Monday, November 20, 2006

Decking the halls


How would you like to live in a town that decks itself out like this for the holidays? Lucky me, I do! Technically, I live in the next town over, but Red Bank is the place that I consider home. I don't really feel part of the community in the town where I live, but feel as if I'm among friends when going about my daily grind in Red Bank. There's always a familiar face and I know the best coffee shops and where to find a good bargain in town.

My husband was born and raised in Red Bank and has worked for the Public Works Department there for most of his adult life. He fixes the police cars and fire trucks (and is a volunteer fireman there), picks up the leaves in fall, and plows the snow off the streets in the wintertime. If you want to know the truth, I think the town would crumble and fall without him, at least judging by the number of calls he gets to go into work at 3 am to fix something.

Another *job* that my DH has is to decorate the town for the holidays; he's done this for as long as I can remember. During November he works his regular job during the day and then spends a few hours each night and most days on the weekends stringing lights and hanging wreaths around town. By the time Thanksgiving comes and the work is done he's about had it with decorating, but that is when we start the job of decorating our own home for Christmas. Some years he's full of energy and goes all out at home, other years we're lucky to get a tree up and decorated before midnight on Christmas Eve.

This year, my DH decided that he wants a break and won't be doing the decorating in Red Bank. He says he's tired of working out in the cold and the rain. It's strange to have him here now, when he should be out there, making the town light up so pretty. Already tonight, as the deadline nears, the phone calls are coming for him to help, or to fix some machine that's stuck in the road blocking traffic. I'm sure he won't be able to resist helping, for long.

The image above is a scan of a Christmas card from a few years ago. A local artist paints beautiful scenes of the town at Christmas and turns some into cards. One day I'd like to be able to afford one of his paintings of a Christmas scene of our hometown as a gift for my husband. Something beautiful to remember all of his hard work by.

11 comments:

Mary said...

Laura, this is so coincidental, as today I was missing the snow scene, being so south now. I remember the men who decorated the city of Dover, DE and the men who decorated the town of Bel Air, MD - it was fabulous. We watched them for weeks doing such a nice job. And the men who plowed us out on their own time. What great people, deserving of the best hot chocolate and other beverages! But DH does need a break during rain, ice, snow. Nice post.

bunnygirl said...

How lovely! Your husband sounds like my late Uncle Leo, who was also good at fixing things and could rarely resist a request for help for very long.

Lucky you!

And I hope you do get to buy one of those paintings one day.

LostRoses said...

What a lovely, nostalgic post. Your town looks charming and how nice that your husband had a hand in making it look that way over the years! I too, hope you can eventually get one of the paintings!

Lynne said...

I love that print too. It sure reminds me of the town streets when I was a kid. Each "downtown" and each suburb would have their own decorations that came out year after year. I can understand your husband needing a break.

Sandy said...

I can see why you would want a painting of scene like that.
Hope your husband doens't read your blog!

Madcap said...

Well, Blogger's going to cooperate this morning!

You're lucky indeed! Lucky town, too, with a man like yours in residence.

-llm. said...

Gorgeous print. Great story. I'll have to try to get some pics of our town decked out for Christmas. When we come home from our Thanksgiving trip, it will be done and it is very sweet -- not in a Norman Rockwell well but in a frontier logging camp kind of way which is what my town was 150 years ago! I love small towns with their own unique identities!

NatureWoman said...

I *love* scenes like this! How nice and homey!

bev said...

The Red Banks scene looks similar to a couple of the towns up my way too. It sounds like the town has been very lucky to have someone like your husband to work on the decorations. However, it also sounds like a good time for someone else to take a turn at it, or for people to get together for a "bee" to get it all done without any one person having to do too much work on their own.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oooh, I want a cup of hot chocolate right now!
It's cool that your DH has been part of the decorating that you can drive by and admire.
BTW, does DH read your blog, and if he does, why doesn't he comment????

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary: I'd miss the snow too if I moved away. I love it, but to my DH it means working crazy shifts for a few days straight.

Bunnygirl: He's a good guy and *handy* to have around. Think I'll keep him!

Lostroses: Hi - thanks for coming by. The Xmas decorations and snow in this scene make it look especially nice.

Lynne: It does look very old-fashioned in these paintings. That's part of why I like them so much.

Sandy: They don't use the colored lights anymore, just white ones. I miss the old-fashioned decorations!

Madcap: Blogger still giving you trouble? We do like it here.

-llm.: Oh I'd like to see those pics - sounds pretty!

Naturewoman: Glad you find it pretty!

Bev: I can just imagine a *bee* to get the decorations up! THAT would be something to see.

Susan: No he doesn't. What's up with that? Maybe he does it in secret. Good thing I usually say nice things about him, right?

;-)