Christmas. Tree.


Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, a small artificial Christmas tree would appear on top of the dam at the end of Bear Creek Lake. You would see it as you came down the mountain on Rt 115 headed into Wilkes-Barre. A few years ago – maybe four or five – the dam was rebuilt and that was the end of the special Christmas tree.

We would look every year. In fact, we would look at any time of year and repeatedly tell our long-suffering transplanted California daughter-in-law about the Christmas tree every time we drove down Rt 115. Bless her, she always acted interested and as if she was hearing about the special Christmas Tree for the first time.

So we have all come to accept that it’s gone. Now as head down the mountain, we all grow quiet and start thinking about the tree that used to be there. There’s no longer any need to mention it because it’s part of our family story, even though we had no direct connection to the dam or to the tree. We just know and we remember.

This year, we had so many people, presents, overcoats and pieces of luggage that it required 3 vehicles to get us from Central NJ to Shickshinny PA. My daughter and I were driving  the presents and the dog in my car. The Poconos surprised us with some lovely Dec 24th snow flurries right before we came to the dam so the mood was pleasant and we were feeling nostalgic and thinking about Christmases past and the people we loved who are no longer here with us. We have more people in PA to love now but the old ones are gone and so is the special Christmas tree. *sigh*

And then we both shrieked at the same time: CHRISTMAS TREEEEE!

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It’s back. It’s not the same one, of course. This one is less battered and the ornaments are different but its the same size and in the same place – exactly in the center of the dam. How do they do that?

It wasn’t until I looked at this photo a few times that I realized no water was flowing over the dame – it usually looks like this. But whatever. It’s back and we’re delighted and I’m sure ours was only one of thousands of carfulls that saw it and were thrilled.

Now it’s Christmas.

Day 13 – I’ve Got The Power!


happy dance

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes because sometime during the night, the power came back on in our house.

List of immediate actions:

  • head for home
  • turn on the heat
  • make ice cubes
  • go shopping

We all have our priorities.

POST-SHOPPING UPDATE: Home Depot was selling stuff the likes of which I have never seen before. All I really care to comment about was a Martha Stewart 2-pack of Christmas picks in the garden section. Plus they had these cute little solar powered realistic looking colonial-style candlesticks. On tall stakes. For outdoor use. I’m still trying to work how how that is supposed to look when installed.

Not too many people there making a claim. I chalk it up to brand confusion, I’d be looking for a red and white tent and maybe that guy with the voice.

Here’s the All State Claims Center set up on the Home Depot parking lot. Blue tent, not red and white. There was another bus with tables at the opposite end of the lot but I didn’t see what it was. The “Tide Loads of Hope” washing machine bus was in the Lowe’s parking lot. I find this all very comforting. I am of the opinion that if Paul Ryan could have gotten the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile to swing by, it could have changed everything.

What we really need around here are more dog pictures. Here is everything you need to know about the weather in NJ.

Can we come in now? How about now? Now? Can we come in? Can we come in now? Now?

Stedman and Rocco pretty much ignored each other for our week-long stay at our son’s house but they were united in their opinion that they both belonged on the inside of that door and not outside where the snow and the cold dog butts are.