It is that wonderful time of the year… again

It is December…again. Just like it was just Monday… and it is now Saturday, again. Time is passing by so quickly I can barely catch my breath!

Bok Mansion's entrance

As of Thanksgiving day–Christmas officially arrived; never mind it was already here since before Halloween. I love the holiday season, even when they begin to sneak in Christmas carols on the radio when I am not paying attention. I happened to notice this when I began to hum along, suddenly it hit me–I am humming “It is a wonderful time of the year… la, la, la….

Dont’ get me wrong, I love the holiday season; the songs, the trees, the Menorah and the candles,  the Kwanzaa celebrations, lights everywhere, Macy’s windows, Rockefeller Center, etc… (hey, I lived in NYC for over 20 years, the “melting pot” as it is known, and we all celebrated together) but Christmas is my favorite.

Winchester Roller Skates, 1960s

Christmas is what I grew up with in Panama; my first recollection of a Christmas present was getting a pair of Winchester Roller Skates, and these were nothing like the rubber skates of today. I mean, these were steel and I felt like a powerhouse when I clamped them on my shoes. I was about five years old when I got the first pair of training Winchesters, fell many times and promptly learned how to skate. By the time I was a teenager I was a pro on those babies; my siblings and friends will have skate parties on the streets, (no rinks, for us daredevils) and we ran competitions to see who could make the most pirouettes without breaking a bone, and then we held on to each other in groups of ten or fifteen kids to form a train or “cola” (long line), and proceeded to jump over the many sets of steps found in “Paseo Las Bovedas”; that memory will be forever etched in my mind. So much fun and… there was always a broken bone and a trip to the emergency room, lol!

Pretend play is not the same as the real thing

Kids today don’t get such physical workouts, like we did. Everything happened outdoors, we played with hacky sacks, which we made ourselves (from old socks filled with lentils), and rode bicycles, roller skated on the streets, went swimming, played every kind of ball there was: baseball, basketball, soccer… you name it. We were fit, brassy and healthy! Today it is all about Nintendo, Xbox and the like, kids and adults can even pretend they are being active by playing games (indoor) on their Wii. What’s up with that?

I don't wanna...

Enough of that, I am afraid I am dating myself; but yes, I am a child of the age of Aquarius, and the Beatles, and The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin; but make no excuses for that–they were the best of times to grow up in. There’s no mountain high enough to keep me from getting to you…

Here are some pictures I took last week when we were in Orlando and ventured 45 minutes out-of-the-way of the usual sites, to visit Bok Tower Gardens. We enjoyed their Christmas decorations, quiet surroundings and gardens; it was a beautiful experience, and I highly recommend it!

Bok Tower, in the distance

I will post some more pictures during the month as I am now officially–in the Christmas and holiday spirit!

30 thoughts on “It is that wonderful time of the year… again

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  1. isn’t Bok Towers the BEST??? I’ve been to visit there 3x since moving here in dec 2009 and LOVED every inch of the place! I bought several plants in the nursery store there and they are the healhiest in my fact I’m looking at a yellow lily purchased at Bok that’s in bloom right now!
    As someone who grew up in a similar way as you during the 60s, I can attest that yes, there’s nothing in kids’ lives today that’s even remotely similar….seriously…play dates??? what kind of sh*t is that? in the 60s you opened the door, met your friends in the street, yelled bye to your mother and came back at mealtimes!!! There was action and adventure and imagination!
    Anyway, have a happy new year! I’m glad you popped into my blog today!

    1. Those were the days! We had no worries, felt safe enough to be kids and not have to worry about anyone trying to abduct or otherwise hurt us. I wish our children and grandchildren could experience such freedom and innocence. Oh well, wishful thinking…

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. Where did you find the picture of those Winchester roller skates. Thank you for teaching me how to roller skate; I like tht the picture shows the key hat we used to tighten the skates. I know that I had many trips to the floor before I learned (LOL) but you kept assuring me that I could learn- and I did. We had great times, great family and friends.

  3. Your words just exude freshness! I absolutely love your photos, both natural and staged (Barbies..yes). Those 60’s roller skates with metal wheels and the keys that promoted automatic growth didn’t quite feel the same on those country roads, but that was okay. I still had them. It was all that mattered.

    All of a sudden Melanies’ “I’ve Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” is breezing around in my head!

    1. Hi Shelley, thanks for your kind words (I keep trying to improve). You have no idea how many memories those roller skates opened up for some of the people who read the article. I may have to follow up on that thought soon; those really were happy days. BTW most of the streets on the Paseo Las Bovedas were cobblestone road. We really were crazy kids!

  4. Marcia,

    Thanks for sharing this glimpse into what Christmas means to you. I especially like all of the interesting photos and in particular, the one with all of the Christmas poinsettas. (They ARE poinsettas, right?) Merry Christmas to you!

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Sorry it took this long to respond but I am away from home this week, with limited access to the net. Those are indeed live poinsettas, and they looked beautiful. I’ll update my blog this week (as soon as I am home), in the meantime I am on “grandma duty” and loving it!

  5. I also enjoy your posts and your writing style. Sure remember those roller skates and the amount of skinned knees. Dating myself here also but was a child of Aquarius and the Beatles,Rolling stones…etc. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  6. Hey thanks. It’s fun to travel to different parts of the country and see what’s going on for the holiday (and it saves airfare). Thanks for the local flavor.

    1. I have been enjoying the blogosphere so much I feel I’ve been on a trip; reading travel and humor blogs mostly. Loved that post on the Prison Camp for Trees, it was funny; even though it also made me think. Keep them coming!

    1. You are welcome Harry. I have been checking out your posts for a few days now and enjoyed them enough, I decided to follow you. Thanks for checking me out.

    1. Season’s greetings to you too, Jo. Too bad we cannot package heat, otherwise, I’d send some your way. Enjoy the holidays, the will be over before we know it!

  7. The picture of Bok Tower looks like something out of Jurasic Park! That must have been amazing.
    I have to agree with you. I don’t mind at all when I find Christmas music on the radio. I’ts so festive and happy. Even if it is only Halloween! 🙂
    I enjoyed hearing about your skate races and how you learned in Panama. And hacky-sacks made out of old socks and lentils was a brilliant creation! Such creative little things. It saddnes me to think this upcoming generation will miss out on all of that.

    1. I thought the same when i took that picture, lol. I have some better shots and will post them this week, maybe tomorrow.
      Growing up in Panama was great fun back then, the current generation is on par with the kids in America. So I am sure they too are missing out on the pleasures I experienced. Hey that’s life, and progress, and technology, too bad.

  8. Love your writing…so conversational…filled with whimsy and lightness. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my post “pet peeves…” I’m all about “tongue-in-cheek” humor…I usually mean what I say. Can’t think of when I don’t… 🙂

    1. I love your writing style too. That pet peeves post was funny, and made me realize how much time I spend on those little things that mean nothing but still give me pleasure. Oh well, everyone has a weakness. LOL!

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