Why Preservationists Should Love Winter

I love the winter season and the cold, and not just for the holiday season. I don’t know how to ski, snowboard, or do any other type of winter sport (ok, I can ice skate), but I still love to be outside in winter. Call me crazy, but six years in the hot weather of Virginia and North Carolina was enough for me (it was hardly ever cold or snowing). Now, a day above 80 degrees is getting to be too warm for me. What’s that? How am I connecting my love for winter to historic preservation? Like so:

As a preservationist, one of my favorite things to do is sight-seeing, whether by car or by foot. But when the trees and flowers are in full bloom, they obscure so many houses and views. Frequently, while driving in winter, I’ll notice a beautiful new view on the road. This might be across the lake, between two houses, down a hill, or from my living room window. Winter gives us a chance for entirely new visual experiences. And, of course, a pretty white snowfall makes everything look magical. Best of all, those bare trees of winter no longer hide the abandoned, neglected houses that intrigue me so much: two of which are on my usual route to work.

As far as being outside and not in my car, I love to run at night. Fewer people are out and about, which gives me greater reign of the sidewalks. People are home and cozy, and the glow of the lights makes each house seem happy. And, not to sound like a stalker, but I love that architectural details and built-ins really pop in the house glow. Don’t you like to know what the insides of houses look like? Yes. Running on a winter night is quiet and peaceful. Views from the higher points in city show the shining lights of the neighborhood and the sky is generally clear. It’s nice one-on-one time with the streets of the city.

See? Winter is a wonderful season to be a preservationist.

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