If only in my dreams

These past few weeks have been hard. Not because of NaNo (though creating an entire novel in a month is most definitely work)…because of homesickness. I’m sitting here at home, with a mug of coffee and eggnog, looking out the window at the gray sky, but still, I’m homesick. I grew up in Spokane, Washington, on the other side of the country. When I first moved to Georgia, I wanted to love it. I really did. And now, four years later, I like it well enough…but it isn’t Spokane. I miss Spokane more during winter, and especially around Thanksgiving and Christmastime.

During this time of year, we would all go downtown and make a day of it, walking well into the night. If you haven’t seen Spokane in winter, with all the Christmas lights strung up on the trees and Christmas decorations in every window, with the crunch of snow under your feet and snowflakes drifting down onto your head, you haven’t experienced the most memorable part of my growing up.

The highlight of visiting downtown during Christmas was the enormous Christmas tree in the riverpark square mall. We would stare up at it from the bottom, look at all the ornaments hanging from it – glass balls, rocking horses, gingerbread men, gift boxes – and then we would take the elevator up so we could look at it from the top.

There were all sorts of stores downtown. We would walk along the sidewalk as it got dark, our noses frozen and buried in scarves, and then we would run into Pottery Barn (I would pick up a Pottery Barn teen to take home), browse, duck out and run into another store. Usually we would get hot chocolate or something else to drink while we walked. We would walk past the horse and carriage ride and I would go up to pet the horses if they weren’t busy pulling someone around.

There were always people carolling somewhere; not visiting anyone in particular, just singing as they walked, and usually we would join in, adding some very different voices to the mix. It was magical. After it was over, we would bundle into the car and begin the drive home. We kids would nod off to the sound of Manheim Steamroller playing a Christmas song. We might do this two or three times during the Christmas season, and each time was better than the last.

Now, in Georgia, we go to Stone Mountain once every Christmas. I love going to Stone Mountain when it’s cold, watching the shows, drinking hot chocolate, eating hand-tossed rolls and possibly some peppermint fudge. I love it. But no matter how much I try and escape the fact, as much as I like Georgia, especially during this season when everything is better, I miss Washington.



30 thoughts on “If only in my dreams

  1. I know how you feel. We just moved from Alaska to Oklahoma this summer, and I have missed it since the day we left. I try to like things about OK, but it’s definitely not my favorite. I’m told they almost never get snow here, and I don’t think I’m ready to not have snow, even though I’ve lived other places and not had snow. Don’t you just love awesome Christmastime traditions? I do, and it sounds like you guys have some especially great ones!!! Loved this post, and I can very much relate!!!

    • Awwww, Alaska sounds awesome (WorldCure doesn’t end up there for a few decades, so it’s still nice XD) They almost never get snow in Georgia, either. 😦 Last year we didn’t get any, and I was so sad I cried once. *sigh* I LOVE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS!!! Where would we be without them? πŸ™‚

  2. Ahhhhh Spokane! I love this post, what wonderful memories! BUT, I could write one for every season of the year! Strawberry, peach, apple, cherry picking at Greenbluff (that encompases 3 seasons!), the Centennial Trail, Tubbs Hill with a bowl of soul after, the symphony (especially the Christmas Pops with dinner out afterward), Huckleberry hill and getting a treat at Huckleberry’s, the Onion any time, and the people …. okay, I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS homesick for Spokane. I do try to like Georgia, and there are many nice things here, but it is not home…….

  3. Wow, this post is so beautiful. And it sounds exactly how I feel. I moved from New York ( not New York city, the have-Amish-and-dairy-farmers as neighbors NY) to the South and I really like it here, but it’s not the same as a good country Christmas with two or three feet of snow. We would always go driving around to see the lights and little shops in our tiny town, it was great. Since I haven’t commented here before I ‘ll take the opportunity to thank you for writing such a brilliant blog, Mirriam.

    • I LOVE it when people announce themselves after reading!! Hi, Paige!!! Now I’m all excited. ^.^ Your Christmases sound wonderful!! I’ve never had Christmas in the country, but I think I’d like it from your description πŸ™‚ Thank YOU for reading!!

  4. Maybe you’ll get a chance to visit sometime…I remember last year and some other recent years, Christmastime/the holiday season just didn’t feel, well, Christmasy…no decorations or tree or anything, and I missed many of the other things you mentioned too…

    • Oh, wow! Does your family celebrate Christmas? ’cause some people don’t…

      One year, we barely didn’t get a tree. My family was really sick that year. I don’t remember decorating. We ended up going out around five days before Christmas and getting our tree. It wasn’t the prettiest, but at least we had it. We wouldn’t let Mom and Dad get away with anything less. πŸ™‚ Then a few years later, Mom didn’t get any decorations up until about a week before Christmas because she was working that year.

  5. Oh goodness, Washington… I’ve lived in the same house in Washington my entire life (I live in the Northwest of Washington though…) and I can’t imagine spending Christmas anywhere else. I hope that at some point in the next few years, you get to come back to Washington, even if it’s for just a visit. We were downtown in my city last weekend, and they were putting up all of the Christmas things. Though, I don’t think we’ll be able to do our annual Downtown adventure with my best friend, this year, because we’re having Five Days of Christmas Madness, starting from the day I get out of school (the 21st), then my sister comes home (the 22nd), then we have family Christmas (the 23rd), then Christmas Eve which we always host at my house (the 24th) and then Christmas morning, of course (the 25th). I’m really excited though.

  6. I find it interesting that you grew up in Spokane and another friend of mine worked at Cat Tales in Spokane for a year. hmm. Small world.

  7. When I was little, we would go up to Michigan every year for Christmas. Every. Year. I looked forward to it SO much, because there was always snow on Christmas, and my cousins and I would play hide and seek on Christmas night around my grandparent’s farm. It was cold but SO fun. I really miss those times. :/
    I was born in Nevada, but I only remember it snowing maybe three times, even though we lived near the mountains. πŸ™‚ Indiana gets a little more snow… though it didn’t snow at ALL last year. Here’s hoping for a white christmas!! πŸ™‚

  8. So sorry you don’t have any snow.:( The chance of getting snow is the one thing that makes winter here in Virginia bearable. Spokane sounds like a beautiful place! I think traditions are very important, especially for children(even adults sometimes need them). It is wonderful that you have started a holiday tradition in your new place of residence! I’ll start praying that you will get snow… but not too much! My brother lives in Hawaii and also misses the snow, so much that he schedules his visits home in December. A couple of years ago when he visited, he was wishing for snow and we got 14 inches of snow! The power was out the whole week he was here:)- the next year he visited in July!

    • Holiday Traditions are important AND fun!! πŸ™‚ I hope we get snow this year; and Spokane IS beautiful. FOURTEEN INCHES!!! Imagine if you’d gotten that in July… πŸ™‚

  9. I am now determined to go to Washington once during Christmas so I can see all that. It sounds like something magical, from a book, and walking through it all and seeing it first hand must be wonderful. My town doesn’t do things like that and I’ve always wished they had.

    I can understand about being homesick, but not like that. I hope someday you can go back, and walk through there on another Christmas. New memories and places are nice, but they will never be like home.

    • You DEFINITELY should. Specifically, downtown Spokane πŸ™‚ It IS magical. Just like from a book, complete with beautiful illustrations πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, Jackie πŸ™‚ *hug*

  10. Goodness, this sounds absolutely wonderful! It’s depressing that you couldn’t pack Spokane up and take it with you to Georgia, but at least you have a little piece of it still with you-your memories! And maybe you’ll get a little dusting in Georgia this year. That would make it a little more rewarding. πŸ™‚
    In Wytheville, we rarely get a lot of snow before Christmas. We usually hope for a dusting. But the morning after Thanksgiving, they put up the Christmas wreaths down main street. Things really start feeling Christmasy then. Last year, I enjoyed the hot chocolate, and the quiet evenings, and the snow, and the Christmas parade. Hannah and I even walked around on main street and we visited Starbucks together. I would love to spend more time walking down the streets this year. Wytheville can be a bit boring in the Christmas season because it’s so small and quiet, but there’s always something unique to be noticed and enjoyed. The little things all add up.

  11. My grandma used to live in Spokane when I was little, so we went up there every Christmas. She lives here in Oregon with us now, but I still remember the joys of the holiday season there. Grandma and Grandpa used to take us kids around town on Christmas eve and look at all of the Christmas lights. It definitely snows more there than it does here… I miss having lots of snow every winter.

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