Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New England morning

Beautiful downtown historic Windham, Conn.

The day dawned cold and harsh, and it clearly was a day for pastels. I sat in the Miata, in the driveway of a home that was empty and for sale, and painted this lovely little downtown. I felt less rusty with the pastels this time, smoother and more in control.

Really, there's nothing like a New England village on a bright winter day, if you want scenic. The light bounces off the tight-knit buildings, shadows fall in blue streaks on the snow, and the rooftops sparkle and shine.

I've been remembering Colchester, Conn., as having a lovely, open green in its center. But I haven't been able to find the scene my memory keeps serving up, though I've been to Colchester twice.

When my mother was alive, she would get hooked on particular tastes and want them again and again, nearly to the exclusion of any other food. One of her flights of culinary desire brought her to Colchester, to a bakery that produced loaves of black, Russian-style pumpernickel. Sitting here, I can feel the loaves, heavy and smooth, and smell the bread's rich scent, with its punctuation of what? Anise seed? Carraway? Some high, bright, contrasting note.

And I remember driving to Colchester to get this bread for her, and seeing the village green. But now, I can't find it. I can only imagine that I am mixing up my images and memories. Towns don't get rid of their greens, do they?

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