Christmas Time on the North Coast. Local municipalities have their lighting displays up, Christmas, or if you still prefer Holiday Parties, pack many people’s weeks, and places from Crocker Park to Hale Farm and Village have decked their halls with more than just holly. The local weatherman reminds us that, a year ago, we were in the 60’s and even hit 70 one day. This past week, we had not only my neighborhood dumped with a foot of lake effect snow in one day, but a month ahead of schedule an arctic blast hits the area with wind chills in some places below zero. I am not the type to read the changes in weather as reflections on changes in our nation, at least politically, but with a bunch of hot air ready to reside, part-time apparently, at the White House real soon Old Man Winter must have thought we needed his version of a chill pill.
This time of year has always been rough for me and I long for the day the Winter solstice hits and the daylight starts to increase. I have posted my thoughts of this time on this blog as I did last year; of course in 2015 no one knew what crazy things would happen since then. At least the house is decorated, the gifts bought, and I got to finally see the annual Glow Show at the former Cleveland Botanical Gardens (now called by the awkward title Holden Forests and Gardens). I even got to see Santa Claus, at least the one at Severance Hall, as people came in to dine at the restaurant (where they have an excellent buffet on Sundays) before the three o’clock Christmas Concert. Considering the ice storm that passed through last night, the roads were surprisingly good.
For me, it is kind a funny. In little over a month, Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. It’s kind of like knowing there is a big tsunami hitting that can create enormous damage. However, you cannot flee for the hills to avoid it since, in this metaphor, the ‘hills’ in question would have to be another country.
When I heard about the fact that there was evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a direct role in the hacking of the DNC to influence this year’s election, I have become more perplexed about what will happen next year. The antics going on in North Carolina the past week don’t help matters.
Enjoy the Christmas Season and buy a bottle of champagne to ring in the New Year; who knows what may happen a year from now
(photographs by James Valentino)