Tiny village beams with Christmas spirit PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:46
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Figurines are seen in a Christmas village display in the home of Denise Carpenter of Pemberville. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PEMBERVILLE - The spirit of Christmas is alive inside many houses in Wood County, but perhaps none more so than Denise Carpenter's home on Devil's Hole Road.
Carpenter is admittedly more than a little bit crazy about Christmas villages, to the extent that she has allowed the fanciful creations to fill much of her historic farmhouse.
"I have just about every kind of village," from Department 56 on down, "but they're all period pieces from the horse-and-buggy era."
She got started with the hobby more than 30 years ago, when she and her husband "moved into this 100-year-old farmhouse."
Carpenter, who was born and raised in Dunbridge, noted that she's never lived more than a four-mile radius from where she does today.
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"We raised horses and drove them," which was the inspiration for some of the first village pieces she collected. "I used to take it down every year, but now the kids are grown I can dedicate an entire room to it" and keep it on view 365 days a year.
Even the grandkids are old enough now - the youngest is 13 - to appreciate the village in a more sedate manner. "They used to play with it" and Carpenter couldn't resist allowing them their fun.
Her multi-tiered villages evoke every possible kind of geography.
"There's a town, a forest, mountains, a lake" and plenty of individual pieces that are precious for the memories associated with them.
"When my 24-year-old granddaughter was born I have a little piece (that represents) her mother pushing her in a carriage."
The year her youngest son had to shovel snow and didn't much want the job, she was moved to go out and buy a figurine of a little boy shoveling snow.
Other pieces are unusual enough that they probably aren't included in anyone else's holiday village display. There's a 1700s-schooner ship decked out with Christmas lights and wreaths sailing on a lake that is meant to suggest Lake Erie, a grizzled old fisherman on a wharf, and villagers huddled around warming fires on the shoreline, just for starters.
"Christmas has always been my favorite holiday," Carpenter said.
This time of year comes with more complicated emotions now, since she lost her husband a year and a half ago.
The Christmas village is a way to recall the happiest times of their marriage.
"The horse-drawn carriages are the best for me, and we have a little Carpenter house" included in the vast collection, if you know where to look.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:53
 

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