The sound of crickets and a certain smell in the air this time of year always make me feel a little melancholy. Summer is approaching its end, and fall is almost here. I love fall, but I will miss the lazy days of vacation, the soaking in of sun and heat. It is too soon to pack away warm weather things. With any luck we will still have some sunny days, even as the nights arrive sooner and cooler each day. Still, there is no escaping the truth that winter is coming.
This is also the time of year when I take a break from painting and start work on Christmas ornaments representing local buildings. A friend in Chicago made them of the town we I Iived in when I was first married. When we moved, I needed new ones to represent my new neighborhood, so I made my own. That grew as others asked for them, until now I sell through a few local businesses or to individuals who commission pieces. It can be a wonderful way to celebrate a home when one moves, a cottage or cabin filled with summer memories, a church where one gets married, or a school from which one graduates.
They are not art, but they make me happy. Each is hand-cut from thin wood and painted, and each is a little different from all of the others, kind of like snowflakes. Not just any building will work. It has to be one that holds emotions and memories for those who buy them.
I have one of each home in which we have lived, as well as each school the children have attended, and each church in which we have worshipped. As I place each of these momentoes on the tree at Christmas, I am reminded of the homes and other places that have held us and nurtured us in years past.