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A Snow in December

A snow in December is rare around here. Especially in early December, before Christmas. 

When I looked at the weather forecast, and saw it was supposed to snow a week later, I certainly didn’t believe it.

But then, on that late Friday morning, as I stared out the window at work, towards the dark grey sky, snowflakes really did begin to fall.

And they kept falling. Nothing stuck at first, we didn’t expect it to. But as the day wore on, suddenly everything was covered in the fluffiest snow.

We all got to leave early on that Friday afternoon as the road quickly disappeared under a blanket of white.

And finally, the Christmas lights on our house looked complete. 

Everything looks so much more festive in the snow. I wish it stuck around longer.

The snow day was celebrated by making spicy bean chili. A tradition I started years ago.

I hope there are many more snow days to come this year.
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Detroit At Last

I was born in Detroit Michigan.  Even though we moved away when I was young, it has always felt like my home. 

It has always felt strange to be from a city that I rarely get to visit. I’ve lived in my current town for so long, but it just doesn’t have the same feeling. It doesn’t feel like my “real home”.

Maybe it’s because every single one of my ancestors is from this city. I’m even a direct descendant of some of the families that founded Detroit. I’ve just always felt like I belonged in Detroit.

I was overjoyed to finally return this Thanksgiving, to visit family members, and to explore the place I came from. 

The few times I have been back never included a venture downtown, but I had always wanted to go.  I love cities, but I didn’t even know what the city I was born in really looked like and it drove me crazy. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as we made our way to the center of the city I was born in, I loved it instantly. 

It wasn’t the run down, decrepit, broken, abandoned city that I had always heard it was. 

The ornate skyscrapers towered over busy streets. The sun was setting and people were just getting off of work and rushing home. The city seemed full of life and overflowing with energy. 

There were all kind of restaurants, and shops that filled the bottom floors of the buildings, there was a tram car that ran down a busy street, an above ground subway train, there was even city stream rising up out of the streets! 

At some moments, I felt like I was back in New York City!

Downtown Detroit exceeded anything I had expected. It is a city with so much character, so much history with everything it has been through over the years and so much to see.

There are definitely still poverty stricken parts of this city, but that doesn’t mean it is a place to be avoided. It’s a place that needs attention, and that will hopefully one day have the same opportunities as it once did. 

I’m afraid I’m going to be thinking about this city, ever more than I was before..

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Dark Shadows in the Christmas Tree Patch

Every year, on a cold winter’s evening, we all pile in the car to go to our favorite Christmas Tree patch and help my Mom pick out her tree.

The tree patch pops up in late November and surrounds the Krankies coffee air stream trailer with fresh evergreen trees, patiently waiting for a home.

I love running around through the rows of trees in the icy night air, under the string lights, searching for the perfect tree.

The trees cast long shadows over the parking lot and buildings. Everything feels a little spooky.

Especially near the Christmas Tree graveyard!

Before long we found the perfect little tree and my Mom posed with it.

I love the atmosphere of the Christmas Tree lot at night, with the dim lights, the scent of pine and coffee drifting through the air, and the tall shadows cast by the trees as they sit in long rows, waiting to be taken home.
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Lost in Brooklyn, Searching for Christmas Lights

Exploring New York City last Christmas. 
We took an above ground subway train across the bridge into Brooklyn for a view of the city skyline.

We rode the subway deep into Brooklyn. I got carried away taking pictures. 

We got off the train, way farther than we had planned on going, and had to decide where to go next. The sun was setting and I remembered there was some neighborhood that was supposed to have extreme Christmas decorations. It was a bit far, but we got back on the subway to head towards the neighborhood of Dyker Heights.

We traveled for some time on the subway, underground now, only to find that the line we needed to take was down for maintenance! According to the map, and the routes we would have to take, we were now even further away! We rode around and around, all over the place, coming up once, only to be confused when google maps led us to an old unused subway station in the middle of a busy intersection.

Back underground we went, not exactly sure where we were, and even less sure where we would end up. 

Eventually we found our way, and emerged from the ground, tired and starving. 
The subway let us out right at a Shake Shack. 
We didn’t think twice and walked right in to pig out on some food.

Finally it was time to walk many city blocks, in the frigid night, to see the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights.

At first, the streets were mainly, dark, no signs of life. Did we make a mistake? Were we going to right way?

But then, straight ahead.. Lights!  Everywhere!! 

Nearly every house, for many blocks, was covered in lights and decorations. 
As far as the eye could see. 

A blend of Christmas songs filled the cold night air.

Crowds of people filled the streets. Vans and buses full of even more people unloaded and joined the crowd. 

It could be a bit disorienting at times. Hard to remember what street you had been down already, and how far you had gone. 

Some light displays were so amazing, I couldn’t look away.

Visiting the Christmas neighborhood of Dyker Heights was well worth the crazy subway adventure. We wandered around for quite some time, but didn’t even see all of the houses. I was already dreaming of my return as we rode the subway back to the hotel.