“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many..."
I know everyone is busy packing away their Christmas trees, carefully tucking their special ornaments in protective wrapping, stowing the candles and wreaths and holiday figurines back in their holiday boxes. But I am feeling a certain reluctance to close out the season and thought before I take down our own tree and store all the decor back downstairs in their tubs that I would share a few holiday memories with you. And at our house, holiday memories start with our Dickens Village.
Our village has grown to the point where we now have strategically placed geographic locations for a few of the pieces! In order to accommodate the three extra long table in my family room with the majority of the buildings, we had to move my antique sailor's trunk to the dining room. I decided it would be a great place to feature a farm house, barn and lobster shack that reminded us of our wonderful trip to Maine a few years ago. Complete with a vintage sailor's lantern and my lovely annotated edition of Thoreau's Maine Woods, this small tableau reminded us daily of all the fun we had exploring Maine's beautiful ocean coastline. And, of course, the delicious lobster!!
The top of the bookcase that houses our DVD collection provided just the right spot for highlighting our delightful day spent at Robert Frost's farm in Derry, New Hampshire. I loved wandering through his meadows and sitting on his rock fence, taking in the beauty of a New England fall day. This little white house reminded me of his farm house and of course you can't travel through New England without encountering more than a few rustic covered bridges!
Wouldn't you love to be in that sleigh, skimming over fresh fallen snow with a warm blanket tucked around you? You can see the bewildered horse in the book behind the sleigh wondering why they have stopped deep in the woods when they still have "miles to go before they sleep." I absolutely love the Susan Jeffers' illustrations in this beautiful book of one of Frost's most beloved and enduring poems.
And because I love covered bridges I really enjoyed displaying this embroidered picture this year, on loan from my mother. I made this for her for Christmas when I was 11, and I was so very proud of it! As an adult I can see the uneven stitches, but even though I made it (gulp) almost fifty years ago, I can still remember the love and care I put into each and every stitch.
I remember my fourth grade class learning this poem by memory...my lines were "my little horse must think it queer, to stop without a farmhouse near." Just in case you can't remember the whole poem, here it is for you! I'm hoping to post more regularly in the new year, so I'll be back on Monday with a tour of Dicken's old London town and a few of my favorite pieces. Until then, have a safe and restful weekend!
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.