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October 26, 2016
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It’s beginning to look a lot like nap time

The magic of the holidays is reflected in children’s eyes.
Photos by Jonathan Fox

Yes, I’m tired… and it’s only just begun. Before anyone accuses me of being a Grinch, let it be said I’m big a fan of the holidays, but a little bit goes a long way for me, and the older I get, the less I need. There was a time (long ago and far away) when it seemed as if I couldn’t get enough and wanted the festivities to go on forever, but as anyone over 40 knows, time keeps on slippin’, slippin’… and last I looked, it was the Fourth of July.

As the calendar year flies by, I hear folks in the Upper Delaware River Valley asking, “Where did it go?” or “Wasn’t it just yesterday that the sun set after eight?” In fact, time passes exactly the way it used to, but we perceive it differently as we age. I’m not one for letting the grass grow underfoot, what with the myriad of activities happening all year ‘round here in the country, but careening from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas? Well, a nap sounds mighty good right about now.

“You can sleep when you’re dead,” my mother whispers in my ear, “so get up, get out, and live!” All-righty, then. I did take a day off last week in honor of Thanksgiving, but there was a bit of work involved making the chopped liver (Mom’s hallowed recipe) in anticipation of spending time with friends, having visited with family the week before. Favoring “fun” over dysfunction seemed prudent, and the invitation to participate in an “Old Fashioned Karaoke Thanksgiving” sounded like a hoot, so off I went—liver, crackers and ever-present dog at my heels. Thankful for oh-so-many things (too numerous to name here) I joined in the conversation, shared some stories of past holiday histrionics and croaked out a pitiful version of “Cabaret” before beating a hasty retreat toward home and the nap that never came.

With Christmas looming (and Chanukah already in full swing) I realized that the 19th annual James Dworetsky Holiday Parade was the very next day, so with little time to spare, I grabbed the camera and zipped off to Jeffersonville, NY to capture the moment. Bigger, better and more sparkly than ever before, the illuminated tractors, vehicles (and people) floated down Main Street in holiday style, ushering in the next one, before I had a chance to digest the first. Of all the parades that occur throughout the region, I think this (until the next comes marching along) is my favorite. Despite the frigid temperature (and it was darn cold) hundreds lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the newest entries, as kids shrieked with glee for the candy tossed like confetti, while firefighters sounded horns and tripped the light fantastic for onlookers, prior to Santa’s grand entrance in the town’s fire station. To view the photos and tag your friends, “like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riverreporter) and share the memories into the New Year. Shivering and satiated (for a brief, shining moment), I raced home to the pup, who was indeed taking a nap, with visions of sugar plum dog biscuits dancing in her head.

“No rest for the wicked,” echoed in mine, but I grabbed 40 winks before baking some (IMHO) scary looking cookies to exchange at yet another festive affair—this time in Liberty, NY. Once again, the folks at Green Door Magazine were throwing a party, and my presence (I mean the dog’s) was requested, so we made an appearance to celebrate the magazine’s (www.greendoormag.com) debut of their winter issue, hot off the presses. Never content to rest on their laurels, Akira and Ellie Ohiso opened their doors and hearts to the community at large and presented a show for the kids (puppeteer Ramona Jan), live music (accordion whiz Doug Rogers), a baking demonstration (the multi-talented Cooper Boone) and the aforementioned cookies, which jolted me momentarily when I realized that in my haste, I had left mine cooling on the counter at home. With a firm grasp on my limitations, I acknowledged that was most likely a good thing for the mob of guests who were sampling Boone’s delicious confections, while eying my watch, plotting the nap. “February is looking good for a little shut-eye,” I thought, while snapping more pics and reveling in the kids’ faces shining with delight as Dharma danced with Jan’s puppy marionette and remembering what the true spirit of the season has to offer. Twenty more days till Christmas? I hope the days pass slowly, so I can savor every moment before the Upper Delaware River region settles down for a long winter’s nap.

[Editor’s note: To view all of the photos from the James Dworetsky Holiday Parade visit www.facebook.com/riverreporter.]