On a foggy Sunday morning, I'm sitting at a table at one of my second homes. There are boulevard trees along the sidewalks outside. In the large picture windows of Nina's are pine and balsam Christmas trees sparsely strung with white LEDs. One of them is a dead ringer for Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Each table is decorated with a small planting pot full of Christmas greens with moss and some reddish berries. A cloud-blanketed sky is clearly visible over the rooftops across the streets of the intersection. One either side of the entrance is a cement planter full of fir and red dogwood branches decorated with ribbons and white lights. The seasonal reminders bring nature into the city. They also make major contributions to creating a sense of place. They reflect the owner's warm, welcoming personality. Come spring, there will be daffodils, crocuses, sometimes lilacs. In My Minnesota we're learning to balance the city with the country to create places we all enjoy. At least I do and I hope, for your sake, they're the kind of places you enjoy too. S(olstice) minus five and counting. See you on the other side?