Posted tagged ‘Boston Common’

“Yes! Yes I do! I like Christmas! I love Christmas!”

December 10, 2017

Winter wonderland skipped us. We got rain the whole day, heavy rain at times. In the late afternoon, when I let Gracie out and brought trash to the car at the same time, we both got soaked. She wasn’t thrilled. My sister got around 6 inches of snow. I watched the news and saw the snow in Texas, an unusual occurrence in San Antonio. I laughed out-loud when a kid did a snow angel. Obviously snow was new to him. He did the angel face down.

Yesterday was a day of doing little for me. I made four or five trips carrying stuff like the displaced by the tree living furniture upstairs, wrote out more cards and went through catalogs but mostly I just sat. All the hauling up and down stairs made me tired. Today I have more energy and a to-do list. Gracie and I are going to the dump, to the small grocery store for bread and such and Agway for cat and dog food. I will decorate my wreaths and put them outside, and I’ll bring up bins from the cellar with the tree lights and some decorations. If I have any energy left, I’ll at least put on the tree lights. Tonight I’ll make myself a nice dinner and have some egg nog and watch Hallmark.

When I was a kid, Santa Claus had power over me. If I did anything wrong or fought with my brother, my mother threatened to call Santa. That was enough to get us to stop. I remember trips to Jordan Marsh to visit Santa. We’d take the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway to the Jordan’s stop. In those days Jordan’s and Filene’s had entrances from the stores to the subway. They were destinations.

I love Boston at Christmas time. The city is filled with people, some shopping, some just enjoying the festivities. The trees in the Common are lit for the holiday. Frog Pond is open for skating or for just sitting and watching the skaters while drinking a cup of cocoa. The giant tree from Nova Scotia is covered in lights. Small push wagons around the common sell roasted chestnuts and hot popcorn. Garlands hang from stores and street lights. People just seem happier.

My town was always decorated for Christmas. Swags of evergreen were hung from one side of the main street to the other. The store windows had trees and wrapped gifts and Santas. Carolers sang every night. The aroma of sugar cookies and bread wafted from Hank’s Bakery and hung in the air. The fire station was outlined in lights, and Santa was climbing a ladder to the chimney. I loved going uptown at night, and I still remember singing in the square.

I get excited for Christmas even now. I love the lights, and I could eat a dozen sugar cookies. Christmas music plays in the car and around the house when I’m decorating or baking. I sing along, out of tune, but that doesn’t matter. It’s Christmas!

“You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue.”

May 2, 2015

Cold again but sunny-the weather is in a rut.

The red spawn can fly. Yesterday I noticed he was at a different feeder and was sitting and dining al fresco on the backside so he couldn’t see me. I could see only his tail hanging below the feeder. I went slowly across the deck making no noise so he couldn’t hear me. When I got to the feeder, I was so close I could have touched him. His eyes got huge when he saw me and realized he was stuck. I was by the rail, his usual escape route. I stamped my foot to scare him, and he jumped off the feeder and sort of flew to the ground, two stories below. He landed on all fours then ran to the back part of the yard. Sadly, yesterday’s experience will have no affect on that spawn. He’ll be back. I just know he will.

When I was a little kid, feeding the squirrels on Boston Common was exciting. My dad would buy a couple of bags of peanuts and give us each some. I’d shell a few then I’d toss them. A stampede always ensued. Several of the grey squirrels would scurry over, stand in front of me, some on hind legs, and wait for a handout. I thought it was kind of neat to have wildlife so close to me, almost eating out of my hand. I swear the squirrels living on the Common had to waddle from place to place because they were so well fed.

I remember London and Trafalgar Square and the pigeons. My dad and I went touring a bit by ourselves one afternoon. I don’t remember where my mother was. We bought some seed, and the birds attacked. I swear they were Hitchcock extras, hungry and out of work. They jumped on our hands, shoulders and even our heads. I threw the seeds. My dad held on to his, and he was soon covered in pigeons. They were flying around him, and I took pictures. He was laughing in every picture. When he was finally out of seed, we sat on a bench for a bit and concocted a plan. We’d get my mother there, act innocent and have her hold some seeds in her outstretched hands. We did, and the pigeons attacked. I took pictures, great pictures of flapping wings circling around my mother. She was screaming as the birds settled on her head and shoulders. We yelled for her to save herself and throw the seeds. My mother was really upset. This was her first attack by birds. My dad and I acted innocent and solicitous, but I suspected she knew.

I took slides back then and we always had a slide night a month or two later. The pigeons pictures were hysterical, even my mother had to laugh.

“I live in a seedy section of town. Squirrels love it.
”

January 13, 2015

The night was a strange one. Gracie woke me up twice whining and crying. I just thought she wanted on the bed so I moved for her to jump up and then fell back to sleep. When she stood beside my bed the third time and was whining and crying again, it broke through the nighttime fog of my mind. What in the heck was she doing standing on the floor and why whining. I guessed she needed to go out so I went downstairs and let her out. The poor dog almost fell down the outside deck stairs as they were iced over. She disappeared for a while, and because of the ice and slipping, I went looking. She was on the deck eating plants. Gracie didn’t feel good. That’s what it was all about. I fed her some spider fronds but she was still restless. It was five o’clock, an ungodly time of the day unless it’s Christmas or they’re calling your flight. I fed her some more fronds. I turned on the news to keep me occupied while I watched her. By about nine she seemed fine, even ate the treats I had left for her. I didn’t hear her go upstairs, she can be sneaky, but I heard her coming downstairs. I knew she had eaten the cat food. All was well with Gracie. At 9:30, we both went back to bed and we both slept until noon.

I am going to get a weapon, an anti-spawn weapon. When I looked out the window just a bit ago, I saw two red spawns, one at each feeder. At first I just thought it was a trick of the eyes, the sort of reaction Scrooge had when he saw Marley in the door knocker. It wasn’t. I opened the window and screamed like a crazy woman. I must have looked and sounded like an extra from Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” The spawns didn’t care. Their pelts will be mine, metaphorically of course.

To think, I used to love to go to Boston Common and feed the grey spawns, but I was a kid then and what did I know. I thought the spawns were cute, and when they came close and took the peanuts, I was thrilled.

I suppose I can thank the spawns for adding a bit of excitement to my day. That last line is a bit scary but it gives you an idea of how boring my life has been of late.

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”

December 16, 2012

The morning, besides being dreary, is cold at 37˚. Rain is expected later. When the alarm went off this morning, the house was cold so I stay snuggled under the covers reluctant to leave the warmth of my bed and the dog beside me, but I had no choice. It was time to get up, get dressed and go out to my usual Sunday breakfast. I think most people were wiser than I and chose to stay in bed as the roads were empty.

When I got home, I ran upstairs to get into my cozies then came back downstairs and turned on the tree lights. They are shining especially bright in the darkness of the day.

The week or so before Christmas is the longest stretch in time for any kid. The days move at the slowest pace imaginable, and counting down only makes it worse. Anticipation just can’t be contained. School drags on forever. Every kid knows the finale, Christmas Eve, is the longest night of the year, despite the calendar. Bedtime never comes. It is 4 o’clock, 4:12 and on and on. For the first in our lives, bedtime can’t come soon enough.

My parents had ways to amuse us. Every year was the drive to see the lights. In Saugus was the ultimate light show. The houses competed with one another for the glory of being the most decorated. My father would drive up and down the streets, and we’d be glued to the windows not wanting to miss a single house. Our heads would whip back and forth from one side of the street to the other. On each of houses the lights were all different colors. Not a tree or a bush was left undecorated. It was a spectacle in all its glory.

My favorite was always the trip to Boston. It didn’t happen every year so it was special. We’d walk by the department stores to see the windows with all their animated figures. Santa’s workshop was always the busiest window with elves hammering toys and Santa checking his list. We’d then walk through Boston Common which always seemed a fairy land to me. All the bare trees were hung with strings of lights, and they shined on the walkways. I don’t ever remember feeling cold. I just remember wanting to run to see everything and being filled with an excitement I could barely contain. I wanted to hold open my arms and take everything with me for always.