Posts Tagged With: lights

MURPHYS CHRISTMAS PARADE.

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Jim left my place on Monday. The weather here has been pretty cold for a weather wimp.

dsc08840-copyHe waved goodbye and struck out for southern climes.  He reached Palm Desert yesterday and they’ve had a cold spell with some gusty wind.  You just can’t predict the weather. I’m chuckling a bit at his expense.

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Every year I head downtown Murphys for their open house held the first Friday in December.  This year I went early because the Mountain Melody was putting on a concert at 4:00. TILT. I had the wrong date, the Black Bart Players Theatre was locked with a sign: Concert 4:00 Saturday. I’ll be attending a memorial service and won’t make it. With time on my hands, I took some pictures. Somehow,  an outdoor decorated tree doesn’t look right during the daytime. Now, with a little snow… My mid-west roots are showing. I miss a white Christmas.

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I poked around some of the stores, admiring the tree trimmings for sale. I used to make a point of buying one new ornament each year. I have over 2000 ornaments, so I’ve quit that. A ridiculous problem for rat packers. Guilty.

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I ran into some friends, but did I take a picture of Lynette, Ginger and Roger, Suki, Eleanor, Richard or the Gilmores?  No, I was too busy yaking. But I did take a picture of this cute baby with her daddy bursting with pride. He was just glowing.

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I thought I’d have dinner as the restaurants were opening up. They were overwhelmed with long lines or reservations to get anything to eat. Finally, it got dark enough for the Christmas Parade. But, the streets were mobbed, everything is surreal from the camera lens.

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Everything goes by in a blur. But, I had to include this picture because my kids attended Bret Harte High. This pick-up load of football players was rocking the truck back and forth so forcefully with their weight, it tested the shocks on the truck. I had never seen anything like it. Such fun. Both my sons played football for Bret Harte.

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The lighted floats and entries were really nice. Even with a clear shot through the crowd, by the time your flash can focus, you still get a blur.

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The young kids were enjoying the parade and that is what parades are all about. Enjoyment, not photography. It was cold. I left early. And on the way to the parking lot I  got a decent shot of these draft horses.

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And this parade entrant getting its fancy gear removed. Aha! Now I know how to photograph a parade. At the beginning, before they get moving. Or, at the end. I returned home and ate cookies and ice cream for dinner.

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CHRISTMAS RITUALS

DSC07172 (Copy)We turn into children a bit if we have little grand kids to play with. But even adults enjoy taking a drive through a particularly colorful neighborhood where  lights and lawn decorations beckon. We decorated lavishly when our kids were little but now I settle for getting cards out every couple of years or so.

DSC07168 (Copy)With my signal down for two days, I put my mind to Christmas cards and toward the end of my list, I got weary  and decided to phone old friends I hadn’t seen, nor heard from. Numbers change and I regret not keeping up with old friends. In a changing world, we have social media, email and facebook. I can find a couple of them I’m sure.

DSC07169 (Copy)A less known ritual among stamp collectors  is to mail away to a Christmas town.  Each year I would pick a couple of towns that suggest Christmas and send a self-addressed return envelope, to collect the post mark.

DSC07171 (Copy)It would surprise you to know how many Christmasy places we have in the U.S. I have a list of 89 cities. Some are repeats, like Berry, IL., and Berry, KY. I’ve written for: Santa, ID. Bethlehem, N.H.,Chestnut, IL, Christmas, MI.,Evergreen, NC.,Garland, TX., Mistletoe, KY, Rudolph, WI, Harmony, MN.   There are many, like Ivy, Pine, Noel, Hope, Bountiful, St. Marys, Winters, North Pole… and so it goes. I forgot to mention local Angels Camp is on the list.

DSC07177 (Copy)And, once you begin looking at post marks, you find other interesting anomalies like these opposites:

Disco, Wisconsin —– Waltz, Michigan.  Carefree, Arizona—–Panic, Pennyslvania.  Normal, Illinois—–Peculiar, Missouri. Sunrise, Wyoming—–Sunset, Louisiana.  Lively, Virginia—–Drab, Pennsylvania. Why, Arizona—–Whynot, Mississippi.

Then you begin to wonder, why was a particular town named Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico, Hell, California, or Triumph, Louisiana?  All town names are a glance at history in a unique way.  Major postal centers digitally sort mail and in many areas you can no longer get post marks of the city on an envelope.

You will not see kids lying on the floor, pouring over pictures in a catalog either. I know the future is here, and an I-phone can play your favorite Christmas Carols and allow you to shop while waiting at the doctor’s office. Even waiting at the doctor’s office is destined to change. I am not longing for the “good old days” so much as relishing memories and comparisons, a kind of privilege of age. Who would have thought we’d see driverless cars, and voices that give you directions while driving?   I love the technology giving us wonderful things in the future. But, I believe the guy who invented voice mail should be shot. (Well, you know, not really. Only when I’m hanging on-line for an hour or so.)

 

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