A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Mister Rogers would be proud of the people in the little village I now call home. We’ve spent the last week fairly well snowed in and the care and concern I’ve witnessed among my neighbors has been lovely to see. I’ve never lived in a place where I knew so many people. In a village of 500, it is easy to learn not only the names of the people who live here, but often a bit of their history as well. Today I want to share a little with you about a few of my neighbors who help make this such a special place to live. If you are unsure as to who I am referring to when I mentioned  Mister Rogers earlier, this little video will help explain, but be forewarned it might make you cry.

Fred Rogers always began his children’s program with a special song about being neighbors and I’ve mixed in the lyrics which I’ve highlighted in blue with a few pictures of my neighborhood and neighbors.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

This is the way to my neighbor Janey’s house. Yesterday when I couldn’t get to Port Isaac to have my stitches removed from a small procedure done the week before, Janey volunteered to take them out for me. Now a clinical psychologist, she trained as a nurse in her first career and offered to help when she heard me saying that I might have to do it myself.

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,

In the three pictures below, you can see Gary and Margaret who own the village pub. Margaret is also the post mistress and while I’ve seen them involved in fundraising for charity events more times than I can remember, they have been such good neighbors during this week of snow that it’s really been something to see. Our village shop which houses the post office among other things became a sort of command central staying open and supplying necessary items to keep the people in our community from doing without. Watching Margaret directing and coordinating the restocking efforts while continuing with her regular responsibilities was impressive. Her husband Gary was able after the first 24 hours to make trips in and out of our village maneuvering through the icy lanes in his 4 wheel drive vehicle picking up supplies for the village shop and giving people rides on some of his trips.

Gary cooking at a fundraiser for cancer research.

Gary behind the bar in the pub.

I had trouble finding a picture of Margaret in my files, but managed to find this one of her in the pub. Margaret is rarely seen behind the bar which explains why it looks as it does. I was shooting on the fly and not very well I’m afraid.

The flowers and cottage above belong to Jeff, a 77 year old man who I kept seeing with Gary when I would happen to run into them at the village shop as they were moving about the village giving some people rides in between their frequent trips to get supplies. I usually bump into Jeff three or four times a week and I was surprised to see that I did not have any pictures of him to post.

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

Len and Mary are the couple you see here with their dog. I caught them just after they had returned our neighbor Betty’s dog after taking it up on the moor for walk for her. Having watched Len and Mary pick up deliveries from the village store all week to take around to some of the older people who could not walk to the shop, I can almost guarantee that what ever is in the bags they’re carrying, it is almost certainly a delivery for someone who can’t manage the snow. All of the good neighbors I mentioned have been tireless during this time making sure everyone who needed something was able to get it. I wanted to acknowledge these folks who did so much for the neighborhood and managed to look as if they were having a good time doing it.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we’re together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t you please,
Won’t you please,
Please won’t you be my neighbor?


Snow Days And Nights In Cornwall

Morning light across the village green.

The last two days have seen our little village fairly cut off from the rest of the world by all the snow we’ve had over the last few days. All day yesterday and late into today only those with 4 wheel drive could make it in or out. Around 3:00 pm, John was finally able to get through the lanes to the main highway and drive the five miles or so to the closest supermarket. He picked up a few things for a neighbor and let another know we are now well stocked in case things freeze as the weather reports are predicting. He had to leave the car and hike up the hill to the house with the groceries, but he made it home safely just before things began to freeze.

Our village shop was pretty cleaned out today with certain items such as milk being made available first to those with small children and the elderly in our community. Even though I wanted some milk for baking, I liked seeing those who really needed it receive it first. I walked back up our street from the shop with Len and Mary who are friends and neighbors that live on our street. I watched as they knocked on the doors of the homes of several people in their 70s and 80s checking in to be sure they were doing all right.

I managed a good long walk through some of my favorite places around the village and of course snapped a few photographs to share. Much of the UK is experiencing a slow down or in some cases no movement at all. Schools are closed and hospitals are asking that only those in dire need come in and I feel fortunate that I have no where pressing to be over the next few days. Seems like a good time to do a bit of baking … I’m thinking maybe a nice big batch of cinnamon rolls to go with all of the hot chocolate we’ll be drinking over the next few days.

These are photographs from the last two days:

The buttercup field under cover of snow.

This is the old stone bridge we cross to get to the buttercup field.

Me, on the other side of the bridge.

John crossing a farmers field with the entrance to our village in the distance behind him. (see the church tower)

Our village on the hill.

Me making a snow angel.

Not bad for being no angel myself.

Night fall – I stepped out on the patio to snap the sunset just as bunch of sparrows flew over.

My Very Own Version Of Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

Picking up from my last post, we did arrive at the local train station and found that we could all ride the same train together at least for a little while. First we had to wait… and some of us were less than happy with this.

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The purchase of a little snack made us all feel a bit better.

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Here comes the train…and we’re off!

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Crossing the Tamar estuary on Brunel’s historic bridge as viewed from the window of train number one. After a short ride, we said goodbye to John’s daughter and granddaughter waving them off as their 2nd train departed. In these next three photographs, I’m in the reflection you see in the window outside of the train saying goodbye while John’s granddaughter’s little face is looking back at us through the window from inside the train.

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Me with my backpack and my wedding bouquet…it looks like I’m blowing kisses. 

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A Last Look Back

We boarded our next train and then dashed to our bus before arriving at the airport and our plane which fortunately was delayed by the weather.  After they deiced the plane, we were on our way to our honeymoon destination…the city of love…Paris!

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I’ll be back tomorrow with more, but let me leave you with a challenge…can anyone out there guess why I took the flowers below with me to Paris…leave me a comment with your thoughts and I’ll announce who gets it right first.

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Through The Snow We Go

The morning after the BIG snow!

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Snowy Self Portrait

Okay, maybe it wasn’t really a big snow to some of you out there and I’ll admit when I lived in Oswego NY for two winters, I had a chance to see snow measured in feet not inches, but for Cornwall…this was a good bit of ground cover. If you read yesterday’s post, you saw the picture I took of John’s daughter and granddaughter walking down a snowy road as they hiked out of the village. The goal was to walk the 2+ miles from the house on the hill to the main road to meet a taxi at a pre-set time.

You may have noticed that I was standing a fair distance from where they were when I took the photograph. It wasn’t because I decided it would make a great shot and so decided to hang out and wait for it, but because I was running to try to catch up. When I came in from my big hike alone through the snow, John told me that his younger daughter and granddaughter were walking out and that we should go with them. I hadn’t even packed yet thinking that I would have time to before we left especially with our previous plan to drive to Bristol to catch our plane. John asked if I could be ready in 30 minutes or less. 

Grabbing our backpacks from the attic so we could carry our stuff out on our backs, we began to toss things in fairly quickly. I was moving so fast, I could barely think about what I needed to take.  As we were packing, they set out ahead of us because it was a long way through the snow for a 4 year old. John followed them not long after with his backpack and a small duffel bag with some of their things in it. I was the last to leave as I was running around trying to shut down my computer and be sure I had all of the camera gear I might need. I forgot my boots, but I managed to make it with everything else.

As I was running out the door to catch up with the three of them, I grabbed my bridal bouquet on the way out. I attached it to my backpack and took off running down one hill and up another in an attempt to catch up.  As I ran, slipping and sliding on the snowy street, I scooted past John to get close enough to snap this  photograph.  My bouquet dropped off my backpack as I ran past him and I actually ran on a few yards before I realized it had fallen. Running back, I scooped it up and ran on with a camera in one hand and my wedding flowers in the other. I’m sure I was a sight pounding up the hill with a pack on my back and something in each hand. 

 

The Long Walk Out

The Long Walk Out

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We were on the other side of this bridge heading up yet one more icy hill when an angel in a four wheel drive stopped and offered us a ride to the main road where we were meeting our taxi.  After Matt, (our burly angel) moved a few things around, we all squeezed in and began to make our way through the snow.  A quick phone call gave the taxi driver notice to meet us a bit earlier and on arriving at the drop off point, we had an opportunity to pay back some karmic goodwill by pushing a stuck car out of a drift. 

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I’m wearing the brown coat with the light blue jeans and John is to my right.  The taxi arrived just after his daughter snapped this photograph as we pushed the car onto the main road.  Once we were in the taxi, I caught this curious look on John’s granddaughter’s face.  I imagine she was thinking, ” What is with this woman and that camera!”

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I’ll leave you here now with us all packed into a taxi hoping that we can make it to the closest train station.  Come back tomorrow if  you’d like to join us for the next leg of our journey.

Three Weeks Ago Today…

Three weeks ago today John and I were doing this….

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It began to snow just as our reception was coming to a close and when John and I went on a walk later that night things were being to look a bit like this…   

Is it  just me or does anyone else see a shape in the photograph below?

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 What began as a few flakes became this by morning. I grabbed my camera and headed out early for a quick walk and a few photographs before the rest of house was up and out. Remember, we had wedding guests who’d slept over as the roads had not been drivable the evening before. I was excited and worried about all the snow since we had a honeymoon flight to Paris scheduled for that day. Not wanting to miss the early morning light and the fresh snow I drank a quick cup of coffee, pulled on my wellies and headed out.

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The Buttercup Field In Winter

The Buttercup Field In Winter

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Our Parish Church

As I passed by the parish church again on my way back home, I saw that the roads were still icy and cars were not yet able drive out of our village due to the amount of hills where we live.  When I arrived home, John said that his younger daughter had decided to try to walk out of the village and up to a motor way where she could arrange for a cab to meet her and her 4 year old daughter. Her plan was to try make it to a train station and on to the flight they had scheduled to return to their home. John and I had tickets to fly out of Bristol to Paris later that day for our honeymoon so we knew if we were going to make it, we would need to hike out as well. I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you more of our post wedding adventures, but for now…here’s a little preview.

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