Xmas parade Saturday

Christmas spirit on parade

HAMPTON — The Chamber of Commerce will hold an old-fashioned Christmas parade Saturday, just like it was done in the olden days when “a glimpse of a stocking was something shocking.”

Current weather forecast for Saturday is sunny and windy, 43˚.

Goldfish, frankincense and myrrh


shaving gel
shampoo and conditioner
thank you card

The Wal-Mart on Route 1 in Portsmouth is being upgraded to a Super. It will be finished in January. I went there yesterday.

They have goldfish and tropical fish now. I spent a few moments at the crystal clear tanks, watching the slow swirl of tiny elegant fins and tails. Jesus was there too.

They were playing carols with the word ‘Christmas’ in them. One song had ‘Jesus’ in the refrain. It was a song I didn’t know and can’t remember. Except for ‘Jesus’ being in it.

That is a word and name that is hard to ignore. That song was the opposite of muzak. It did not blend, it stuck out. It was a presence, in Pet Supplies.

I pushed my cart up and down the aisles and wondered: has the PC holiday pendulum swung back? I thought that’s what I wanted, but now I wasn’t so sure.

I wonder if there has been a marketing study done yet on the effects of a Jesus song on shoppers. Will we buy more or less if Wal-Mart puts the Christ back in Christmas and the Christmas back in carols?

I bought two pair of one-size-fits-all stretchy winter gloves for 88 cents. The hat to go-with was, I think, $1.29.

My dear little merry grandmother was a fanatic speed-knitter and bargain yarn hunter. But even she could not have competed with that low price.

At the cash register, I heard the ringing bell of a Salvation Army bellringer. It came to me: I will make a donation on the way out. What if I tucked in the $50 bill my (living) grandmother gave me at Thanksgiving?

I fantasized about the potentiality of my goodness.

But when I got to the collection pot, the bellringer wasn’t there. He had wandered out into the rainy street, regardless of cars swerving around him, still ringing, ding ding.

He was scruffy, dirty and unshaven, stub of a cigarette in the non-bellringing hand, sucking in great lungfuls of smoke. He puffed out a gray cloud which encircled his head like a wreath. I did not feel like giving him any money, even a dollar.

I have heard you can buy WWJD bracelets at some Wal-Marts.

In my car, wipers slapped away cold rain and headlights flashed in the early dark of late afternoon.

The things I really want to give and to get this giving-and-getting season are not for sale.

Town clerk says goodbye


‘The end of an era’
By Amy Kane

NORTH HAMPTON — Elected officials come and go, but Town Clerk Delores Chase has been a friendly, familiar face at the town offices on Atlantic Avenue for almost 34 years.

Chase will not run for re-election this March.

“It was a hard decision, but I really think it’s the best thing for me,” she said in a recent interview.

Last March, North Hampton voted to combine the positions of tax collector and town clerk, a factor in Chase’s decision.

“I feel at this point in my life I don’t want to take on tax collector,” she said.

Byron Kirby, a former North Hampton selectman, said, “She has been an excellent town clerk. The town will really miss her — it’s the end of an era.”

When Chase was elected in 1973, the town population was slightly more than 3,000. Her office was a small room in the old Town Hall, where she registered motor vehicles and dogs; registered and kept vital records of births, marriages and deaths; kept the town’s public records; and organized elections.

Chase remembers when she asked for a new typewriter — electric — and had a tough time persuading selectmen to pay for it.

Tree sing


Ornaments at Abode

You don’t have to know all the words. They hand out songbooks…

The 11th Annual North Hampton Tree Lighting and Christmas Caroling will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at the North Hampton Bandstand.

The Friends of the North Hampton Bandstand invite you to join your neighbors and friends in this festive event. Following the lighting and the caroling, hot beverages and cookies will be provided by the Friends of Centennial Hall.

The members of the Hampton Lions Club will provide candy canes for the children. The bandstand is located at the intersection of Route 111 and 151.

The lights come on while we’re singing “Oh Christmas Tree.”

So like Monday


Re-entry into the Earth atmosphere of a Monday is hot and rough after the blithe weightless orbit of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why do they leave five days’ worth of homework till Sunday night and Monday morning?

High-level diningroom table college application deadline summit with senior teen sapped my will to parent, especially when followed by last-minute hours-long oratorical rough draft hysterics of teen junior.

oratory, the art of swaying an audience by eloquent speech

Did Cicero whine? Did Mark Antony moan? Heed the wise words of the fleet-footed goddess Nike and just do it.

I want to bring back use of the word naughty, besides in glitter on t-shirts hawked to pre-pubescents.

Cellos do not fit behind the seats of small trucks. Is it too late to switch to piccolo? Abraham Lincoln carried his cello to school through hip deep snow uphill both ways.

Hmm, looks like my NaNo Sunday story is morphing around the New England news world, via AP…

Foster’s: Contest gives writers 30 days to complete a novel

Nashua Telegraph: Writers nearing deadline in novel contest

WCAX-TV News, Vermont: 450 N.H. aspiring novelist count down to deadline

7 News Boston: 450 N.H. aspiring novelist count down to deadline

Here’s a NaNo story from yesterday’s Boston Globe: Words fly fast during Novel Month

. . .

More o’ my NaNo:

Concord Monitor, The Union Leader

Novelists of November


NaNoWriMo: 30 days to write a novel
By Amy Kane

It takes a lot of caffeine to fuel writing genius. French novelist Honore de Balzac drank 10 espressos a day when he worked, for up to 15 hours at a stretch.

November has been National Novel Writing Month, so the coffee must be about to run out.

More than 450 would-be novelists in New Hampshire, and 75,000 around the world, have been racing against the calendar trying to write a book in 30 days.

These rushed writers call it NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo.

They signed up for the challenge at the official Web site www.nanowrimo.org. The starting gun went off at midnight on Nov. 1. The finish line: 50,000 words — equal to a 175-page book — by midnight Nov. 30.

Season’s greenings


Egyptian glass ornaments, Nature’s Outpost, North Hampton

On your mark, get set, sparkle.

I sent a story on Christmas tree ornaments. I guess it will be in this week.

The first ornaments were apples hung on evergreen “paradise trees” on stage in Christmas plays in 15th century Germany.

‘Tis the season for falling off ladders, according to the Home Safety Council. Fair warning.


We are packing up and heading back north today, homeward bound. A deep vein thrombosis inducing 7 hours or so. Family fed us up with hearty waffles and bacon breakfast.

This story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bows to holly, inspired us to take a little walk through the Scott Arboretum holly collection at the college yesterday.

John liked the English hollies best, with their glossy, dark green foliage. I was charmed by the deciduous winterberry with yellow instead of red berries.

You have to get up close to see the black berries on some hollies. In sunlight they look like little shadows.

On Thursday morning
going through the quiet woods
it is not Thursday.
To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock; the holly whistles as it battles with itself; the ash hisses amid its quiverings; the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall. And winter, which modifies the note of such trees as shed their leaves, does not destroy its individuality.

~ Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree