Rising to the occasion, Northport put on a great party for the Saturday following Thanksgiving. A little snow would have been pretty, but we were all just thankful not to have rain. The village was decorated, stores open with treats and surprises, and this year the townsfolk turned out. Hugs, laughter, and conversation were accompanied in my place of business by the all-important book purchases, that critical element that decides whether or not a bookstore can keep its doors open. Then, starting at 4 o’clock, clip-clopping hooves on pavement told me that the horses had indeed arrived. As the line for free rides in the decorated wagon grew and grew, I was proud to remember the first year it was my idea to bring horses to town and give free rides. I’m happy it has become such a popular Northport holiday feature. Sorry I did not manage to get any decent pictures of the horses....
Carolers in Victorian garb strolled through town, spreading cheer, while band and choir assembled under the roof behind the big tree, and the darkness felt friendly, filled with happy crowds. A lighted magic wand appeared, waving up and down, back and forth, and then – all four thousand lights blazed forth! It was the absolutely best-ever tree-lighting our little town has ever seen, greeted by spontaneous applause and oohs and ahs.
Sometimes it’s hard psychologically, ahead of time, to gear up to rise to an occasion, but happy occasions more than make up for the effort required. They give us back our appreciation for and joy in one another. Thanksgiving at our house was like that, and Saturday in the village was like that, as was a Monday night dinner at home with old friends. We needed it. We needed a little Thanksgiving, we needed a little Christmas, and we needed time to relax with old friends.
Monday brought rain. Now on Tuesday the welcome sun has returned, giving us a bonus of light for our spirits and another chance to do the last of fall’s outdoor work before winter is upon us. Snow in the forecast for Friday! Everybody up and at ‘em!