and much more traffic — cars and bikes.
The noise I love the most though is the sound coming from Skiddy Park (the park across the street). I live across from the basketball court and during heavy snowfall season there is nobody over there bouncing and shooting the ball. They have been known to shovel the court if there is a light snowfall, however. But when the balls start bouncing and hitting the backboards I know the quiet season if over and we are back to normal.
And that is exactly what I am sitting here thinking about. How do I begin? What do I want to blog about? What do I want you to know about me?
First of all, I want you to know that I love my neighborhood. I like to talk about it, write about it, work for it, try to make a difference in it. Can you tell that it is important to me? When we moved here almost 43 years ago it was because of the relationships we had built by visiting St. Lucy’s Church on Gifford Street. We also wanted our seven children to grow up in a diverse area. Now the children have grown and have homes of their own, I still live here in the same house and I still love it.
As soon as I planted my feet here I began to get involved in neighborhood activities and getting to know people. It was not difficult; there are always plenty of things happening around here. And, I have not stopped; the focus is always the neighborhood even though the organization I am working with at the moment may have changed.
I guess that is what I want to talk about, what is happening, who could we know, what can we all do to make our neighborhood a welcoming and healthy place to live.