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Christmas Walk

The Christmas Walk must be over; a cat just upchucked on the carpet.

They’ve been ticked off for two week-ends now at being shut down in the basement. The saying is that “revenge is sweet” but that’s not quite how I’d describe this ( I’ll spare you how I would describe it.).

All-in-all, that’s pretty small potatoes compared to what could have gone wrong at any number of places (The quilt-rack falling down doesn’t count, since I didn’t see it happen…or even hear of it until long after). Nobody slipped and fell, nobody wandered down and toppled into the creek with the beavers, nobody made off with any of the silver( Nobody definitively figured out what the big spoon was in the place setting either. There were several good guesses, however.) Most of the time I remembered to plug and unplug lights at the appointed times (I could stand to skip my electric bill this month; it’s sure to be astronomical). A couple of nights the candle set up in the attic window had shone long after the closing bell but there were no complaints that I know of.

Got to try a new recipe or two, one for distribution to the walkers-through and one for the small party on Sunday night : Imperial Cereal ( Picked up from a mystery series by Joanne Fluke; none of the mysteries involved poisoning) and one from the AB-J food section ( How could I not try something named “Cranberry Jezebel”? Combines cranberry, mustard and horseradish–that’ll set your sinuses free!). Nobody…so far…has suffered any ill effects from chowing down on those and we even gave out copies of the munchie cereal one to several aficionados who went through. The chocolate items went pretty fast too but I think that MacKenzie Bray was pushing those when she was at the counter–an eleven-year old can be very persuasive. She almost convinced me to let her have the latest kitten that’s in the garage but I have the feeling that her mother and dad would hunt me down for pulling a stunt like that.
One of the things that pleased me most about the entire project was the fact that so much of the work was done by local people–former students, even! Porter Construction, Goodnight’s Kitchen & Bath, Scotchman Electric, Silver Creek Plumbing, Terry McCone on the gutters, Rob Maur Excavating, Bret Pesicek on the concrete work, Bob Lavery’s Nature’s Carpet for the remarkable landscaping, Silver Frog Studios for framing, Jim Knowlton for the addition plans, probably more that I cannot remember. Good people, good work can be found at home if you look around you.

And for the actual DECORATING–the above was construction stuff–Good Grief! The borrowing going on was simply amazing. The Pelfreys will be sitting around a whispy little pine branch with four glass ornaments, used tinsel, and a Ray-O-Vac keychain light because so much of their stuff is over here. Art-N-Flowers did all of the wreaths, swags, roping and arrangements that graced the mansion–made it smell pretty good too (That’s above and beyond the cats, of course.). The Vancura Gallery of Fine Art and Framing still has an eye-catcher or two…maybe three… on display at their establishment but the ones here definitely made an impression( I liked the one of Shakespeare’s characters called “All the World’s a Stage”; you could see Julius Caesar with daggers in his back and Cleopatra with her asp–nothing like a great asp to make a picture!).Their Santa picture by Christianson was perfect, even matched the color scheme.

I had a fine time! Except for the time out to eat breakfast on the first Saturday (I skipped it on the second one so we could go directly to the uber-tasty Methodist lunch) and the time out to tour the whole shebang with my mother and sisters and niece, I got to talk to just about every one who came through–same old stories, new listeners–over the course of the whole seven days. Every Friday and Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon somebody would show up at my door and proceed to straighten up and plug in and get things going. What’s not to like? Some of the volunteers got so good that I expected them to start telling stories from my childhood that even I don’t remember. My favorite was the Thursday evening candlelight tour when the outside lights were more featured; harder to see dirt then too.

The Grand Pooh-Bah of decorating, may have to take to his bed with a monstrous case of the vapors–that and a new job– from the over-exertion of putting this all together but it’s dollars to doughnuts that some type of festivity (not counting the Twentieth Century Club Christmas party) will be scheduled here during the holiday season. Bring It On, I say. In for a penny, in for a pound. Sooner be shot for a sheep as a lamb. *————*————–* (Your saying here)

Thanks, everyone.
Joyeux Noel!

Whew!  Do you remember a TV program from ages ago called TW3 (That Was The Week That Was)? Well, tweak it just a little to That Was the Week-end That Was and you’ve got November 4th, 5th , 6th and 7th , 2010 at this establishment.  It was –literally and figuratively–really cool!

Thursday, the evening candlelight tour opening date of the biennial Garrettsville Christmas Walk, found me and the detailer of the outfit, Sandy Pelfrey, putting in the finishing touches (Touches, heck, they were more like full-scale body slams!) around the place.  I will NEVER find some of that stuff again; I just hope that my electric bill wasn’t in there somewhere…or my PCH winner’s notification…they all but promised me a winning number.

So, anyway, the detritus of my everyday living disappeared …somewhere…and decorations and ornamentations appeared in strategic locations all over the place, appropriately arranged, lighted and highlighted.  Lisa Vani, of Silver Frog Studios in Hiram, wheeled in–as per schedule–with her trusty studfinder (There’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not going to touch it), a pair of newly-framed pictures for the walls,  and a good eye ;  She got them–the pictures, not the eye– placed in a trice and Vanished into the night. Trusty Ben Coll plugged in outdoor lights, aimed indoor lights, lighted candles and the sopping-wet  fire logs.  The cats were forcibly removed to the basement.  Baskets of booties were planted on the front porch.  The cast of thousands–well, five, anyway–reported to their stations and we were off!

Nice crowd…not what we might have had if the weather had been a little less chilly and the economy less anemic, but a good group, full of bonhomie and ready to have an enjoyable evening.  I love candlelight; you can hardly see the spider webs.  We had a fine assortment of nibbles at the end of the kitchen counter : truffles and Moose Munch from Harry & David, assorted nuts and my new concoction, Imperial Cereal.  I noticed that the truffles were moving out of the place even faster than the people .  What’s up with that?

Friday was more of the same, only earlier and with the lights on.  People could now get a really good look at the major-league quilt that was on display in the side entrance.  It is being raffled off by its creators, the Village Piecemakers .  The pattern is a modified Log Cabin ( I once heard an auctioneer say, as he was offering up one anonymous coverlet, “They’re all Log Cabin to me…or maybe Wedding Ring”) that’s been titled “Love In Bloom” because of the appliquéd flowers at strategic locations.  It vas plenty cold, you betcha; people did not linger on either porch putting their booties on or taking them off.

When the last door closed on that group, it was off to the football game, where snow covered the field so that hardly anyone could tell where the yard markers were and the announcer and operator of the scoreboard were going “by guess and by gosh” trying to let spectators know what was going on.  Not the outcome that we might have hoped for but a fine season, nevertheless.  Wait until next year.

Saturday started with my sweeping off the back steps to reduce the ice hazard; it was like brushing off a Slurpy– little frozen granules in a water base–brrrr.  Things did warm up and folks came in a fairly steady stream most of the day.  There were a few lulls around lunchtime –they must have been lingering over the soup and sandwiches at the Garrettsville United Methodist Church (I got good reports on the pulled pork and the vegetable soup–can’t wait to get some) .

Sunday started strong and just kept rolling–nice weather, nice crowd.  Skipped out of church ahead of the sermon–pity–tricked the cats down into the basement yet again (Friday or Saturday one of them caused “a scene” by bolting out the door when I went to find a wastebasket–Christmas Walk houses do not have wastebaskets on view–and ran to hide under the bed when she saw the volume of unexpected company.  After a while she went into “lady of the manor” mode and lay on top of the bed like some sort of decoration.  She should get an agent and be a “decorator’s cat” at some other venue.)  I’ll have to come up with some new ruse to get them down there for the next go-round.

All-in-all, I’d term the whole thing a success.  I had a fine time seeing people that I hadn’t seen for a while and telling the whole saga to anyone who hadn’t been following along in the Villager.  You know how fun it is to tell your favorite stories that everyone has heard to people who haven’t heard them before?  It was that much fun.

And now we get to do it all over again–minus candlelight.

Ho Ho Ho!

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.

The James A. Garfield Historical Society’s Christmas Walk takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 5th, 6th, & 7th, and 12th, 13th, & 14th.  Hours are 10am to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12:30pm to 5pm on Sundays.  Your first stop is the Historical Society at 8107 Main Street in downtown Garrettsville, where tickets are purchased for $10.

The Christmas Walk ticket booklet includes a map to the six locations.  The Garrettsville United Methodist Church is decorated and selling homemade lunches, and a craft show is held at the Garrettsville Village Hall.  Garrettsville also offers many shops and restaurants to enjoy.

For further information call 330-527-2910 or 330-569-7996.