Monday, January 18, 2016

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Allow me to begin by wishing and praying that anyone who reads these words will have a most blessed, happy, healthy 2016 as there can be.  Although the dawning of a new year is typically a joyful thing, it does bring the gloom of having to say goodbye to Christmas - something that it's never been easy for me to do.  I had a most wonderful trip away from home that lasted a full week from January 3rd to January 10th, and although the official end of the Christmas season (on the 6th of January, the 12th day of Christmas) happened while I was away, the joy of it all continued well past it.

Now that winter's here to stay, scooter talk is going to be scant, so I'll write about whatever strikes my fancy till the just warm enough to take out the bike days return.  I'll start by sharing some highlights of the hundreds of pictures I took while I was away, staying as a guest on a non-working farm with dear friends in Somerset County, Pa.  

I don't often putz with the post processing capabilities of the Nikon that goes with me everywhere, but I couldn't help but save and share this doctored up view of the barns taken from the porch of the cozy farmhouse itself.  When I stay there, there's a feeling of being welcome that I can't describe, but this image somehow conveys that feeling in a way that words can't express.

This view of the farm taken on one of my daily walks makes me long for the return of summer when we spend lots of time in the yard whiling away the time amid the merry joy and laughter of friendship.

I really liked the new holiday laser lights that filled the fronts of many homes this year with little green and red flecks of light.  This shot, taken on a foggy night, shows the beams of the lights as they streak toward the house to fill its face with their cheerful dots.

Our hostess is an incredible cook, and anybody who goes hungry at her home has only himself to blame.  This was just one of many terrific meals I enjoyed.

Although the temperatures were quite cold outdoors, there were times when the coal fire inside made me need a bit of a respite from the heat.  Having grown up in a home in which there was a coal furnace and a coal stove, the smell of a coal fire takes me back instantly to those carefree days of childhood when my biggest worries came on Sunday nights when I frantically tried to remember if there was any homework I'd forgotten about doing.

I was assured that the family cat doesn't take to many visitors so it was a special thrill when he jumped right into my lap when I flopped in the comfy recliner.

Similarly, I was thrilled when this little guy was all over me when visiting with others during our trip.  From the size of his paws, I'm not sure I'll want him lying on my belly when I see him again.

And melting my heart most of all was this young man to whom I'm an honorary grandpa.  After spending much of my adult life insisting that I'm not keen on the idea of having grandkids, well, I could possibly see myself changing my view on that sometime in the future.

Alas, all good things come to an eventual end.  As did my trip.  As did Christmas itself.  Here I am on this morning's walk, having traded the Santa hat I'd been wearing since the beginning of December for this one that I received as a gift and which I treasure for its warmth as well as for how dapper it makes me look.

Although the tree was put away already when I got back from my travels, the manger scene was still up.  I put it away today while thinking of the many wonderful memories of this year's celebration of Christmas. As usual, it was wonderful to this old romantic.


David Masse said...

Very nice post, Joe. Is there anything that beats snuggling with puppies, cats and grandkids (honorary or otherwise)?

kz1000st said...

I see another gazebo made it into your photos. The Ghost of Summer Past.