Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Slow, Snowy Start to Spring

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.

You'll recognize the poem by Robert Frost, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". Well, I was not in the woods and it was not evening, but it certainly was snowy on this second day of Spring in North Central Texas. My Sunday morning routine is usually a short bike ride to town to get a newspaper, then a lazy cup of coffee perusing the latest news. There was no reason for this morning to be any different, just because of a little snow. I would not recommend that you choose today for a long bike ride though. It is 32 degrees with a howling North wind!

I call this my grocery bike, and I think the bike is as old as I am. It is a Huffy Savannah Comfort Touring bike that I purchased for a 20 dollar bill at Dr. Jeter's estate sale. The only thing I really had to do to it was put new tires and tubes on and lubricate the chain. With the wide 26 inch tires and fenders, it is my go to bike in bad weather. Today qualifies as bad weather. Some would call it a girl's bike. I call it a "step through frame". It had a basket on the front when I got it, but the basket was broken, so I replaced it and added the newspaper baskets on the rear. I can haul a lot of stuff on this bike, and with the three speed internal gears, it pedals pretty easy.

This tree is adjacent to our front sidewalk and the street in front of our home. For the past week or so it has been covered with beautiful white blossoms that floated like snowflakes to the grass below as the wind blew. Now it is covered with real snow, and I'm sure the blossoms will be gone as the thaw comes.

As I turn South from Linden Street to Gaines Street, the wind is at my back and I am very comfortable in my rainpants, light jacket, mittens, and ear muffs. It will only be a short ride to town and back, but I am glad I decided to ride the grocery bike in lieu of taking the car. I would actually be colder in the car, because I would not have dressed as well, and the heater probably would not start having any effect until I got back home.

Tom's Food Market is one of the few neighborhood groceries that still exist. It is not open on Sundays, so I have to go into town to a major chain grocery for the newspaper. There are newspaper racks that have the weekday papers for purchase, but the Sunday edition is no longer vended this way because they cost $3.00 now, which makes them subject to theft. I delivered The Dallas Morning News from age 7 til I was 18. When I started the daily paper was 5 cents, and on Sunday it was a quarter. I still enjoy reading the hard copy, but I'm afraid its days are numbered, and we'll soon get all the news from the internet or television.

If it has 8 sides, we stop, even if it is covered with snow!

Don't you just love this great old building? I'm so glad it is still used by our local school district. This is the building that was the High School when I graduated. I pass by it most mornings when I take my short commute route to work, and there are usually young people walking or being dropped off by their parents or school buses. Sadly, few students bike to school these days. I'm thinking that may change in the future.

The future of education in Ennis is bright though. Just to the West of the old high school is this new intermediate school, which will open this fall as a state of the art facility. It is a beautiful addition to our community, and it is named for Jack Lummus, who graduated from Ennis High, played football at Baylor University and for the New York Giants, and was killed in action as an army lieutenant on Iwo Jima during WWII. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery and heroism as he led his men in battle.

Could this be a bike lane in front of the new school? It is not, but could it be? Hmm....

Another great old institution and example of a neighborhood store is Amelia Ann Florist. Although ownership has changed a number of times since I was a kid in Ennis, the store has not changed much. My memory of this store is that it was where most people purchased corsages for banquets and mums for homecoming. They always had the greatest holiday decorations, especially at Christmas, and you can see through the plate glass window that the tradition continues with the Easter Bunny in full view!

I am almost at my destination. This is looking East on Ennis Avenue from Clay Street. Not much traffic on a snowy Sunday morning, and the amber turn of the century street lights cast a peaceful glow over this thoroughfare.

Some friends of ours that formerly lived in Dallas purchased this beautiful old frame home a few years a go and restored it to its present lovely state. It is so picturesque in the snow with the white picket fence and the flags hung from the front porch. Ennis has a lot of nice, new homes, but there are some great old ones also. This home may be near 100 years old.

This last image is looking East on Knox Street, towards the railroad tracks from McKinney Street. We still fly old glory in Pierce Park. I still thrill to see her paint the breeze. Long may she wave!

So Spring has sprung in Ennis, month brings Bluebonnet Trails (they should be gorgeous this year). It's going to look like spring soon, just stay tuned.

"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost:

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.

1 comment:

  1. Y'all got a lot more snow than us! Wow!! I'm so ready for SPRING weather!!