Tinsel Trail, the Greene Street Market at Nativity, and Harrison Brothers


Baby, it’s cold outside, but a trip to downtown Huntsville to play with my Nikon was definitely worth getting out in the big freeze.

Yesterday I bundled up and went to take photos of Huntsville’s Tinsel Trail that Huntsville has hosted for the past 6 years. The trail is lined with beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and organizations in town. The organizers give the decorators specs on how they can decorate. For example, the ornaments and lights all have to be weather proof for the 30 days that they remain outside.

There are about 250 trees out there, or at least that’s how many they expected to host this year, according to their web site.

My favorite tree was the one that had the Grinch stuck halfway inside of the tree. I also really liked the one with the festive tree topper.

Afterwards, I went to the Greene Street Market at Nativity to warm up a bit. The market is located beside the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, which I like to photograph a lot.

The doors to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity.

The market features locally-grown food and gifts that are hand-crafted by artists. They have got so many cute gifts!

The market features locally-grown food and gifts that are hand-crafted by artists. They have got so many cute gifts!

I also visited one of my favorites, Harrison Brothers. It used to be a hardware store located on the courthouse square. Now you can find all sorts of gourmet foods, relishes, and jellies made by local artisans. There are gifts crafted by local and national artists that you just can’t find in a department store. And it’s pretty cool to walk on their old wooden floors that sqeak now and then and to see Mr. Harrison’s desk encased in glass at the back of the store. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday for a few hours, you can go buy architectural goodies in their basement, which is run by volunteers of the Historic Huntsville Foundation.

Window display.

I want these!

I want these, too!

Christmas Cat.

Tomorrow is Open House at Harrison Brothers! It’s the perfect time to go make your footprint on the floors that we only wish could tell their story!

From their web site:
Holiday Open House
Location: Harrison Brothers Hardware, Huntsville AL
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

“We will be offering free gift wrapping, hot cider, light snacks, and some exciting sales and deals.”

*** BTW, I received nothing for blogging about Harrison Brothers and the Greene Street Market at Nativity. I just love their stores!

Pearl Harbor Day Memory — A Short Story

row_flowersPatsy Campbell woke up as soon as the sun rose above her window pane. The ten-year-old leaped from her bed and walked to her dresser to admire a small trophy.

Patsy smiled as she remembered the night before when she and her handsome partner had won a dance contest. Patsy had taken ballet lessons and taught herself several dances that were popular at the time. The girl dearly loved music, so her father, Navy chief radioman Edward Campbell, had taken her to the Bloch Arena, which hosted a big band contest every Saturday night.

The emcee of the evening spotted the blue-eyed child with wavy blond hair in the audience. Calling her up on stage, he had asked for volunteers to jitterbug with the girl.

A handsome Navy man, barely 17, volunteered and the two beat out the other dancers that night.

Patsy smiled at the memory as she hurried to get dressed. Always an early riser, Patsy was the only one in the family who was awake.

Patsy skipped out the door of the brand-new cottage that the Campbell family had recently moved into after previously being stationed in the jungles of Panama in the little village of Darien.

Patsy did a little pirouette on the porch before running into the back yard to play a quick game of catch with the family dog, Tinker.

Not long into the game, a squadron of planes flew over her head. She had never seen so many fighter planes as once. Patsy waved and watched as the pilots waved back. They were so close that Patsy could almost see their eyes.

This was the day that lives in infamy.

Patsy ran into the cottage to wake her family after the planes began their bombing campaign. She could hardly hear her mother’s screams as Mrs. Campbell gathered her children close.

Mr. Campbell told his family to go stay at the neighbor’s house as he prepared to go report to his ship. Mrs. Campbell clung to her husband, who gently pulled her away and told her to go.

After her husband left, Mrs. Campbell told her daughter, “Go get your dance trophy. You need something that you can hold to remember your former life.”

Mrs. Campbell and her two children soon were at staring at Hickam Field from their neighbor’s upstairs window. Smoke and flames rose into the perfect Oahu sky. Men frantically rushed around, setting up gun positions and barricades. The National Anthem began playing on the radio. Mrs. Campbell broke into tears.

For the first time, Patsy felt a stab of fear that left her queasy. Only in the worst circumstances had she seen her mother cry.

***

Patsy would grow up to have a family of her own and live in San Diego. After a careful search, she would learn that her jitterbug dance partner was named Jack Evans.

And she would learn that they only lived 15 miles apart!

row_flowers

This short story is based on the true memory of Pat Thompson (néeCampbell).

Sources:

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/history/the-pearl-harbor-survivors-tales-of-the-fateful-day-years/article_d10be14c-4a8d-514f-9675-d210be6d1a54.html

http://www.mystateline.com/news/pearl-harbor-unites-two-friends-forever

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/07/pearl-harbor-s-anniversary-sparks-memories-of-a-long-ago-dance-contest.html

 

The Season of Peace and Tranquility

snowqueen

Photos taken in 2013 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee–17 miles from Gatlinburg.

I’m going to have to stop watching the news for awhile. I have gotten wayyyy too immersed in what’s going on, and the people I meet in my life–whether yellow, black, white, or red–are just as nice as they usually are.

One of my college relatives says that (at least at her school) she has not seen any of the nutty stuff that the national news is covering about angry college protests.

I don’t think I’ll be lending a blind eye to events around me. I think, rather, I won’t be as focused on what other people tell me I should be focused on.<br>

Anyway, I’ll be far less angry.

I really like what the Bible says in I Timothy 2:1-2:

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

What an unbelievable verse! There is so much power in prayer. Instead of being all caught up in negativity, I’m going to work at praying for our leaders just as the Bible says.<br>

I can’t think of a better time than the Christmas season to do just that.

Blessings!

Stephanie

Carolers

The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge.

A NaNoWriMo Winner!

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I am soooooooooo excited! I finished my NaNoWriMo novel at approximately 1:15 p.m. CST, November 30, 2016!

I called my mom and am ready to celebrate. Mom wanted to know what happens next.

I said, “So, I’m going to put it aside and not pick it up again until after the new year.”

Really, that’s what I’m going to do. It’s a really rough, rough draft and I did have to put in some nonsense in it to help my word count along. Even the place-holder title is going to change, and I’m probably going to change the name of the characters.

My friend, Kim, helped me to come up with ideas and clues to help with the mystery. Thank you, KB!!!

The plan is to whip the draft into shape in 2017 and think about publishing it.  Because it really turned out better than what I imagined. I may join the Christian Writer’s Association to help out. If I can’t get an agent and all of that, I may just self-publish for ebooks. As Princess Buttercup says, “The future awaits.” In other words, I’ll cross that bridge later.

For now, I’m just so excited to have put down a story and added my name to the list of NaNoWriMo winners. I really do feel like a winner. Yahoooooo!