Wednesday, December 7, 2016

View From The Bridge 12/7/16

VIEW from the BRIDGE
By Muncie

If you can get past all the advertising commercials and sales to beat all sales, then perhaps you can get into the real meaning of Christmas. Young people of today have no idea of how we older folks celebrated the holiday. Talk to grandma and grandpa and hear their stories of this most favorite holiday of all.

The following are a few grandma and grandpa stories. Hope you enjoy and connect with them.

“On Christmas morning I got an apple, an orange, a book, and a game like Monopoly. I usually got a new outfit before Christmas to wear to Church. Oh, maybe I got a new pair of pj’s instead of hand me downs. My sisters and brothers made homemade gifs for each other like stilts or painted metal cans to play Kick the Can with.”

“I got a pair of used ice skates. It was wonderful because the city always had an ice skating rink in a field close by. There was also a fire going and I actually stood by it a lot because I was cold. I skated every day and the memory of Christmas remained with me for a long time.”

“One year I got an Elgin bike for Christmas. I don’t know how my parents scraped together the money to buy it. I went outside immediately to ride it in the snow. I already knew how to ride as my friend used to let me ride his bike occasionally. I used that bike well into my teen years and I’ll bet I put a million miles on it.”

“We had a midnight Mass which was actually at midnight. There was always a choir who sang carols. You never heard “Santa Claus is coming to Town.” You heard in the carols the true meaning of Christmas that has been lost a long while ago.”

“Christmas music and decorations in the retail stores started after Thanksgiving, not at the beginning of October. We had real trees and the whole family went to pick out a tree. Another event that was even better was going to the mountains to cut down your tree. Everyone in the family decorated the tree not just Mom.

We had dinner on Christmas Eve so that Mom could enjoy Christmas Day without having to cook. We made breakfast for her and had leftovers whenever we got hungry.  Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, we had ham, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and a Jesus birthday
cake for dessert. We could help ourselves whenever we got hungry.

There were no football games on Christmas Day in those days. Late in the afternoon, we visited our grandparents. It was not like today were the families are all over the country. Usually many of the other members of the family gathered at grandmas and we had a great time with our cousins. “

It seemed to be a much happier time than all the stress today of shopping and not taking the time to smell the poinsettias. (That is my joke of the week.)

So make your own happy memories so someday when you are a grandparent you will tell your grandchildren how things were in the old days.

What a day it was last Saturday.  The Bridgeport Station at the Ag Center was jam packed and parking places were hard to come by. At my lunch table was a family from Great Falls later replaced by a family from Fort Benton. I stayed the whole hour of entertainment by Jamie and a Barbershop Quartet eating my lunch. The taco soup that Tonya makes was outstanding. I heard today at the Concert that they ran out of soup and sandwiches.

Walking around the room, there were thousands of items for sale. There were such unique items and it must have taken hours to set up some of those displays.

I walked a couple of blocks of Front St. earlier that morning and enjoyed meeting friends who were enjoying themselves. The day seemed to fly by too quickly and it was time to head down to the circle for the tree lighting.

I arrived there about 5:15 and there were very few people. In the next 15 minutes it became a crowd when Santa came from the Grand Union in his wagon. Behind him were the carolers and that resulted in a big crowd.

Candles were given to us but we had a hard time keeping them lighted because of the wind. I thought perhaps we would count down (like in Hallmark movies,) but promptly at 5:30 p.m. the lights on the tree lit up. The crowd dispersed quickly and I was back to my place by 5:45 p.m. It was a happy day and for me the start of the Christmas season.

Wow!  Fort Benton has talent. All I can say is awesome, awesome, and awesome. The Bell Ringers were the best and I hope they continue on with every season. Mary Lee did a fabulous job. I am forever grateful to you for getting that awesome group of women together. They gave us so much pleasure.

Eric you also did a fabulous job with getting 30 to 40 people together for the choir. I only have one complaint and that is your portion of the concert wasn’t long enough. Thank you for putting the Choir together.

Nothing could be cuter than the TC Dance & Co. I want to hug each of those little ones. There is a lot of talent there and a lot of time and effort in the practices. You all are awesome too.

Then we have the lovely Karen Lippert singing a solo for us. You are a fabulous entertainer and I never get enough of your singing. You are so blessed with that voice.

Next we had a man sing a couple of songs and I do not know who he was. He was not listed on the program.  Talk about Fort Benton having Talent, he should try out for the big show on TV. When he gets to be the winner, I can always say that I encouraged him to try out for the show. (Now wouldn’t that be something for everyone in town to talk about.)

The Sing-a-Long brought in Santa while we were singing “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Now isn’t he a treat with his yearly poem and wasn’t this years the best ever. I am sure that Editor Tim will print it soon so you can read it to your children on Christmas Eve. You are awesome Santa and hurry back to Fort Benton as soon as you can. It is a much nicer town than the North Pole and we love you very much.

I say this was the best Christmas Concert ever and it does get better each year. You will have to work very hard next year to have it be better than 2016.

The Golden Age Senior Center was closed a couple of days last week because of the installation of new flooring. Actually I do not remember what the old flooring looked like but the new flooring is beautiful. It is a gray color and brightened the room. My notice was that the chairs seemed to slide easier when you sat or got up.

Make a trip to the Center for lunch any day at noon or 1:00 on Sunday. You will get a great dinner for a really reasonable price.

Next Friday the 16th will be a Cookie Sale instead of Pie Day. It begins at 10:00 a.m. until the cookies are gone. I mistakenly reported that I bought 5 dozen cookies when I should have said that they are sold by the pound. I bought 2 # and it still turned out the same because I had enough cookies for 1 a day for several months.

The variety will amaze you and will make an attractive presentation for your guests. (If you have any left after your family gets into them and you leave a few for Santa.) See you there!

Mary Zanto has a wonderful collection of Santa’s that she has collected for years. Lasts Christmas the collection was displayed in the window of the Benton Pharmacy. This year the display will be at the Golden Age Senior Center. It is another reason for you to visit there.

Bring you Kiddos and Grandchildren to see them. It is such fun to ask them which is their favorite. The Center is generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They are open later on Thursday when Bingo is played. Check their window for the “Open” sign.  You are so welcome. See you there!

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”  Isaac Astnov