Fresh snow fell yesterday morning. A nice way to begin December.

I pinned the first of Peggy’s jingle bells to the hem of my coat, opened the first of my 24 advent packages—a gorgeous garland of rustic wooden stars—sent from my dear friend in France, and headed to Strafford, Vermont.

Who is Peggy? Why did I go to Strafford?

I wrote about Peggy’s jingle bells last December 1. Here is an excerpt. See photos and the entire post here.

My daughter is the one who found the little red box full of jingle bells and safety pins.

We were at the rummage sale last summer in the old town hall near where my parents live.

It was my mom who told us who the bells had belonged to, and the reason for the safety pins.

Peggy used to live in the old brick Cape cottage across from the town hall. She moved into assisted care housing last year, and her nieces and nephews went through the house to choose things to keep and things to sell. Many wonderful things arrived at the rummage sale, and I am now the happy owner of things from Peggy’s house.

Among these things, are the bells.

On December 1—every year—Peggy would pin a jingle bell to the hem of her skirt. On December 2 she’d add a second bell. And on and on, up until Christmas day when her hem was a sparkling, jingling masterpiece.

I pinned the first bell to the hem of my coat this morning.

Strafford (home to July 4 parades featuring dachshunds!!) had its holiday extravaganza yesterday and we Henhouse Fibers and ilo collective makers set up a table and had a great day hanging out in Barrett Hall—a classic Vermont building with high ceilings, big windows, a stage, good cheer. It was full of local artisans and folks coming through to do their Christmas shopping. Very festive.

Outside the snow fell gently all day. Inside the air smelled of pine boughs.