Saturday, December 17, 2005

Santa Train 

O little town, we love it so -- from Halloween parade to Christmas crafts bazaar, and now a day spent on the Santa Train, with increasingly familiar faces alongside: from the droopy-mustached cop who still subs at the local high school after serving his 30 years teaching "Psych- and other -ologies" to the aged train conductor crisp in cap and uniform, and of course the increasingly known yet still unnamed peerparents and their own bundles of joy.

And what a train it was! Miles of slow-moving snow and trees and half-iced river beside the whole way to neighboring palmer and back; warm wooden chairs and wide tables for each wide-eyes family of kids and relations; sparkling decor hung from the slowly swaying carriage. Goodie bags of popcorn balls and candy canes, coloring books and crayons and Christmas pencils, passed out by a Mrs. Claus type.

And, of course, twinkly-eyes Santa wandering the aisles, letting the curious infant tug on his beard from her grandma's arms, practiced enough to know not to push too hard our three-year who retains but a smidgen of the nervousness and fear she exhibited last year.

In its first year of heat (provided by some local insurance company) the Santa Train remains a freebie, sponsored by the local supermarket et al but miraculously unadvertised -- so many folks showed last year that we suspect they decided to keep it on the down-low this time around in order not to disappoint but a single kiddie, young or old.

The line was longer at the other end, of course, where Palmer residents waited by ice sculptures and the old train depot still-standing for their ticket-time ride. But for all the bagpipes and girl scout cookie saleskids in thin mint costumes, Palmer is bigger, and can forever remain the town we rejected at the last minute with no regrets.

We're happy to be in a place where we can feel part of this little and widespread 8 thousand just a few months after arrival, where the faces grow more friendly and familiar each day; where the community need not even complain of tax-dollars spent on such wondrous community celebration. Monson, our home: where no reservations are necessary, the coffee is hot and free as we wait for the train by the redlight crossing, and event directions like "line begins where the depot used to be" are not just sensible, but feel right somehow.

posted by boyhowdy | 5:42 PM |

Sorry this comment is irrelevant to your post, but I wasn't sure whether you read your LJ comments. You can delete this after you've read it, if you like. :)

Anyway, it's allemande from Live Journal, the one who was talking about Jeremy Woodruff's piece. I talked to him last night and mentioned you, and he said "Joshua so-and-so?" And of course I didn't memorize that last name, BUT when I scrolled through your blog just now, Farber did sound familiar.

(Sorry if I sound like a stalker, I'm not; I just find these online-real-life connections fascinating! So anyway, if you want Jeremy to write to you, give me an email address or something, or I could give him your blog URL? Whatever you like. By the way, I also found a photo of him here, but it's tiny; he's the one on the far right.)
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