Clare County Review & Marion Press

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: ‘Tis the season…for two more weeks anyway


I am sitting here looking at the calendar and just realized that Christmas is just two weeks away! And I thought I was doing good this year…
Last week I wrote about being late. This year I am proving it, because I’m not even close to ready and our packages need to be mailed by next week if they are going to arrive out west and down south in time for the big celebration!
No snow so far this year, other than the first storm of the season the weekend before Thanksgiving. That blanket of white only lasted three days and now our grass is green again – frosty every morning, but green still and getting pretty long again.
It will have to stay shaggy though as the lawn mower, Jack’s antique truck (a present from son Don and Micki), and other assorted outdoor stuff is all put away and stored until next April or May when spring finally arrives again.
We may still get some of that ‘white stuff’ before Christmas, but I am beginning to doubt it, although we have had a lot of cloudy, cold and windy days lately and nights in the 20s.
The bitter windy weather doesn’t seem to be slowing up the Christmas shoppers. Stores have been busy all around the area and Clare’s Christmas is coming up tomorrow.
In fact, there is so much going on around the county, I had to write an article about it.
So, no snow, but the Christmas spirit is alive all over the area, as evidenced by the beautiful displays here and there. In fact’ we are planning our annual drive around the area to see some the lights one evening this weekend and I actually have the tree up and the living room decorated for the season (not quite as extensive as years gone by though).
It sure doesn’t seem like the first full week of December already, does it?
The years go by so fast. I was looking at my collection of past columns for some current ideas, and came across one in 2001 that really brought back some holiday memories about our granddaughter Alea. She and here sister always used to come to Grandma’s to decorate our tree and to help bake and decorate the Christmas Cookies.
And it all started around the turn of the century when I wrote this:
“You haven’t lived until you have listened to a 2 ½ year-old singing ‘Oh Cwistmas Tree, Oh Cwistmas Tree,’ as she is putting ornaments on the lower branches. Lisa said, ‘Where did she learn that?’ I told her ‘Barney, where else!’ Alea only knows two verses, but she sang them with lots of Christmas gusto. Before long everyone was singing along as we decorated around the house.”
“Of course, a little later, our little sprite was fixing the tree again — taking the ornaments back off this time – after all, she is still just 2 ½. Oh, and now I have icicles not just on the tree, but also on the chairs, on the tables and of course, all over the floor. We even found a few clinging to the dog and the cat! And, the Christmas village has been rearranged several times too.”
Those years were wonderful times. That one was just a few months before Alea’s sister Alison arrived …in 2002 (on her third birthday) and from that time on, we made a family Christmas tradition that lasted nearly 20 years in our place ‘on the Tobacco.’
These days, the family has grown exponentially, we’ve downsized by half, moved to a new place closer to the family, and both those little girls are all grown up and starting their own traditions. They are now beautiful, working adults. As I said, time goes by so fast…
As of this issue, there’s only 15 days left ‘til Christmas Eve and what’s worse, only two more issues of the Review before the big day.
Ho, Ho, Ho…

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