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Today in My History

2000: The Dreaded Christmas Letter
2001: The Free Ride's Over
Typhoid Mary
Caroling, Caroling, Caroling
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
Reality Sucks

2006At the Mercy of the Elements, 2
2007: A Bunch of Rocks

2008:  The Best for Last
2009:  The Pitter Patter of Little Feet

Our 2010 Christmas Letter

A Christmas Carol

Books Read in 2010
Updated: 12/14

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10)


Poor Polly from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on You Tube

Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (1441 bytes)

Thanksgiving 2010

Mirror Site for RSS Feed
Airy Persiflage

My Compassion Kids

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holi10-badge-holly.gif (2346 bytes)Following my friend Jim's example, I'll put in this brief introduction for people who might stumble over this jounal on Holidailies

I'm a middle-aged (if I plan to live to 134)   grandmother, retired from full time work, though working as a part-time theatre critic.  I foster dogs (usually puppies) for the SPCA and many of my entries end up being about dogs and/or puppy poop.  Walt and I raised five children and buried two of them.  Our remaining three are married to three fabulous spouses, all of whom I love a lot and we have, of course, the most beautiful grandchild in the world. 

This journal started in March of 2000 and I've pretty much updated daily, with very, very few misses, ever since then.  (I even wrote an entry on a coin-operated computer in a tiny town in England!)


17 December 2010

I got a little pang in my heart when I saw this picture.

BriTrain.jpg (106175 bytes)

I don't think it was a jolt of pain, but maybe of pleasure.  Tom was setting up the train that would run around the bottom of their Christmas tree.

I was very young when I decided that having a train run around the bottom of your Christmas tree was the ultimate in Christmas decorations.  We didn't have one, but my friend Stephen did and how I envied him that train.  It was one of those Lionel trains with pellets that you put in the smokestack to release real smoke as it puffed its way around the gifts under the tree.  It had specialized cars that loaded and unloaded cans of milk and I don't remember the other things it did now.   How I wanted one!

Maybe it was too close to home for my father, whose career was spent working in the mail car of a train, and who hated Christmas because of all the extra work.   Or maybe it was a boy toy and my sister and I were girls and nobody would buy a train for a girl.  Or maybe it was just that it cost too much.  I always thought Stephen's family, though their apartment was smaller than our flat, was very rich because they had a train running around their Christmas tree.

We had a village around our Christmas tree.  There were little houses that my mother carefully arranged on slopes of sparkling cotton snow.   Christmas lights went in a hole in the back of each house to give the whole village a glow when they were plugged in.  And of course this was the time when if one bulb was out, nothing on the entire string would light, so my father would have to sit and cuss and swear as he tested out bulb after bulb until he found the offending bulb.  But when it was all finished, it was beautiful.  I think we even had a mirror for a skating rink with little pine trees, standing on wires set in red wooden circles dotting the landscape.   The trees never stood straight, but they added to the effect of the village anyway.

I thought it would be so cool to have a train running around our Christmas tree when Walt and I started having kids, but never said anything about it.   It was many years after we were married -- after we moved to Davis, in fact -- before I discovered that Walt had a train set from his own childhood packed away in the closet in his office.  To this day, the train has never been out of the box.  I don't know if it works, or if Walt knows if it works.  But our kids never had the opportunity to see it in action.  And we never had a little village under our tree either.  Just gifts.

But now it's the new generation and 2 year old Bri is having her first Christmas tree train, so will grow up with the tradition that I always wanted as a child.  "The wheel goes round and round and if you just wait long enough, it's finally your turn!"

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JumpingPups.jpg (227216 bytes)

The puppies had a great time running around the yard today.
Unfortunately it's supposed to rain tomorrow, so they will have to stay in.


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