Saturday, December 8, 2007

holiday happenings

Here in New England, the holiday season is not complete without a trip to LaSalette Shrine. Not ones to defy tradition, the family and I went on Thursday. Regardless of your religious affiliation, or even your degree of religious belief, this place is pretty cool. Mainly because it has lights.

Lots and lots
and lots and lots

and lots and lots of lights.

Seriously, these pictures don't even do it justice. There are over 400,000 lights at this place. It's amazing to see. It's also amazingly crowded. Not to mention amazingly cold. (Somehow this place is always at least ten degrees colder than the rest of New England. I don't know why; it's probably some weird religious phenomenon, like stigmata.) This year, we managed to avoid the crowds by going on a weeknight. (Why we never though of that before is beyond me.) There was no one there, which was great. We were not able to avoid the extreme cold, however, although some well-placed handknits certainly helped ward off the chill.

Anyway, I've gone to LaSalette almost every year since I was born and this year they had a new little display.

Why yes, that is Mary spinning, with who I assume to be Jesus lending a hand (or two). This tableau, as I mentioned, is brand-new. The fact that it was added to the Shrine the very year I start looking into spinning and possibly getting a spinning wheel of my own is not lost on me. In fact, I consider it a sign, if not from above, at least from somewhere, that good people spin and if I want to be good, I need a spinning wheel. See, Hubby, it's a religious thing.

"How did the kids enjoy the trip?" you wonder. Funny you should ask. See, Magic Baby loves the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. In fact, he asks to go see them every night. And he makes us drive out of our way to see "More lights," so I was pretty convinced he would adore LaSalette. In anticipation of his extreme excitement upon seeing this place for the first time, I made sure I had my camera ready when we pulled into the parking lot. As a result, I was fortunate enough to capture this shot

of him completely unfazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights around him. "He's just overwhelmed," I thought. And then, as we got out of the car, he uttered his first words since seeing the amazing luminary display. And do you know what he said?

He said...


Yeah, apparently the Senior Center van was way more appealing than the huge display of lights. As we continued our trip, he showed some moments of enthusiasm when he saw the lights

but really, nothing equalled the initial thrill of the bus.

And, damn, was it cold. Next year I'm thinking of just taking him to the local nursing home. I hear they have this thing called heat.