Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Close Encounter with the Fat Man

Rochester NY is known as the Lilac City. Beautiful and fragrant lilac trees throughout the city, making the spring bursting of flowers look like a sunnier continuation of winter snowstorms.

On one wintery day my parents took me for a walk. I remembered the fragrant Lilacs in Spring smelling so sweet. It was in great contrast to what I smelled now, in the depths of winter.

I smelled snow. White, fluffy, fresh snow.

The absence of odor and the blanket over the earth was spooky.

At night there was a glow. Red, green, yellow, blue, white. Red, green, yellow, blue, white. Red green, yellow, blue, white.

We went down the hill on our street named Hilary Drive. Decorated trees, tinsel sparkling, yard art appropriate for the winter and Christmas season. Candle-lined driveways. Grey smoke rising from chimneys.

It was quiet. Peaceful. I felt like a mysterious guest having descended on winter-wonderland. In my five year old mind's eye, I replayed the last night's movie of Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer. Peacefully parading with proud parents among eager children.

We made a right turn. I had never been down this street before.

Where were the giggles coming from... Who was being amused this late at night? Why were so many children and their parents outside?

I think we were coming up to a barn or farm of some kind. The barn yard noises were here. Braying donkeys, neighing horses, barking dogs, hooting barn owls,

Patience I was told was a virtue. Do you know that means nothing to a youngster standing in line. For what? A petting zoo?

Slowly we inched forward and I heard fewer animals. What I saw was unbelievable: real life Rudolphs!

Harnessed together, we slowly passed all the reindeers of my childhood movies. But this was no movie: I heard the deep rumbles, and round laughter.

Ho Ho Ho.

There he was, on his sleigh: red velvet suited, white bearded Santa.

I saw him. In person. Waiting for me!

Santa! Hello Santa!

This article was written by guest blogger, Lou Polur.

Thanks, Lou!

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