Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Despite all of the groovy presents you see under this tree...
... I'm giving you nothing for Christmas. Sorry.
Fact of the matter is, I don't have enough time to write anything new. I'd like to do so. I had some vague notions concerning a story from my childhood, going to the Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh to see Santa, but no go. Maybe next year.
You see, last minute details concerning this Christmas have been clogging up the septic tank of my joy. Nothing that can't be taken care of with some philosophical Rid-X, but still.
One of the more concrete problems involved procuring a piece of equipment that wasn't included with a gift we purchased. We thought that a digital picture frame came with a memory card, but it didn't. So, I got one this morning, and now I have to load the photos onto it, etc.
The digital photo frame is for my Grandma, whom you may remember is 103 years old. That means there were about 100 years worth of photos to choose from. About all I can offer you as entertainment are some of the more interesting photos I'll be loading.
The Christmas tree up above is one of them. That was her and my Grandpa's tree back in the 60's and 70's. They were the first people I knew to have an aluminum tree. My grandparents were pretty radical in some ways. I thought it was very weird then, but I sort of wish it was still around now.
This is my mother looking very 1940-ish. I suspect the photo is actually from the early 50's.
This is Washington Square in Weymouth Landing, Massachusetts. I'm not sure of the exact date, but perhaps it is around the turn of the century.
This is my Aunt Jeanne (deceased) and my cousin, Scott, in a dogsled. They lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the 1960's.
And this is them, just a few years later, in Hawaii. Quite the contrast, eh? My Aunt Jeanne was an adventurous sort. She died many years ago now, and I only have bits and pieces of stories. I know she rode a motor scooter back when that wasn't considered a thing for a lady to do. She wasn't averse to trying new things, as witness the above locales. Her second marriage was to a warlock, a very sweet guy with an infectious and unique laugh (haw-haw-haw, it went, which doesn't really give you the sense of it completely, but anyone who heard it has never forgotten it and could probably do a decent imitation even now.) As I've gone through my own interesting adventures in life, I wish I could talk to Auntie Jeanne some more now. I'd have a much greater appreciation, I'm sure. Too bad I can't.
On somewhat the other end of the spectrum, this is my Uncle Louis Barcello. He was a Roman Catholic priest, serving mass in Albuquerque in this photo. I was his altar boy once. He was visiting home and had me be his helper. I sort of knew what to do, but I wasn't totally proficient. I had been attending mass for years already at the time, but had never considered being an altar boy, so hadn't been paying attention to them so much as the priest. I got through it without disgracing either one of us. When I faltered, Uncle Louis stage-whispered directions to me.
Self-explanatory, I suppose, but that never stopped me from going on at length before, so why not now? This photo was taken in either St. Petersburg or Tampa, Florida. It was the only time I ever met my great-grandmother, I believe.
It is now 43 years later. The three people on the right are still kicking ass and taking names. As the story goes, that side of my family used to own half of that town. They sold it for a bag of magic beans or something; I don't know the whole story, but I know I'm not rich. That's enough.
And I leave you with this picture of a kid on a rocking horse.
Yes, it's me. The rocking horse was built by my Grandpa, a man very handy with tools. He later painted it, beautifully, in red's and whites. It might have been a Christmas present. If so, a fitting end to this.
The rocking horse is still extant, on my Grandma's front porch, and if I weighed about 100 pounds less, I'd give it a ride two days from now when we go there for Christmas. But, I don't weigh 100 pounds less. The lovely horse doesn't deserve to have his back broken after all these years, so I'll resist the temptation.
I'll be back around New Year, and I hope I bring something new and shiny for you to enjoy. In the meantime, I hope you get everything you want to get, are able to give everything you wanted to give, and, if not, you realize that the Lord's blessings are still upon you in abundance, even if you don't quite see them clearly. You will, someday.