My dad grew tired of streaming Christmas lights.  He wasn’t lazy.  When he came home from the army, he went to the radiator plant and got his old job back for the night shift (he was a plant millwright).  Then he drove across town and found a day job at the Chevy factory.  He often worked two full-time jobs and a part-time gig on weekends.

He would still find time to decorate the house for Christmas and all the patriotic holidays.  At the age of 46, he built his dream house.  On a slight rise above a lake.  In a place where snowstorms were measured in feet and the wind was always blowing.  After one especially blustery day hanging Christmas lights, he decided to leave them up after the holiday.  Passersby couldn’t obviously see them when they weren’t electrified.  He would then turn them on for Independence Day and then go dark again until just after Thanksgiving.

I was thinking of him a few days ago when I passed the Eden Fire Department.  There are wreaths hanging above the bays, and the decorations look as if they’ve had plenty of exposure.  It put a smile on my face and I did a three-point turn and then snapped a picture!  If they aren't remnants of Christmas, then perhaps memorials to firefighters from the past and the present.  It all works for me.

I was in a meeting at work last week and everyone was talking about how early the displays go up in the big box stores.  I’m not bothered by the so-called commercialization of Christmas.  The decorations look nice, even in August.  One late summer day I was in a store and found some home decorations I could wind up watching as figurines moved and music played.  I stood there, soaking it in as people walked by and assumed I was a simpleton.  Possibly, but I was also replaying old memories.

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