December 3, 2022- Hiking Buddy found me, as I was texting her, asking where she was. There was a large table of casseroles and snacks, from which I was welcome to nibble, while we waited for the Christmas Parade to start. It was good to meet several of her other friends, who are the organizers of this parade day “tailgate picnic”.
The parade itself was 1 1/2 hours in length, and with the chill afternoon wind, I was glad to no longer be standing around outside-even with one of my best friends. Nonetheless, this mini-gathering, if it continues, will be a fine Season Launch day tradition. I can even bring a crock pot full of Christmas run-up staples from my adolescence-cocktail franks or mini-meatballs.
Two hours later, the annual Tree Lighting found Courthouse Square and the surrounding area wall-to-wall, with the anticipatory crowd. The Christmas story was narrated, as it has been for thirty years, by our area’s State Senator. As he spoke the final words of the Nativity, the switch was flipped, the lights came on and fireworks were set off.
Parades and fireworks happen with regularity here in Prescott, but not (as yet) so much so as to lose the dignity and honour befitting the occasions. More important to me is that I am finding, once again, the joy of being part of groups, in a regular, meaningful way. COVID, which I have personally not contracted, has wrought havoc on group activities. When it is confused with influenza, or a severe cold, as happens more often of late, than is sometimes supposed, the fear factor keeps us apart ad infinitum.
The last gathering of the day was a concert at Raven Cafe,by an area Bluegrass band, opened by twin brothers who have added luster to the Prescott music scene for nearly ten years. They are barely twenty, but show the spirit and talent that can put a town on the map of musicality. I took a seat at a table for four, as the high tops were all in use. As I had hoped, two people, one of whom I knew from a few substituting assignments, asked to sit at the table and were followed by two more-easily re-working the spot into a table for five. The surrounding tables were likewise filled to capacity, and a few intrepid souls were up and dancing. Stephy Leigh and Lullaby League, the main band, preceded-and accompanied a bit, by Cross-Eyed Possum, were the perfect voices and instruments to end this day.
I am grateful to be moving into a renewed sense of enjoying life in group settings.