View from the Bridge
CHOUTEAU COUNTY COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
Everyone was buzzing about the great time they had last Saturday while doing the rounds about town. My daughter, Jennifer, came up from Great Falls at 11:00am and we hit the road to the Ag Center Bridgeport Station.
It was awesome to see the thousands of items to choose from. If you could not find the perfect gift somewhere in those incredible displays, then you did not look hard enough.
We finally reached the lunch table and took our food to the table closest to the entertainment. We finished when Jamie had sung beautiful Christmas Carols and the Barbershop Quartet had finished their magical singing.
We then headed for Front St. and stopped at as many shops that we could manage. The first stop was at the Country Shoppe where we enjoyed delightful snacks. I was also given two small white ceramic Angels for the two members of my family that had passed away this year. They are so precious and I have placed them on a shelf in front of my kitchen window. I think about Lisa and my brother-in-law Marty every day and these Angels are such a comforting reminder.
Next stop at the Benton Pharmacy where there were Kiddos making Christmas decorations. I wanted to join them but I didn’t have my Santa hat on so I couldn’t tell them that I was Mrs. Claus which would be a good reason to sit down with them. Oh well!
Next door was Lehman’s True Value and when we made purchases we were entitled to a free hat. There was a huge hat display to choose from and I found the cutest pink cat hat for my daughter to give to her granddaughter.
On down the street to the Toggery that is Jennifer’s favorite place. I visited with my longtime friend Sandy.
We then drove down to the end of the street and visited the Taste of Chocolate, the Wake Cup, and the newly named Rivers Edge Floral. I met the new owners who told me how much they love Fort Benton. That was not news to me because everyone who comes to Fort Benton loves it. They do not say that it is a nice place to visit but they would not like to live here. All the visitors I talk to at the Information Center, always say that they would love to move here.
Next year I am going to start out earlier.
It was getting dark already and Jennifer left for home and I prepared to attend the tree lighting. I arrived a bit early and found a great parking place. I walked to The Freeze and saw friends immediately although it was quite dark. I want to send Cheryl, Connie, and Ruth huge kudos for putting together the whole Tree Lighting event. It was exactly how I wished it would be…like a Hallmark Christmas movie. Cheryl provided the candles that Laurie passed out and lit.
What I didn’t expect was the way Santa arrived. Words to Christmas Carols were passed around and when we sang “Here Comes Santa Claus” down Front St he came. It was very exciting and a dream come true for me. I thought that he was arriving in an automobile. He was in a sleigh shaped wagon with horses pulling it.
Merry Christmas and may all the love at this time of year be to all you volunteers who made that day possible. No one, unless they have done it, knows how much work and how many hours go into planning that day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The Benton Pharmacy Christmas Decorations won 1st prize from the Chamber of Commerce with two other businesses. The Chamber had a difficult time choosing and decided to give 1st prize to all three.
You actually have to walk by and stop to enjoy the Pharmacy’s windows. In the right hand side is Mary Zanto’s Santa Claus collection. A few years ago I began, in the View, the story of people’s collections. I remember contacting two people and asked that others call me about their collections. The only one I knew about was Mary Zanto’s but we thought we would wait until closer to the holidays.
I had seen Mary’s collection in her home. I remember a figure something like 65 Santa’s displayed all over her house. We asked Chris Halko if Mary could put her display in the window of the Pharmacy. Chris said yes but it was too much at the time for her to take them to the Pharmacy.
This year Kirby Hoon transported the collection from Mary’s house to the store. The “Window Dressers” at the store arranged the collection in the window. It is so precious and I know that you will enjoy it with your Kiddos or just by yourself. Look for the whole story in a couple of weeks.
There will be a start-up meeting on Tuesday the 13th, 12:00 noon at the Chouteau County Library. It has been a while since the members no longer gathered together to discuss the virtues of a good book. Friends was always my favorite organization for sharing conversation about a good book
Every Craft Fair that I go to I ask vendors who sew if they have Potato Bags for sale. What is a Potato Bag you ask? It kind of looks like a pot holder but it is shaped more like a bag. You wash your potato, dry it slightly, put it into the bag, into the micro, and bake your potato for the allotted time. (I bake medium sized potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes. Large sweet potatoes or yams take about 8 minutes.) It is so convenient and the potatoes are so moist. An advantage for me is that they are easier to handle. No more foil problems.
The point of this story is that I asked on Saturday of a vendor if she had any potato bags. She said that I was the third person to ask her. She said she would look for a pattern and when I told her that I have a bag, we decided that I would send it to her and she would make some.
SO ATTENTION to those of you who may have asked for a bag, call me at 622-3217 and I will get one for you. I would like to tell her how many to make. (Would this increase the sale of potatoes at the Price Rite? Just joking!)
Here again was a wish come true the auditorium was filled to capacity. Peter is the ultimate musician even though Molly was not able to make the traveling team. (Hello Molly, hope you are feeling better, and we all are happy about the news of another baby. Keep in touch.)
It was also sooooo adorable when those little Dancers from TC Power brightened up the stage. I especially looked forward to seeing the little Angel who the last two years does not dance but watches all the other little Angels. I thought perhaps this year she might not be bashful but there is always next year.
The treats provided by Shannon and Rob of the Price Rite Grocery store were yummy. There was, I noticed, one little girl who put a cookie in her pocket. She then took a cupcake and decided not to put it in her pocket. It was so funny.
So, it is over for another year and I know that it will be even bigger and better next year. Actually, I do not know how that could be possible?
All eyes were on the radiant bride as her father escorted her down the aisle. They approached the altar and the waiting groom. The bride kissed her father and placed something in his hand. The guests in the front pews responded with ripples of laughter. Even the priest smiled broadly. As the father gave her away in marriage, she gave him back his credit card.
This Support the Troops project is really spreading all over the country now. I spoke with Ed Lehman on Saturday and he said that he has a supply of green lights and has sold some. Be sure to support this project by installing a green bulb on your front porch. I had several people tell me that they had noticed my green lights burning.
GOD BLESS AMERICA, MONTANA, FORT BENTON, OUR TROOPS, OUR POLICE FORCES, WEAR RED ON FRIDAY, and THE GREEN BULB PROJECT.