While sitting on the throne on Christmas, I looked to my right and realized that the house DID have decorations up.
These towels have been hanging there for no telling how long. I know they’ve been there since Mother died in 2015. It just never dawned on me until today that they were seasonal.
Obviously, I don’t use them.
I started to crop out the lacy thing on the right, but decided to leave it for historical accuracy, and as a sample of earlier customs. It’s a loop that was designed to hold extra rolls of toilet paper.
I don’t use it, either, but I’ve left it up for sentimental reasons. Any of the Steinhoff Clan who would like to claim it can speak up. I’ll even pay the postage.
I love going to the Cape Girardeau County History Center in Jackson for their monthly traditional music nights, but I wasn’t sure about this one, which was billed as a Christmas sing-a-long.
See, I’m not crazy about Christmas music for good reason. When I was at The Gastonia (NC) Gazette or The Athens (OH) Messenger, I’d work my normal Christmas Eve shift, then load wife and cat in the car and head out for Cape. It was eight hours and change from Athens, and almost ten hours from Gastonia.
Younger readers won’t understand this, but cars didn’t always come with CD players, FM radios, satellite radios and portable MP3 devices. In fact, mine didn’t even have so much as an 8-track in it. That meant that we had 10 hours of nothing but fading AM radio stations playing Christmas music punctuated by static as we would go in and out of range. By the time we rolled into 1618 Kingsway Drive at midnight or 2 in the morning, my tank of Christmas music was overfilled.
Not your usual caroling
A lot of traditional songs were played, but they had music like Chuck Picklesimer’s account of Christmas tree harvesting documented in West Virginia Credit Card. I kept waiting for them to play a song I contributed to a company holiday mix tape: Chipmunks Roasting Over an Open Fire, but it must not have been on their list.
A ride through Jackson City Park
When the sing-a-long wrapped up, it was time to cruise over to the city park. I was impressed at how pretty Jackson’s City Park was decorated last year, but 2016 is even more impressive. (In case you’ve forgotten, you can click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the images.)
Even more trees had lights
After leaving Jackson, I made a loop of North County Park, a traditional place to see Christmas displays, but I didn’t shoot anything. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen those displays so many times, or maybe it’s because I love seeing trees wrapped in lights rather than man-made exhibits, but I have to vote for Jackson as the place to go.
Video with Silent Night
I turned on my digital recorder at some point during the pickin’, and captured the group singing all three verses of Silent Night. That sounded like the perfect background music for a drive through the Jackson Park.
(Ignore all the data streaming my at the bottom of the frame. That’s stuff my DOD Tech DOD-LS470W dash camera records. It’s pretty cool. It even has a GPS built in so I can overlay the information on a map. When I tie that in with the time stamps on my digital photos, it helps me figure out where a photo was taken.)
It’s that time of year again
If you are feeling in the Christmas spirit, there’s a small, yellow DONATE button at the top of the page.
If you’re looking for gifts for your friends, the latest edition of Smelterville: A Community of Love is available at these local stores:
Cape Girardeau County History Center, 102 S. High Street, Jackson, Mo., 63755; Phone 573-979-5170. $20 in person; $30 to cover shipping and handling if mailed.
I had two errands to run that took me past North County Park after dark: I wanted a Wib’s BBQ fix, and I needed to return a cap to Buchheit.
When I was in Cape in 2009, I bought a super cap with fold-down ear flaps that did a great job of keeping my Florida ears from falling off in the cold. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack it, so I went in search for a replacement. Of course, my old faithful wasn’t in stock, and I wasn’t crazy about this year’s model, but it was better than blue ears. When I called Wife Lila last night, she said it was still hanging on the hat rack in the living room, so she’d mail it to MO, letting me return the not-quite-right model..
I liked the original cap well enough to buy one for Brother Mark. Here he and Future Wife Robin posed with the caps when they were new (the caps, not Mark and Robin). I think the classy way he wore it was what tipped the scales to get her to say “yes.”
The park was all lit up
Anyway, to get to the point of the post: when I passed the park Tuesday night, it was all lit up. If some of the pictures are confusing (like this one), it’s because I couldn’t resist shooting the reflections on a lake that was a smooth as a newborn baby’s butt.
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around. (If you are wondering what the sign that says “P ACE” means, it means that the “E” that would make it spell “PEACE” isn’t working.)
I hate to keep mentioning it, but don’t forget the yellow DONATE button.
Friend Carla Jordan mentioned the trees in the Jackson City Park had been wrapped with lights. I said I had seen workers building an archway over the bridge that crosses Hubble Creek earlier in the week.
When I went into the park from the south side like I usually do, intending on getting to the other side by going across the low-water crossing, the path was blocked because all the rain had turned it into a medium-water crossing. You’ll need to go in from the north if this rain keeps up.
There were a lot of displays along the roadway, much like you see in North County Park, but they weren’t lighted. I don’t know if that’ll come later or not.
Jackson Park photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around. By the way, read the plea below. Y’all owe me big time for this. It’s been cold and rainy the past two days. I got my feet soaked and my ears cold taking these photos. There’s a nasty rumor that this is what winter in Missouri is like. Heated seats or not, my van might get pointed back to Florida before spring if that’s the case.
It’s that time of year again
Everybody is getting all excited about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Overspend Wednesday (I made that one up), so I’m going to join the din. I hate to keep harping on this, but my mailbox is full or ads and teases, so it must work.
If you are going to shop Amazon anyway, please go to my blog and click on the big red ‘Click Here’ button at the top left of the page (or, this one). That’ll take you directly to Amazon with a code embedded. If you buy something, I’ll make from four to seven percent of your purchase price without it costing you anything.
Think of it as being your painless Christmas present to me.