“Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice,” wrote Dave Barry.
When getting and spending, baking and wrapping, get to be too, too much, take a restorative walk on the Hansville Greenway. With luck, you’ll find that an early morning frost has turned it into a glistening, wintry wonderland.
Escape to The Quiet Place… Here’s an easy 1.5-mile round-trip hike to The Quiet Place, a supremely serene spot on the shore of Upper Hawk’s Pond:
From the Buck Lake Park kiosk walk west to Signpost 2 (trails are well-marked), then on to Signpost 3. Turn left and walk past Signpost 4 and straight on to Signpost 5. Another left and a minute’s walk and you have arrived at The Quiet Place. Approach quietly and you may see ospreys, otters, wood ducks, bald eagles — and reindeer. There is a viewing deck and benches for rest and quiet contemplation.
Get to The Point… On Dec. 3, the holiday lights at the Point No Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on Puget Sound, will be turned on. Okay, so it’s not the Rockefeller Center tree lighting thing—but it’s just as wonderful.
Park hours will be extended until 9 p.m. in December. So walk or drive to The Point, it’s peaceful and beautiful at night. The kids will love it — tell them the lights help Santa find his way.
Dreaming of a White Christmas? Stay positive. “It happens. In the 40 years we’ve lived here, it has happened twice. The most recent Christmas snowfall was around 1990,” said Greg Nelson, of Skunk Bay Weather fame (skunkbaRweather.com).
“Our last significant snowfall was Jan. 19, 2012. We got about 4 to 6 inches,” Johnson said. But he predicts a mild La Nina winter: “Statistically these are the winters that have more lowland snow and some big storms. They also seem to ramp up after the first of the year — or we could have a winter of nothing.”
And in Hansville, it all depends on where you live. You might get a few inches near Hansville Road and none in Driftwood Key, which is what happened on Nov. 29, 2014.
Sky Lights… Hoping for some heavenly excitement, I asked Johnson if I might catch sight the Northern Lights some cold and clear December night. Good news: “There was a definite glow of the Aurora Borealis in the sky last New Year’s Eve,” Johnson said. So keep on looking up.
What would Santa Say? “‘Happy Chrsitmas to all, and to all a goodnight.’”
And Merry Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year.
— Annette Wright was an editor and writer for women’s magazines in NYC for 25 years. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.