Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Frozen for Awhile

During Thanksgiving weekend, Nashua, NH, held its biggest holiday event called "The Winter Holiday Stroll.Grenville volunteered with crown control during the event, whilea friend and I visited several of the venues.

This annual event is always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving when an estimated 20,000 participants descend to stroll the downtown area, listen to musical performances, dine out in local eateries, and shop locally. 

Downtown business stay open during this event which starts at 4:30 pm and ends around 9:30 p.m. An event highlights is an ice sculpture completed on-site in front of City Hall. (The bell in this photo is the city's original fire bell.)
One of the event highlights is an ice sculpture done in front of City Hall. In past years, the completed pieces melted within a day, this year due to an 18-inch snowfall after the Holiday Stroll, they remained intact for a couple of days.
This year's theme consisted of characters from various Toy Story films. It's been many years since, Grenville or myself saw any of these films, although we did recognize, Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
And, we also recognized Forky and Mr Potato Head. 
The sculpture event was sponsored by Shaws, a New England based supermarket chain, which has a location in downtown Nashua.
By mid-week, temperatures unbelievably were in the mid-40s-50s and these sculptures were gone.We're glad to have seen them when all the holiday stroll crowds had gone.

Thanks to everyone for comments on my previous post on sending holiday cards. I really appreciated your replies, Understandable, it's a personal, and in many cases financial decision. I'm thankful to be able to continue this tradition.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Do You or Not . . .

Send holiday 🎅 greetings?

After telling Grenville a while back that I might skip this tradition this year, he replied, Sure you are not which means Of course, you will.

And, he was right.

That's why for the past few days, I've mostly abandoned blogging to write Christmas cards. It's not politically incorrect for me to write the traditional Merry Christmas vs. the all-purpose Happy Holidays. But, I'll select an appropriate card if I know the recipient's religious (or not) preference. 

Every one has a personal note, some longer than others, and always handwritten. For the first time, some included a letter, printed on holiday stationary as I had several designs, it was turn-about fun doing a dozen or so to relatives and friends who have afflicted us sent them to us in past years and it was kept very brief.

While addresses are also handwritten, our return address is on pre-printed labels done on my computer to include a snowman, penguin (of course), or moose (this is New England). It's also fun (for me) to include these colorful stickers on each envelope.
How many cards do I mail out ?

It averages about 125 for domestic and international mailings, including 20 that aren't posted, but hand-delivered to folks in our mill apt residence.

Some people I've talked to cite rising postage/card costs as having halted or curtailed their card mailings. (I get that since from 2018-2019 U.S. First Class postage went from 50 to 55 cents.) Others send e-cards or text greetings.That's doesn't work for me as I believe there's nothing like sending a personal card/message for a holiday, birthday, condolence, anniversary, friendship or just because especially amid all the junk mail that's received.

Do we get as many cards as sent ?

Never, but it doesn't matter. My card list has 2 columns: "Sent" and "Received." The Sent column is always used. I've mistakenly sent duplicates, so tracking is needed. The Received is usually ignored, so I plan to delete it.

How about you — are you sending/cutting down on Christmas 🎄 card mailing ?

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Remember the Date

Amidst the hustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a day of remembrance in the U.S. 

It's been 78 years ago when on dawn, December 7, 1941, half of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, approximately 150 vessels and service craft, lay at anchor or alongside piers in Pearl Harbor, HI. All but one of the Pacific fleet's battleships were in port that morning.

By 10:00 a.m., the Sunday morning had been shattered as 21 vessels lay sunk or damaged following a surprise raid by hundreds of Japanese planes. Smoke from burning planes and hangars filled the sky and oil from sinking ships clogged the harbor. 

Total number of military personnel killed was 2,335, including 2,008 Navy personnel,109 marines, and 218 Army. Also killed were 68 civilians, making the total killed, 2403. Of these numbers, 1,177 were from the USS Arizona. A total of 21 naval ships were sunk or badly damaged. The number of wounded totaled 1,143: 710 Navy, 69 Marines, and 364 Army, as well as 103 civilians. The total Japanese loss was 55 men.

The attack catapulted the U.S. into WW II. Congress issued a declaration of war after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's spoke to the American public on Dec. 8, 1941, and called the bombing a date that will live in infamy.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday; however, the U.S. flag should be flown at half-mast to honor all those who died.

(Comments are off for today.)

Friday, December 6, 2019

When Family Gathers . . .

It can be for many reasons. The best ones for most are celebrations of happy holiday times together. That's how part of our family spent the recent Thanksgiving holiday. 

This post has a lot of smiling faces for which we are very thankful. Several years ago, the holidays were not happy times. There was a lot of family tension and discord due to my mom's failing health. Thanksgiving was the last holiday we celebrated with her.
We traveled to Lancaster, PA, to meet up with members of my family who traveled there from NJ. My brother, Tony, his wife Anita, their daughter Julie and husband Michael and their daughter Autumn Rose. She's the first of our two great nieces born in October.
At just over 6 weeks of age, this holiday was Autumn's second celebration after Halloween although she didn't trick or treat this year.
There were quite a few a lot of family photos taken with her. She napped through many of these, including some with her parents.
While she also napped with her grandfather, Autumn posed with her grandmother. Yes, she has a full head of dark hair just like both of her parents.
Great Uncle Pat (Grenville) must have shared a funny turkey story because she really gave him the most big smiles.
Maybe, he was telling her about how her family members took photos wearing the silly holiday hats and headbands provided by her grandmother (middle photo above).
This newest and smallest family member made everyone's holiday even more special. We'll
 see her again and other another new family member during the Christmas holidays
That's because we will be meeting our second great niece and Autumn's cousin, Savannah Marie. She and her parents Jamie and Mike spent the holiday with family in NJ. 

Grenville and myself (Pat and Dorothy) hope that your celebrations included special time spent with family and friends. Our family is relatively small as parents, grandparents and several aunts and uncles have passed. We remember them as we celebrate and make new family memories. That is what matters most to us. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It Won't Be Long . . .

But ❄️ ☃️ arrived sooner than expected.

That's because, according to most calendars, December 21 marks the official arrival of winter, whereas the official start of meteorological winter is December 1. That date was perfect timing as winter came to in Nashua, NH (and other places) via a 48-hour storm that started Sunday afternoon and ended Tuesday mid-afternoon. Did you get any?

Thankfully, we returned home from our holiday travels before the storm's arrival. 

It didn't snow the entire time,  starting and stopping before clearing out completely. We stayed indoors the entire time. There was nowhere we had to go and the cars are safely parked in the indoor garage. 

This view was from a 5th floor window on our floor. Main streets were snow-free by late Tuesday morning. However, Grenville monitored the police bands which reported numerous fender benders on side streets and local highways. 
Usually, Nashua's first snowfall is sometime in December, but some years recorded snow in November. The season's last snowfall typically occurs in March, or as late as April.
Checking for Nashua, NH, snow stats online, I learned that in December, one in four years totaled over 17 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years got 6 inches or less for the month. In January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years exceeded 20 inches, while the lightest years get less than 6.6 inches. New snow in February ranged from over 19 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 6 inches in lighter years.

The earliest Nashua snowfall was on November 11, 1906 and totaled 6 inches. The earliest storm of 10 inches or more was on November 16, 1967, when 11 inches fell. In January 2015, the year we moved here, a blizzard blanketed Nashua with over 33 inches of snow making it the highest accumulation in the state. It was the city's highest ever recorded  and broke a record of 30 inches set in March 1888.

Nashua was far from the top snowfall in NH this time. New Ipswich, NH, had 36 inches this snowfall (the top total in NH). The good great news is that May-October, Nashua is (usually) snow-free.

Some bloggers may recognize the post title as part of the opening line from Snow with vocals by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen. The four harmonize during a late night meet-up on a train heading to VT in a the holiday classic, White Christmas. (We'll be watching the movie again this holiday. How about you?)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Funnies

Thinking of a caption for this photo, one came to mind — Wiped Out.

It's also how some folks may feel by the end of today, known as Black Friday in the retail world. We will not be among that group, but will be on the roads traveling home from an out-of-town holiday 🦃 celebration.

How about you — what will you be doing today?

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey Time is Here

No matter how folks in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving, in most homes, there's definitely one repeat guest every holiday — the turkey!

Yet, the history of the Thanksgiving main course remains a mystery. No one seems to know exactly how this bird earned a place of honor at the table.

According to early records kept by American settlers, beef, fowl, and venison were on the menu when the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians dined together at what's referred to as the first Thanksgiving meal in 1621In addition to no turkey, there were no mashed potatoes eaten then as they weren’t grown in the area then. Forget about pumpkin pie too since wheat wasn't being grown yet either. Instead, side dishes at the first Thanksgiving might have featured beans, corns, and fruit. 

The first national Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President George Washington in 1789. It didn't become a regular U.S. holiday until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday in November should be celebrated as a national day of thanksgiving, praise and prayer.

In 1939, another President, Franklin Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving one year to a week earlier than usual since the last Thursday in November was also the last day of the month. The change was to make the Christmas shopping season longer and boast retail sales during one of the final years of the Great Depression. After an outpouring of public disapproval so, in 1941 Thanksgiving was declared a legal holiday by Congress. 

Did you know that if Benjamin Franklin had his way, the turkey would have become the national U.S. bird and not the bald eagle? 

Franklin maintained that since the wild turkey is a native bird of North America it was more fitting as the national symbol. His suggestion was not wildly popular and, in 1782, the bald eagle became the national emblem of the U.S. The bald eagle is America's bird 364 days a year, but the turkey has a day all to itself.

Now, here's a special message from Tom.

According to legend, while Franklin proposed the turkey as the national symbol, Thomas Jefferson favored the bald eagle. When the eagle was selected, Franklin was rumored to have called it “tom turkey” after Jefferson. There's no evidence that this term was ever used during either Franklin or Jefferson's lifetimes. "Tom" is used to identify the male of the species and "hen" identifies the female.

Best Wishes to Everyone for a Happy Thanksgiving.
(Safe travels, if you will be on the road) 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thankful Are We

To all blogger friends whose on-line friendships and comments are appreciated and valued.
We wish everyone a wonderful 🦃holiday celebration with good company, great food and🍷 and much ❤️. 

If you enjoy going to the movies on a holiday, we highly recommend the new film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It's based on the true story of a real-life friendship between the late children's show host Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. 
Dorothy & Patrick (aka Beatrice & Grenville)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Friday Funnies (Not)

Admittedly, when I was considering a caption for this photo, Butt Out or No Buts About It came to mind. But (there it is again) there was nothing funny about this image which was captured during a recent walk.
It was bad enough to see this many smoked cigarettes and, worse yet, they were simply dumped out and not put in the trash. (There's a No Smoking ban in our mill apt complex and it's not unusual to see lots of discarded butts near the exterior entry ways.)

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Oh Baby, More News

Yes, there's more baby news to share and, this time, it's on Grenville's side of the family. His cousin, Dennis (L), and husband, David (R), are having a baby boy through a surrogate, early next year.
Over the weekend, the dads-to-be were treated to a baby shower at the home of another family member in CT where relatives and friends gathered.
Both sets of grandparents-to-be were there as well to help their sons celebrate impending fatherhood. There was no name "reveal" at this event. The future dads are keeping it a secret so far.

There were many family and friends who also came from several neighboring New England states to share in the celebration.
While I'm not familiar with most games at baby showers, they are fun and this event included several including angry baby, bad dad jokes and diapering blindfolded.
Everyone knows that a party wouldn't be complete without dessert. This one included lots of sweet treats — homemade cupcakes, ice cream cake and chocolate almond cake.
After dessert, it was gift opening time. There were a lot of books and handmade items, including a unique diaper cake. For our gift, w
e went bear hunting at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Our gift was unique in that there were no other teddy bears given. 

Even before the holiday season, our family has had much to celebrate with the October births of two great nieces and this future 2020 arrival. We are thankful to have shared in this joyous family event and wish Dennis, David and their (as yet unnamed) son much happiness.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday Funnies

Wind it up — seen in downtown Nashua, NH, at an outdoor car event this fall and reminiscent of some old-time toys.
YIKES ! It's already mid-November this weekend. If you're wondering (or not) how many shopping days are left until Christmas, check out this site.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Look Who's Growing !

To say that we've been excited to get recent photos  of our two great nieces would be an understatement. The two cousins were born two weeks apart in NJ last month. 

Napping is a favorite activity of these dark-haired beauties, Autumn Rose (L) and Savannah Marie (R), and one which great uncle Grenville endorses as well.
Their first holiday, Halloween, was celebrated at the end of last month and both girls wore the appropriate "first" outfits. 
My brother and his wife, who became first-time grandparents, twice in one month, with their granddaughters October births, are already smitten. 
Autumn is older than her cousin, Savannah, by two weeks and is already becoming a photo model. She and her mom, Julie, visited a sunflower garden in mid-October.

Last week, she posed for a one-month photo opp.
We're happily (and excitedly) looking forward to meeting our newest, smallest and youngest family members during the upcoming holiday season. And, of course, there will be more photos then (and maybe even before).

Monday, November 11, 2019

Cemetery Seens in Color

A recent post appropriately on Halloween highlighted my recent walk through Edgewood Cemetery in Nashua, NH. That post featured only B&W scenes. However, but the day they were taken, there was a lot of fall color still evident. That's no longer true thanks to some recent rain and wind storms. 

Walking among the headstones was very peaceful and quiet. There was no one else around during my nearly 2-hour walks, which was fine with me. I like solitude at times like this.

Although the day was overcast, chilly and damp, I had an interesting stroll through the cemetery, which is about 2 miles from our mill apt residence and located in a residential area of Nashua, NH. It's quite large at slightly over 33 acres.

The cemetery gateway was a gift from long-time city resident Ira F. Harris in 1912Harris. was a cashier at the former Indian Head National Bank in downtown Nashua, a member of the local Rotary club, and served with various local groups. He also authored several publications on his travels in the Far East.

Walking among the headstones was tranquil and I read as many as I could. The cemetery dates to the 1800s by the inscriptions on some of the earliest ones. Again, an online search did not produce much any information on the cemetery's history.

Many headstones were simple and quite to the point with no other details included.

Years ago, many children died at a very young age. There was no shortage of headstones that attested to their early passing. A number of these headstones bore only a single name. I'm not sure whether or not these marked a child's grave.

I spotted a  few other markers, specifically for grandparents including a poignant message left on a pumpkin. 
While I didn't walk the entire grounds, I found quite an interesting cross-section of headstones. For example, this one showed twins Heather and Hanna born in July, but dying very soon afterwards with unusual wording under Jackie Pearl's name.
Sadly, it appeared that this family lost two sets of twins in the mid-1940s going by the dates listed. 
Some final photos from this fall cemetery walk. The next time I revisit this cemetery will most likely be when there's snow cover on the ground. Winter weather is forecast here this week, with a possible wintry rain/snow mix late Monday night into early Tuesday.

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day, a U.S. state and federal holiday, set aside to honor men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. (This holiday differs from Memorial Day, a holiday in May, which honors those who died while in military service.)
We appreciate and thank all veterans, including my husband, Patrick (Grenville), who served in the U.S. Navy.
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