Sometimes, I think we live in the classic small town for this region. We aren’t as fancy as a few small towns have become. This isn’t a wealthy town. Not a lot of rich people here, though I think some people are doing pretty well.

We don’t have the highest taxes or the fanciest schools, but we do have a real fire department with lovely scarlet fire engines. A lot of towns don’t have a genuine fleet of engines –and other towns borrow ours as needed. But all the firefighters are volunteer.

Our town common probably seemed big enough when the town was built. Over time, various pieces of statuary devoted to one or another war (there have been a lot of wars) have reduced its size so you can hardly move from one war memorial before you trip over another.

And of course, the common is surrounded by churches. Aren’t they all?

Fantasy commons on the Solstice

I know this is a small town because you can park in front of the common. No signs preventing it, no laws about it. It only gets crowded when there is a town event taking place on the common or somewhere nearby. Fireworks or a parade or even a pancake breakfast at the firehouse. Speaking of firehouses, we have a brand new one.

Last night, for the first time, the lights were on and you could see the trucks through the huge windows. Very impressive and quite a handsome firehouse, too. It’s just next door to Town Hall where the fire engines always lived before, but in the very old firehouse, the engines had to back out of the house onto Main Street. That made everyone unhappy. Now, the trucks can turn around and come straight out. Much better.

So, this is the Commons. On the winter solstice and Christmas right around the corner. I was amused to notice the crèche. I’m sure it has been there for years. I simply never noticed it. There are so few non-Christians in town, there hasn’t been anyone to object and I wouldn’t in any case. It’s Christmas and most people in town are Christians. If the want a crèche, it harms me not. I’ve got bigger and better things to protest these day.

Merry Christmas! Happy and/or merry anything you celebrate. Have a joyous Yule and Gladsome Solstice! Remember, from now on, the days grow longer. Just a few months and the leaves will be green again.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

17 thoughts on “ANYTOWN, NEW ENGLAND”

  1. As I was reading your post I was seeing the town commons area from the “Back to the Future” series…or at least the way in existed when Marty McFly went back to the past.


  2. I know what you mean, Fandango.

    I loved what you did with the photos, they although changed, have a life of their own. You also write so beautifully, and you welcome all to read and enjoy, to see through your eyes. I hope you enjoy the season, however you celebrate it. xoxoxo


      1. There you go. We got 1 1/2 ft. of snow and I didn’t get to take a pic. Today, 2 days later, it’s mostly melted, so I don’t see the point. We are, however to get another 1 1/2 day before christmas so, who knows, it could happen 🙂


  3. Our town commons doesn’t look anywhere neat as charming, and I rarely have reason to go through that part of town anymore. But I guess it’s better than it was a couple decades ago after the stagnating steel industry put the town in a recession. It did finally snow this morning, so it really did look like a winter wonderland (while it lasted) with snow piled up on the branches and everything. Very pretty, and there may be more on the way before The Big Day…


    1. Yes, you are getting a storm and we are getting the SAME storm. It’s a pretty big one. You can’t go anywhere without going through the middle of our town. It’s just one road and it goes from town, to town, to town … Main Street in town, something else in between, but really … just one road.

      Right now, it’s pure ice outside and all the cars are sliding into each other. We slid into our own garden wall and I’m too depressed about it to call anyone. It’ll wait until after Christmas.


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