Thursday, December 01, 2022

Oh Christmas Tree

Got a really quick start today. Finished Chocolate Caramel Murder, then grabbed breakfast and headed out. Not much time for anything else! While the sun had emerged since yesterday, the wind remained, and it was bitter cold, barely in the 40's. 

Frankly, I would have preferred being outside in the cold to dealing with everything going on at work. Not only were we off-and-on busy with often-demanding customers, but for some reason, Acme picked the first week of the biggest shopping month of the year to rearrange the store. I don't know why they couldn't have waited to do that until after the New Year. Some shelves are still cleared; other things were put into temporary spots. No one can find anything, and customers complained endlessly all day. We had two call-outs, one a bagger. They had to pull a cashier to bag, which meant we were down two cashiers and had no help.  

Something good did come out of the chaos. The Pledge dusting spray I bought a while back is now on clearance. I've been meaning to buy more while they're cheap, but they're usually buried in the back near the pharmacy and I kept forgetting. They dumped the cleaning products on shelves right in the front of the store that used to hold fire starters and charcoal for barbecues. Hard to miss them when they're almost literally right in front of your eyes.

Went in the back to change into a regular shirt soon as they pulled a kid from the bakery to come in for me. Headed down to West Clinton in Oaklyn for a quick dinner before their Christmas parade and tree lighting. I didn't feel like pizza, so I snuggled into Common Grounds Coffee House instead for a muffin, slice of tomato, spinach, and feta quiche, and their "London Landis Fog" (Earl Gray tea with vanilla and foam). 

The tea came with me as I walked my bike down West Clinton. Locked it up at the railing alongside the fire station so I could join in the pre-parade madness. Kids ran around the shared City Hall/fire station parking lot, having duels with sparkling fiber-optic wands that glowed and glittered in the darkness. I even got one for the daughter of a friend of mine. Mothers from the Oaklyn Civic Association gave out free coffee and donuts, while other parents milled around, chatting with their friends and making sure the kids didn't get too rowdy.

It was nearly 7:30 before the first fire truck sirens blasted over the White Horse Pike end of West Clinton. Oaklyn's Christmas Lights Parade just gets bigger every year. Almost every local town had at least one truck wrapped in winking lights. The Grinch waved from one truck. Another sported an inflatable penguin in an airplane on its roof. Still another went with inflatable toys, teddies and dolls and such, and another had red-nosed wooden dalmatians. A woman firefighter happily danced and waved to the crowd on another one. 

The little girls next to me had only one person in mind. They kept screaming for Santa through most of the parade, even mistaking the Grinch for him. They were through the moon when the Oaklyn trucks rolled down the street and Santa finally appeared in his sleigh on top of the very last vehicle. 

The parade isn't the only place where Oaklyn's Civic Association stepped up its holiday game this year. There's twice as many decorations in town as usual, too, including a gorgeous lit snowflake banner across the main commercial block on West Clinton and a tree at City Hall that's five times the size of their usual one. Some of the mothers were disappointed that the tree was too big for homemade decorations from the kids...but most of those are usually made of paper or clay that end up wet and mushy on the ground by the end of the season, anyway. It still looked pretty when Oaklyn's oldest volunteer firefighter (he's been there for 50 years!) pressed the button and brought up the lights. 

Went straight home after that. My Amazon Cyber Monday packages awaited me when I got in. I desperately needed lights for my bike. I bought another package of narrow lights that screw onto your tire valves, like the ones Linda Young sent me a few years ago. Also had gifts for Amanda and the daughter of a friend and a huge 400-slot DVD holder that was on a good sale.

Finished the night as I organized the DVD holder with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. I go further into this earlier rock biopic spoof with John C Reilly as the greatest rock legend who never lived at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

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