I have some memories that I think of as snow globe moments. One is watching Mr G walking about under the street light next to our driveway in his first 1-year-old snowfall, toddling through the crystalline magic. It was one of those really sparkly snowfalls, and the snow caught in the streetlight was dazzling. Him stumping back and forth down the sidewalk in his bundled-upness, watching the triangles of snow form on the tips of his boots, looking up as the snow tickled his face, staring at the beauty of it, all the world silent except for the sound of snow hitting snow.
Lovely. As much as I loved growing up in Colorado, I'm also loving watching my kids grow up here.
We 'chose' this town and location because my mom had a house she was looking to unload, and we wanted a house in which to have kids. It was a former student rental (20+ years), so, uh, ew. But we ripped out the beer-and-cigarettes (and worse) scented carpeting, repainted everything, gutted and redid the kitchen, and so forth, and have a house that is ... well, two bedrooms, six people. Small is not the wrong term. It has some issues - the property is tiny and on a corner (no 'back' yard at all), and the property is a seasonal streambed. The entire thing. The water flows around the house on both sides, and if the sump pumps fail, we get fountains out of the basement walls, literally - no dribbles, but nice arcs of rainwater into the basement. Goodie?
But location, location, location. We can walk to the center of town with small children. We can walk to the parades, open-air concerts, and festivals. We run into people we know, regularly. Date nights can include a long walk and window shopping, or stepping into a bookstore. I spent a nice chunk of time in labor with Mr G wandering Main St.
We can walk to events on campus, and because it is a campus, there are cool restaurants and arts events. The boys went with my mom to an opera on campus, and there are world-class events here in part because of the student population (which is almost equal to the population of the entire town - the town gets very quiet when school is not in session). Best of many worlds - good food, walkable locations, bike trails and parks, small-town events, and reasonably arts oriented, too.
And then there are the fire trucks.
We're just a couple of blocks from the (volunteer) fire station. Miss M adores the fire trucks. Especially the ladder truck (who doesn't love the ladder truck? Everyone loves the ladder truck!).
We went down to Main St. to get haircuts, and while the girls were out front with their brother, leaping about on the sidewalk in the snow, the ladder truck came down the street. Clearly not in a hurry, no lights or sirens. The firefighters saw the girls leaping about and waving to them with glee, and they popped the lights and rang the bell (not the siren), and waved back.
The guy up on the back (steering the back of the truck) tried to look serious, but cracked a smile and waved to them when they jumped around some more, waving and waving and watching with joyful admiration and envy of the firefighters in the big red shiny ladder truck. (Miss M is particularly tickled that one of the volunteers is a woman.)
There's just something really nice about that whole scene. The college students grinning at the girls as they dodged their snow-joy antics, the fire truck lights and bell, the interaction with the guy on the back of the truck, the huge fat flakes of snow coming down over it all.
Definitely a snow globe moment.