Friday, December 19, 2008

Lights and Memories of Lights

Tonight I really got the Christmas feeling. We had gone to dinner with friends in San Leandro, a lovely town 15 minutes from our house. As we were taking them back to their house we saw a house all lit up. The house was on a corner and was outlined in white lights on all four sides. The lights were perfectly placed, windows, gables, doors, every tree and bush with reindeer in the yard. Beautiful. Marty pulled over so we could look and look. And then he started driving up and down the side streets following the lights. Every house was better than the last one. We had a great time just looking. It was such a feel good time.

This experience made me remember my parents driving us around to look at lights. We would go all over the little town we lived in. The town water tower had a huge star that was lit up all of December. It was on the highest hill and could be seen for miles. (During WWII they didn't light it just in case the Axis powers used it as a navigational aid.) Then one night we would drive to the next town, 15 miles away on a two lane mountain road to see the Kern's Bakery nativity scene. It wasn't Christmas until we made that drive. And as a plus you could smell the bread baking.

The lights are usually beautiful and they brighten our lives. They sometimes make us smile and laugh. Some of the houses are so awful white trash looking that we love them. There is a house in Concord, CA that we checked out every year for 15 years. It was so awful and we loved it. There were things on the roof, yard, trees, driveway, eaves, everywhere. They moved, blinked, and there were tracer lights. You had Santa and Baby Jesus next to each other. The colors were bad and the lights were a little sloppy. It was our favorite house.

One Christmas we drove home from Maryland to Kentucky. As we left it began to snow, not a nice drive. But the landscape was great. We would see lights in the distance and then we would see it. A barn trimmed in lights, and the fence, and the huge satellite dish outlined. We laughed all the way home.

I love the lights. They are beautiful and the memories are so good.

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