Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A memory of Christmas from my childhood is all 5 of us piling into the car — a big, old green Plymouth, 4 door — to drive around Austin, looking at the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. I remember liking all of the light displays around town, but getting nauseous as the evening wore on from sitting in the backseat, going ever so slowly. (To this day, sitting in the backseat of a car isn't a pleasant feeling for me.) Some houses were really decorated pretty, and the lights along Main Street were always beautiful. Every year, Santa would visit our house while we were away.
More recently, the lights remind me of my dear little friend, Cassie. Oh, how she loved the lights! I remember driving her around Bloomington at Christmas time at least twice. I would turn the car radio to a station playing continuous Christmas music. She would "Ooh!" and "Ah!" at each display.
Cassie, born in the early 1900's, grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin - a farm with no electricity. She told me how exciting it was when her boyfriend, Warren, drove her to Minneapolis for the first time. She LOVED the lights! Store lights. Street lights. Lights in buildings. It didn't have to be anything special. It was light versus darkness. I really miss Cassie, but especially at Christmas. She died while we were on the family & friends cruise to Alaska in August of 2008. What a dear, dear friend was she.