The shorter days and cold weather seem to take away some of my energy. I don’t look forward to getting out in the evening as I do the rest of the year. I start the day thinking that I’ll go to a movie in the evening, or perhaps get tickets to a play but by evening I only want to have dinner and read or watch a DVD.
Last night, I broke out of the lassitude and had a fun evening at one of Newburyport’s Invitation Nights. My granddaughter Crystal asked Auntie Laura and me to go with her. We found Newburyport teeming with cheerful people enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Shops were brightly lit and decorated, wine and other goodies were offered wherever we went and carolers strolled in the street. At the corner of Merrimack and State street different musical groups performed to the delight of onlookers.
There were lots families with young children and many had the family dog in tow. In one shop a little boy poked his head in to ask if dogs were welcome. “Of course,” was the cheery reply of the owner. I remembered how impressed I had been when visiting the city in the summer and finding bowls of water outside shop doors, placed there for passing pooches,.
Laura and I thought back thirty years when we moved to the north shore. Newburyport was a depressed, dreary city with little to recommend it, other than it’s illustrious history. Today it is a vibrant, fun place to visit and last night proved it.
It was an evening of warmth and camaraderie. One of the things that small towns do so well.