2001-12-04 20:40:28 (UTC)

Christmas Preparations

The day after Thanksgiving the local volunteer firefighters
put up the candle street decorations on the main street
which is also the highway. It's one block away so I can see
them clearly when I go outside to get the newspaper early in
the morning.

I like the Christmas decorations small towns put up more
than those of big cities. Most are donated and maintained
by local civic groups. In Brownsville it's the small but
very active Chamber of Commerce which does it. In Harrisburg
it's the volunteer firemen.

It isn't that the decorations are all that different from
those in big cities. Brownsville has banners, Halsey has
candles, and Harrisburg has wreaths but it's the idea that
even tiny little towns like ours can have the Christmas
spirit and civic pride and want to add to the festivities
that I like. I do have to admit I find it a bit ironic that
the Halsey volunteer fire department chose candles for their
decorations but they are pretty.

The firefighters had their pancake breakfast with Santa
on the first Saturday of December, as they always do. The
fire house is only two blocks away so we could see the
crowds although we weren't able to go this year, because we
had to get Gavin to Corvallis for his SAT II tests and bring
Hugh to the high school for the Christmas carnival.

Another sign that Christmas is coming are the trucks I see
going by on the highway. Some are loaded with bales of
alfalfa and others with cut Christmas trees.

I called over to the beauty parlor, which is in Martha's home
just a couple of blocks away, and made haircut appointments
for the boys on December 12th at 4:00 p.m., right after
school. This is the night of the Christmas band concert
which is at 7:00 p.m. and they'll be all spiffed up for it.

Late this morning I went to the post office to mail
Christmas cards to relatives in Canada. While I was there I
noticed the city employees were putting lights on City Hall
which is right next door. They were winding strings of red
and green lights around the white columns and hanging
strands of white ones from the roof edges.

I also went to the local grocery to take advantage of their
last day of coupons as they expire today. While I was there
I bought some Christmas red and green M&Ms and chocolate
stars to begin on the Christmas cookies. They didn't have
mincemeat so I asked the clerk if they'd be getting any in.
He very kindly called over to their store in Junction City and
after speaking to someone there, promised they would have
some in later in the week. I'll buy the candy canes when I
pick up the mincemeat, perhaps on Friday. He did tell me
they won't have the chocolate oranges or Santas this year so
I'll have to get those elsewhere.

I ran into Peggy, a friend I've known for many years but we
haven't seen each other because she's working so hard and
her children are no longer in school. We exchanged
information about what our kids are up to now. One of her
sons, Ben, is planning to marry in June. She told me about
the wonderful adventures he had in Europe last summer. I
remember him especially as he was the closest in age to my
boys. Ben's a wonderful boy and I wish him nothing but

I love it that when I go anywhere in town the chances are
that I'll run into someone I know. It's one of the special
joys of living in a small town.