Monthly Archives: November 2018

Vintage Christmas Music

On Saturday, our town held its Evening Christmas Market. It’s one of the most popular events in our little town, and I look forward to it each year.

The wonderful little shops lining Main Street are all open late, the street is closed to traffic and is filled with booths offering crafts, jewelry, primitive items, Christmas decor and a few antiques.  On the “village green”, students at a nearby dance studio perform, and a group sings Christmas carols on the steps of the post office. Talented folks sing and accompany themselves on guitars or banjos in front of various businesses. One parking lot is designated as the “food court”. It’s quite festive, and very well attended; the weather this year was perfect.

The market is a great place to find unusual Christmas gifts, and this year was no exception. I also brought something home for Motor Man and me.

Having purchased a combination radio/CD player/phonograph a few months ago, I have recently been in search of vintage Christmas albums. I hit the jackpot during the market at one of the shops, Vintage Potential, which had a great selection. I chose three albums: one by Johnny Mathis, one by Perry Como, and this third one.

When I first opened the album at the shop, I didn’t see a listing of what songs and artists were included. But, the inside “sold” me:

Yes, the album opens up to this sweet Christmas scene.  The artists include Gene Autry, Mitch Miller, Robert Goulet, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett, among many others, as it’s a double album.

Although it qualifies as “vintage” to me, the date on it is 1972. Wait: 1972 is now vintage? Now, that’ll make you feel old.

The price on the albums (including my prized one) was $4.00 each. Quite a bargain, in my opinion.

I was hesitant to buy the “record player” at the time, although it was on sale for half the regular price.

But I do believe it’s going to be quite busy in the next few weeks.

 

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

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A Very Special Find

As some of you may recall, Motor Man’s mother passed away in February, and in the following months, family members sorted through her belongings before her house was sold. This week, Motor Man and I were looking through some boxes that we were given and found a treasure: his baby book.

Neither one of us remembers ever seeing it before, nor his Mom mentioning it.  Just seeing that vintage book with the sweet illustrations was special, but then, I spotted this page. Under First Visitors: “Father – 1/2/45 – surprise arrived from Camp Hood, Texas at 10:30 a.m.”

Pop had been drafted and was in boot camp in Texas in the months before Motor Man was born.  Then, en route overseas to serve our country during World War II, Pop came home on a brief furlough. (We’d  always heard that he was actually AWOL. Now whether that was another visit, or if Motor Man’s mom was keeping things legit with the entry {below}, we don’t know.…)

With communications so limited during that era, Pop didn’t know that his son had just been born the afternoon before he arrived home.

Motor Man’s mom told us many times that she insisted on being released from the hospital the day after his birth, which was unheard of at that time. But being the stubborn persistent woman that she was, the doctor relented. She and her newborn went home that very day, so her husband could have as much time as possible with his little family before going overseas.

I’ve always thought this was an amazing photo, but after seeing the baby book, it’s even more meaningful to us.

This was another entry in the book: “Jan. 2, ’45 day after arrival, your daddy came home on furlough for 7 days before leaving for overseas”.

It would be nearly eighteen months before Pop would be reunited with his wife and son, as evidenced by this entry: “Recognized father – returned from overseas May 16, 1946”.

It’s impossible for my generation to grasp living in that era: this was an eighteen year old girl, married for less than two years, her young husband overseas fighting in a war, with a great likelihood that he would never return home….and she has a brand new baby.  Reading her written words in this book just emphasized all those facts that I already knew.

Thankfully, Pop did return home, and, in the following years, the two of them added three daughters to the family.  They celebrated their 73rd anniversary a few months prior to Pop’s passing in 2013.

“The Greatest Generation”:  indeed.

 

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Beautiful Sunday

Motor Man and I took a day trip to Carova on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Sunday. It had been four weeks since our last visit, and “one of us” was starting to shake….

We only saw ten horses, but those we saw gave us some smiles and photo ops.

These two were busy checking out the bird feeder in someone’s yard.

“They need to make these things horse-sized.  Can’t. Quite. Reach……”

But some of you know that our very favorite place to spot the horses is by the water.  With the sun, the water’s beautiful blue, the white waves and those amazing horses, this was just about the perfect set-up.

Motor Man was so patient; he’d drive up the beach, so we could wait for the horses to come toward us. I would take pictures, the horses would walk by us, then he would drive further up the beach, and…repeat.

But, then, those four did something that I’m not sure we’ve ever really seen (in person) before: they starting running along in the surf. And, although this really shows what a wimp I am, it was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.

 

And in this next picture, don’t they seem to be looking out over the ocean and discussing their view? “Yeah, I gotta say: this is the life….”

Hi, hi, hi, beautiful Sunday
This is my, my, my, beautiful day
When you say, say, say, say that you love me
Oh, my, my, my, it’s a beautiful day 
(Daniel Boone)

So thank you to the horses and my Motor Man for a breathtaking Sunday drive.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

A Special Start To The Season

My friends, Donna and Linda, invited me to an early Christmas event last Saturday: the Holly Jolly Festival in an area of Richmond. (Linda lives nearby, and Donna did for many years.)

You know how much you want to spend time with your friends when you drive an hour and a half each way (including the dreaded Interstate-95) to be with them. I grew up in the country: we didn’t have interstates.

We shopped in several shops, enjoying the beautiful holiday decorations and humming/singing along with the Christmas music. Neither of us spent an enormous amount of money, but we did make some purchases. And I found a couple of Christmas gifts

Oh, and we donned our Christmas headgear and had our picture taken with Santa. Just look at Donna Donner: I think she’s jockeying for more toys on Christmas morning.

Then, The Grinch showed up, so we thought it only fair to have a picture with him, too. (I must confess that, although I’m familiar with the song, and I’ve heard that he “stole Christmas”,  I have no idea what the whole Grinch thing is all about. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.)

Then, we three girls ditched those guys and enjoyed a leisurely lunch, and shopped a little more.

Soon it was time for me to hit I-95 south to head home. Totally worth braving that interstate to spend the day with friends.

PS. My snowman hat is from CVS pharmacy: $5.99. Haute couture.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

Mountain Drive, A Surprise And Friends

When we left Virginia Safari Park on Saturday, we continued on to the Shenandoah National Park to drive the scenic Skyline Drive.  We were late for peak foliage, but we managed to find a little color. (That gorgeous blue sky helped out quite a bit.)

We forgot our tripod, but, at one of the scenic overlooks, we saw a couple taking pictures of each other. So they took our picture, and we took theirs.

At one point, as we rounded a curve, I spotted a bear. Having never seen one other than at a zoo, Motor Man said later that my excitement was equal to that of a child’s.

Thankfully, my camera was in my lap, so I was able to snap some quick pictures of it.

“What? You’ve never seen a bear before?

After that excitement, we drove on to Warrenton, where we stayed the night. The next day, we visited with my dear friend, Pam (Two Spoiled Cats) and her hubby, Dave. Pam and I met through blogging eight years ago, and for a while, our friendship was online only. But then we (along with her Davey and my Motor Man) began meeting a few times a year. Saturday, our visit with them began at a nearby farmers market.

The four of us then went to lunch and later browsed through an antique mall.

We then spent some time at their home, and their gorgeous big boy kitty, Teddy briefly joined us.

Motor Man and I avoided the interstate and took a leisurely drive home late Sunday afternoon.

It was one of those special weekends, full of fun times with lots of memories made.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

On Safari

Last Saturday, Motor Man and I had quite the adventure.

We went to Virginia Safari Park near Natural Bridge, Virginia, which is about 3 1/2 hours from us. This is a drive-through park with several species of animals who roam freely over the 100+ acres .

When we bought our tickets at the gate, we also purchased four small pails of food (pellets). The staff member gave us two empty buckets and advised us to pour a small amount in an empty pail to feed the various animals that would come up to our window.

And do those animals ever know the drill.  They stop right in front of your vehicle (roadblock), then move to your window in search of the food they know you bought.

The llama and oryx were the most aggressive of the different species. One of them snatched a bucket right from my hand, another managed to get his head (and upper body) all the way in the vehicle and was eating food from the bucket in the floorboard by my feet.

“We need to talk about that food, Mister”

Motor Man also had a bucket snatched from his hand by an oryx.

After that experience, we were a bit leery when the elk approached our vehicle.

Amazingly, they were very gentle and only ate from the bucket…..very good manners.

And here’s a weird shot….. doesn’t that look like a spooky “human figure” to the right? It’s actually an animal (not sure if it was a llama or antelope) with its head laid back and nose in the air.

Feeding the ostrich was a bit scary: that’s a huge beak to be pecking for food so close to my hands.

And how impressive is this sight?

The park also has a walk-through village.  It was a chilly, breezy day, so our “walk-through” was rather quick.  My only disappointment of the day was that the giraffes were on the opposite side of their yard from the viewing/feeding deck. Here’s a little slideshow of some of the animals in those exhibits.

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Although a bit cool, it was a beautiful day for our visit. As much fun as Motor Man and I (as mature adults) enjoyed the park, I can imagine what fun it is for families with little ones. We highly recommend it.

Tune in Friday for more about our adventurous weekend.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Friday’s Feature: Felines

Our kitties, as well as Marshall’s, have been especially photogenic recently. So today seemed like a good day to share some feline photos.

Sundae has become quite the lap kitty, especially in the evenings. That’s my time to relax in the recliner with the newspaper. A kitty in your lap while reading the paper can be quite a challenge, but we manage.

Meanwhile, shop kitty, Gypsy, is perfecting her position as incoming package inspector. Purrhaps she needs a more stimulating job?

Marshall shared a couple of photos of his kitties with me this week. This is Sibyl, being cute while showing off her unique coloring.

And her “aunt and uncle”, Chessie and Snugg, enjoying a golden hour sun puddle.

Programming note: there isn’t a blog post scheduled for Monday. Have a great first weekend in November and tune in again next Wednesday.

~These Days Of Mine~