Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Thanksgiving Up; Christmas Down!

Isn’t it the truth?

We woke early to put away Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations we missed before Joe’s 8:00 a.m. arrival. Joe and the boys offered to take the Christmas boxes down from the garage attic for us, an amazing gesture.

After ten minutes of Joe and the boys being here, the guys had cleared the attic of Christmas decorations and had them ready to be unpacked in the family room, dining room, and living room.

The boxes kept on coming.

Joe, Charlie, and Alex kept bringing boxes in from the garage, and it felt like it would never end!  The yellow/brown ones were from my old house, and the green/red ones were from Mary’s place.

It’s been three years since we started unpacking/packing our individual boxes and putting them together!  Now, it’s hard to tell which decorations were whose.  Mary is such an amazing woman. We have several decorations that we bought independently of each other ten years ago or more that are IDENTICAL.

Lift that bale; tow that barge! Charlie is at work!

Our son supervised the activity with assistance from Scout.  However, we made sure not to get in his way.  Joe knows our home just like his own. And the grandsons make moving these boxes look like child play!  If we did that, we would need an oxygen bottle!

Joe will outgrow my lap but never my heart.  Sometimes, when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one.

It is challenging to get older and not be able to do the things your body once could.  My mind says forty; my body says eighty!  Feeling useless is not a great emotion to experience.

Or, as Mary often says:

He is off to the garage for another load!

We stacked the family room full.

The living room (TV Room) is filling up with boxes.  This will be the last room we decorate as we must pull out the TV equipment cabinet to get to the electrical outlets.

The living room got the next load of boxes.

Finally, everyone sat down.  Mary baked some blueberry muffins for the guys, and they quickly devoured them; we barely had enough left to take to Amy!

Time to rest!

Joe left for home to attend to some chores.  It’s fantastic to have a loving son and grandkids who are always willing to drop their activities and come to our aid.  Although Mary and I could have done the work ourselves, it would have taken us four days, but they finished in just 45 minutes!

I started decorating by placing the little lady in her honored spot.  Scout, The Wonder Dog, led me to the room.

Time to decorate!

Scout likes to decorate because he lies down and watches us do all the work!

The chief decorator provides adult supervision!

Supervising is a lot of work and requires frequent naps!  Notice his position at the intersection of the hallways so that we have to step over him!

At 2:00 p.m., we stopped and got cleaned up so we could be at the Brea Civic Center at 3:30 p.m. for the performance of the Alley Cats.

Did You Know?  The Alley Cats are an American doo-wop group singing in a cappella.  The group originated in 1987 when a concert choir program had a variety night at Fullerton College.  When John Tebay, the choir director, suggested that Andre Peek (1st tenor and lead vocalist at that time) and Armando Fonseca (2nd tenor) perform together, both of them decided to take Mr. Tebay’s advice and form a quartet, an a cappella group.

Two additional members along the way, Royce Reynolds (bass) and Todd Dixon (baritone) got together, and the foursome gained notice.  Since then, The Alley Cats have performed for many audiences, ranging from elementary school fun nights to being Grand prize winners on the Gong Show.

Performing on the Arsenio Hall show to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as opening for Leno at his Las Vegas shows.  The sound of the Alley Cats has also been heard at The White House.  The Alley Cats appeared in the Richard Simmons workout video Dance Your Pants Off!

I have followed them since their inception in 1987 and started attending their events in 1988.  The first time was at the OC Fair.

To the theater in Brea!

Get ready for a fun-filled experience! This group is known for their ability to make the audience laugh uncontrollably. During this year’s performance, we had the opportunity to sing along with them as they had lyrics for several Christmas songs.

Additionally, they included a number between one and twelve in everyone’s program, which involved singing “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.”   Mary drew the number eight, so she had to sing “Nine Ladies Dancing.”   It was an event that brought joy to everyone involved!  They knew I was coming, so I drew the number 187!

Did You Know?  The 12 days of Christmas is the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). The four weeks preceding Christmas are collectively known as Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24.

The Alley Cats open the Christmas season for us!

After the fantastic performance, we went to the Cedar Creek Inn in Brea.  Amazing food.  All ten of us went: Jim, Vicky, Irene, Brenda, Carol, Gerald, Bob, Donna, and us.

Vicky and I have been attending for over sixteen years.  We first went in 2007.

Great place to dine.

We had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Irene sat across from me, and I did not get her in the snapshot.

Family is a beautiful thing!

We enjoy each other’s company so much we can’t help but smile!

Dinner at the Cedar Creek Inn!

Vicky and Jim were also enjoying the evening.

Vicky and Jim

We left dinner at 8:00 p.m. and decorated before crashing at 10:00 p.m. after a long week.

Family is a beautiful thing!

After a long week, we left dinner at 8:00 p.m. arriving home 20 minutes later.  Mary folded the last of the vacation clothes while I caught up on this Daily Diary!

We went to bed at 10:00 p.m. while watching a movie called NYAD. Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans star in NYAD to tell a remarkable true story of athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, commits to achieving her life-long dream: a 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida.

Great movie and quite entertaining.

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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