December 5, 2018

Small Towns In December


The streets are left alone to keep themselves company and to bask in the peace and quiet and there’s plenty of places to park on this late Sunday early December afternoon...the occasional unfamiliar car driving slowly...might be some people driving through town and around the lake looking for property for sale signs as they look for some lakeside cabin to buy and to spend next summer’s weekends…vacationers and summer only residents are gone, they’ve packed up and left town and won’t be back until next summer...at the lake, most cabins are locked tight for the winter...drain the pipes, put up plastic on the back screen porch to keep the snow out...turn the furnace down...the occasional visit during winter time to make sure everything is alright and that the pipes haven’t frozen...early light snow now piled up and melting on the sides of roads...the pretty red and orange leaves that adorned the trees at the start of fall have fallen and are clogging up storm drains, their colors now faded, now no longer the object of everyone’s gaze...Jets-Raiders game on television from Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, Jets winning 10-7 in the second quarter...second helpings of Mom’s famous pot roast and a slice of apple pie with french vanilla ice cream...stores closed downtown except for the corner grocery store that has everything from anchovies to zucchini; but you can’t buy any liquor there on Sunday...state law...the hardware store closed with everything from anchor bolts to zip ties including a portable stereo RCA record player gathering years of dust on a shelf...the local department store closed too with summer fashions on clearance and winter jackets, hats, gloves, and winter boots featured prominently in the windows...old closed for years gas stations with foggy windows and in disrepair with signs advertising gas prices that harken back to yesteryear...an old couple laying flowers at a gravesite in an old cemetery on the edge of town...life goes on...auto parts stores with Champion Spark Plug and Havoline Oil signs in the window along with schedules of the local high school’s basketball team...Central playing Tech Friday night at the Central gym...attending will be the parents of the players and the siblings and the group of middle aged men who still wear their class rings and care a little too much about who wins, all sitting in the bleachers while the innocent looking cheerleaders’ cheers and chants echo off the walls of the gymnasium while the thump, thump, thump of the basketball goes on like a metronome not quite in rhythm...pancake breakfast at the Rotary Club next Saturday morning…all you can eat pancakes but how many can you really eat?...if you’re not up for that, there’s always the town diner where the locals all go and stir their Bunn coffee maker coffee with silver spoons and clink their plates and gossip and talk about the latest grain prices or tractors and farming or what’s going on in the big city...there’s old Leroy who just got himself a new pickup truck, well at least a new old truck...Chevy or Ford?...eggs, bacon, american fries, sausage, and pancakes too...what’s your pleasure?...typical mid-December dreary weather, snow flurries, and the clouds are a palette of grays...nip in the air...life goes on.