Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tree Lights and Other Illuminations

For over a month, I'd been planning to go to the Hollywood Tree Lighting event on Nov. 21.  There would be the tree, of course, and snow, and Santa's arrival--and then a concert by an Air Force jazz band.

But yesterday was blustery and rainy and all afternoon, I thought about not going.  However, the event wasn't cancelled, and so, we walked downtown.  What a magical time!

My spouse commented that some of these South Florida kids would think that they'd really seen snow--but actually, it was soap bubbles.  Still, to see these "flakes" floating through the air really made me happy.

And then the tree was lit--a collective "Ahhhhhhh."

Santa arrived by way of golf cart.  It makes sense--those reindeers need their rest.  And though it looked snowy, it was actually quite warm last night.  Can reindeers sustain themselves in 78 degree weather?

We walked through the downtown.  It's a mixture of high end and grubby. 

I saw a deranged man careening down streets and sidewalks on his bike.  He pointed his fingers at a group at a bar and made shooting sounds.  They paid him no mind.

My friend was much more upset at the idea of a child hanging out at a retro lounge with a couple.  But the downtown doesn't feel so much like a bar scene--there's a fudge shop and all sorts of restaurants, so a couple at a sidewalk table outside a retro lounge in downtown Hollywood seems less worrisome than a child at a South Beach Miami scene.

My spouse told us of a scene that he'd witnessed in the Charlotte airport.  There was a sports bar and some burly guys who changed the channel of an overhead TV that most people couldn't even reach.  And then one of them ordered a Shirley Temple.

We watched the glassblowers and listened to the jazz band.  We walked home, tired but happy.

And now, I have more of my Saturday than I thought I might.  I had planned to do some online training for a school where I'll be teaching for the first time come January.  But I got a lot of it done last night.  I think there's more, but I can't find it--I suspect that I have to be added to the additional training module.  I wanted to get it done before Thanksgiving, but that may not be possible.

What will I do with this gift of time?  I plan to get chapbooks ready for 2 competitions:  the Concrete Wolf deadline approaches, as does the Yellowjacket Press deadline.  The last is for Florida poets only, and I've always wondered if I have a better chance with a reduced pool of entrants. 

It will be good to get my work back out again.  It's been too long since I submitted book length works regularly, and my last chapbook was published in 2011.  It's time to think about this again.

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