2023 Life Logs, Day 339: Goldpebbles Decorate My Christmas Tree

2023 Life Logs, Day 339: Goldpebbles Decorate My Christmas Tree
Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Weather: More Clouds Than Sun, Colder; High 44, Low 32 F; Sunset 4:14 pm (-0 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Late this afternoon, Jed dropped off Sam, Jonah, and Ollie to decorate my Christmas tree. But, first things first, we had to have hot chocolate. Then I sent Sam out to wrap garland around the rail fence on the front of the property and Jonah put lights on the beautiful Christmas wreath that hangs on the front of the house. Ollie helped Sam. And then finally, we came inside to decorate the tree. They did a fantastic job. Jed arrived and after the tree was decorated, he and Ollie were exploring my Jackie Lawson Advent Calendar and loving playing the games, which were challenging. It was a great late afternoon decorating party. And Sam promised to come back and finish putting the garland and then lights on the front fence. He couldn’t finish because I didn’t buy enough. I’ll take care of that tomorrow.

2023 Life Logs, Day 338: A This and That Monday

2023 Life Logs, Day 338: A This and That Monday
Date: Monday, December 4, 2023
Weather: Partly Sunny and Warm; High 51, Low 46 F; Sunset 4:14 pm (-0 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Today was what I call a “this and that” day. I did a little bit is this and a little of that, but I’m not sure I really accomplished much. Jed came over at 8:15 am to walk Shadow. I am so thankful that he and boys are pitching in to help because the issue with my back just continue. I went to
a chiropractor appointment and even he said that he didn’t think there is anything more he can do for me. He wants to see the results of the MRI I have scheduled this Friday, and he wants me to talk to my primary care on Thursday when I have my annual physical to see what he recommends.

When I got home from the chiropractor appointment, Jane Woodin came over to gather some gre
Jane Woodin came over to gather some greenery for her Christmas decorating. Jane has a special flair for decorating, and I can’t wait to see what she fashions from the greenery this year. Our visit was short as I had an 11 am appointment to get blood work done. I had been fasting for that, so I was happy to get home and eat something. And after lunch, I drove to Woods Hole to check out possible Christmas ornaments for the grandkids,. There is one shop there that always has interesting ornaments and they didn’t disappoint this year.

The rest of the day was more this and that. I worked on Encore documents and read through a back log of Encore emails with attachments that needed to be saved and filed. I took Shadow over to Heather and Jed’s so Jonah could walk with him after school and I came home and researched items on the grandkids Christmas lists.

Just before dinner, Jed’s mother, Marti, called to invite me to stay at her house if I go to Boothbay for Christmas. Heather, Jed, and the boys are heading there on December 23rd and if I go, I will drive up on Christmas Eve and come home on Boxing Day or the next morning. Going is contingent upon finding a dog sitter for Shadow and my back. So, I just have to wait and see. But I truly appreciated Marti’s offer of a place to stay.

2023 Life Logs, Day 337: Falmouth Christmas Parade in the Rain

2023 Life Logs, Day 337: Falmouth Christmas Parade in the Rain
Date: Sunday, December 3, 2023
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 47, Low 43 F; Sunset 4:14 pm (-0 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

The Falmouth Christmas Parade celebrated 60 years in a rainy day parade. I have been to most Christmas parades since 2011, and none of them were in the rain. There have been some mighty cold ones, but the temperature today was in the upper 40’s. Even with the rain and the wind, it was not one of the chillier parade days. But the rain did put a damper on everything. Many of the people in the parade looked miserable. Ollie and Jed were in the parade with the Scouts, and at the end when I asked Ollie how he felt about being in the parade today, he said “miserable.”
But despite that, the bag pipers played, organizations like Falmouth Newcomers had fantastic floats to go along with theme of “Through the Years”, and organizations like the Friends of Nobska Lighthouse paraded with their banners. Santa arrived at the end of the parade, but not in a fancy float as usual. That was a bit of a disappointment. Still, it was Santa.

I drove into town an hour before the parade started and it was like a ghost town. I had my pick of parking sport and I chose to park right next to Main Street so I could watch from my car. But closer to the beginning of the parade I got out of the car and took my chair to sit under an awning. I don’t own an umbrella, so that wasn’t an option. When the parade started, I decided to move my chair to the edge of Main Street, and I watched the whole parade from there. At the end, I tried to text Jed so that I could drive him and Ollie home. But I got no response. I drove down Main Street and didn’t see them, so I went home. Just after I arrived, I got a text saying they were on Main Street and walking to my house. So, I grabbed the chili I made early in the morning to take to Jed and Ollie for lunch. Sam and Jonah were gone all day as they had soccer games off Cape. They had rides with friends, which allowed Jed to be with Ollie. I knew they would appreciate a good, hot chili after being out in the rain for so long, and I headed out to find them. I ate lunch with them and then we headed to Highfield to tour the mansion decked out for Christmas through the years. There was an old telephone, a phonograph from the early days of the 20th century, radios from the 40’s, and televisions from the early 60’s, plus beautiful decorations. Ollie’s favorite display has always been the trains, so we spent a good amount of time in that room.

It was a lovely afternoon, but I had a great deal of difficulty walking through the mansion. I had to use the elevator, a modern addition, to get to the second floor. But I just had to walk down to enjoy the decorations in the stairwell. Spectacular as always.

2023 Life Logs, Day 336: Soccer, Horseback Riding, Falmouth Christmas Tree

2023 Life Logs, Day 336: Soccer, Horseback Riding, Falmouth Christmas Tree
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023
Weather: Overcast; High 51, Low 44 F; Sunset 4:14 pm (-0 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Despite my struggle with the nerve pain in my back and hips, I am trying to do all of my favorite things. I am just learning how to adapt. I wanted to go to the town Green to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 pm and join in the singing, but there was no way I was going to be able to park far away and walk. So, I drove to the Green and hoped to find a temporary parking space where I could sit just long enough to see the lights come on. But that was not possible. Despite the dreary weather, downtown was packed with people and cars. Parking possibilities as far away as Lawrence Middle School on my street were totally full. So, I drove back to Lawrence and watched the lights come on from a distance. Then I drove back to the Green just in time to see a car pulling out of a premier space right in front of the tree. So, I got my photo and listened to the singing before heading home.

Jed drove Sam to an ACI soccer game in Shrewsbury, west of Boston, this morning. He thought he would be back in time to take Ollie to his 2 pm horseback riding lesson, but that did not happen. So, I took Ollie. Sam’s game was a 1-1 tie, but Jed said Sam felt good about the game. And Ollie enjoyed his ride on Painty. Ardenna’s winter home is just down the road from the stables, so we rode down to see her under the shed. Jonah was picked up by a friend early afternoon and taken to an ACI soccer game in Taunton, not quite as far as Shrewsbury. His team won 3-0. Jed reported that all three boys were cheery tonight.

The Christmas parade begins at noon tomorrow, but the weather forecast is for 100 per cent rain at that time. There is a rain date of next Sunday in case the forecast delivers. If the parade goes on, there’s no way I can watch from in front of the library downtown as I usually do because parking is too far away. I am going to try and find a place along the route where I can park close to the road. My hope is to park in the large parking lot in a strip mall near the beginning of the parade and watch from there. At least I will try that if the parade is not cancelled. Jed and Ollie will both be walking with the Boy Scouts. Jonah and Sam both have soccer games off Cape tomorrow and cannot be in the parade. They have rides with friends and won’t be home until tomorrow night. Jed, Ollie, and I have plans to go to Highfield Hall after the parade. Hopefully I can make it. In desperation, I have added a second prescription medication, but so far that is not working. I must be patient!

2023 Life Logs, Day 335: Christmas on Cape Cod

2023 Life Logs, Day 335: Christmas on Cape Cod
Date: Friday, December 1, 2023
Weather: Overcast; High 53, Low 47 F; Sunset 4:14 pm (-1 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Today was the official beginning of the holiday season here on Cape Cod. Holidays-by-the-Sea began in Falmouth at 5 pm this evening and the Cape Cod Symphony had their opening of Holiday on the Cape today. Terry and Olivia White picked me up and took me to Hyannis for lunch and the concert. We met Bruce and Jane Woodin at Pain D’Avignon Restaurant and Boulangerie for a late lunch and then on to the concert. Lunch for me was Quiche Loraine with a salad and it was delicious. I went with Terry and Olivia as Terry could drive me up to the door of the restaurant and the concert. Walking continues to be a major issue, but the Celebrex is helping take the edge off the pain.

The Holiday on the Cape concert was wonderful. The Cape Cod Symphony was joined by the Chatham Chorale and soloist Patrice Tiedeman. What a strong voice! Her first solo was “Christmas on Cod.” Here’s the first and last verse to give you a taste of Christmas on Cape Cod.

Christmas on Cape Cod,
Come share the festivity
Of a Christmas by the Sea!
Where the children all will flock
To greet Santa on the dock,
When he arrives by boat.
And the harbors glow at night,
When boats decked in Christmas lights
Form a big parade that floats …

Christmas on Cape Cod
Feel the spirit in your heart
And you’ll be here every year
For Christmas on Cape Cod –
Celebrating Christmas on Cape Cod,
Celebrating Christmas on Cape Cod.

We were also treated with a special Chanukah arrangement created by a member of the Symphony. And in the end, we were joined by Santa Claus. It was certainly a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit.

2023 Life Logs, Day 334: O Christmas Tree

2023 Life Logs, Day 334: O Christmas Tree
Date: Thursday, November 30, 2023
Weather: Partly Sunny, a Tad Warmer: High 56, Low 44 F; Sunset 4:15 pm (-0 min)
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree,
How lovely are thy branches!
O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree,
Of all the trees most lovely!
Each year you bring to us delight,
With brightly shining Christmas light!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Of all the trees most lovely.

I love the German Christmas carol, O Tannenbaum, because there is not much in life I enjoy more than my Christmas tree all lit up. I love the stories from the 16th century that report devout German Christians bringing decorated trees into their homes. I love even more the stories that report that people built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated the structure with evergreens and candles when trees were scarce. One of my favorite Christmas trees ever was in 2014 when Mark and I went to Puerto Rico for Christmas. Jo gathered driftwood from the beach and fashioned a beautiful tree.

01 Driftwood Christmas Tree

04 Thinking Ahead to Christmas Morning

When I was growing up, my dad rarely appeared to be happy except on Christmas Eve when he lit up like the Christmas tree. Watching my dad be so happy made the Christmas tree symbolize joy in my life. Each year when my tree goes up, I still feel like a four-year old helping her dad put up the Christmas tree on Christmas eve, decorating it with lights and then throwing on those long silver strands of tinsel. Pure joy! This afternoon, I went to get the tree at Coonemessett Farm and was again shocked that a Balsam fir here costs more than a Balsam fir in Puerto Rico. Here they say the high cost is due to shipping, but they certainly don’t grow Balsam firs on the island, and I would think transportation from the northern US all the way to Puerto Rico would be way more than from the northern US to any place in the northern US, even Cape Cod!

Despite the price, I had the tree loaded in my car, picked Jonah up on my way home, crammed him in the back of my car with the tree as all of the seats but the driver’s seat were down to accommodate the tree, and home we went. He got the tree up all by himself, took Shadow for a walk, and then put the lights on the tree. He is top down lighter just like Justin and Jo. For whatever reason, I have always started at the bottom of the tree with the lights, but it looks just as good one way as the other. I will decorate it slowly over the next few days, but I can start enjoying the tree all lit up beginning tonight. Joy!

Heather made the 12 and a half hour flight to Dubai just fine. She left Boston at 10:30 pm last night and sent a text around noon our time today saying she was in her room and ready for some sleep. It is now 6:30 am there, so she will up soon and ready for the first day of COP28. I picked Ollie up from tennis this evening and took him to Mashpee for his Christmas jazz group practice. I did a little food shopping while I was waiting for him and then brought him home. Jed and I are trying share driving duties while Heather is away, but this weekend is going to be a challenge. Jonah and Sam have multiple soccer games on Saturday and Sunday, all off Cape and not all close together. It is also the weekend of the lighting of the tree on the Green and the Christmas parade. And tomorrow afternoon I am going to the Holiday Pops on the Cape with the Cape Cod Symphony. I am being driven by friends, so they can drop me right at the door. There is no way I would be able to walk from the parking lot. Tis the season.