Special to Time Out

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2020. It seems like just yesterday that my boss was so worried about the year 2000 and how it would affect our office computers.

In just the last 10 years so much has changed in our little family. As we ended 2010 Tinker Bell was just a year old, the next year I lost my Mom, one year after that I retired (something I have never regretted... LOL) then in 2013 we added Wendy to our family (something both Tinker Bell and I have never regretted). The next year Wendy passed her therapy dog test and began making therapy visits with Tink. The next few years were filled with visits to family in Florida, New Jersey and Delaware.

Then, in June 2017, I started sharing our adventures with our Times fans, (something all three of us have never regretted). 

We ended this year at home as we always do. Only this year not only did Tinker Bell and Wendy fall asleep before midnight, thanks to cold tablets, so did I. New Years Day I did join my family for a nice dinner at Twin Oaks. I had never been there which made this a real treat for me. We got there just before the crowd so our wait was only 10 minutes. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. I know my swordfish was delicious.

Now that the New Year has begun, it is time to do the not-so-fun job of taking down the Christmas decorations. When Mom was alive the tree stayed up until around Jan. 12; she loved the holiday decorations. She once said maybe we can just change the decorations to a Valentine theme and then to St. Patty’s decorations. I’m not sure if she was just kidding with me or not. I started taking them down over the weekend, but I will leave some of the snowmen since snowmen are for winter. 

Jan. 1 is also the first day of the Winter Wonderland takedown. With the weather being clear the park was full of people, including me, removing their decorations and lights from the 650 trees. On Friday the Wonderland crew was there gathering the 1,000-plus extensions and spotlights. Because my legs and back were giving me trouble, picking up extensions was not something I could do. I was able to drive the car while Wonderland volunteer Barbara ran from tree to tree to pick up the bags of lights and put them in my trunk and back seat. Since people were still un-decorating their trees I knew one run through wasn’t enough. Later in the day I made a second run through this time with Tinker Bell and Wendy as my copilot, and Wonderland volunteer, and Tink and Wendy’s best friend, Kacey, as our runner. 

I’d like to tell you that the dogs were a big help but they were really more interested in greeting all the people then pickup lights. Before we were done, we had made four trips to our storage barn to empty out the car. I think we picked up about 300 bags of lights. Tinker Bell and Wendy loved the storage barn. They checked out all the decorations while we emptied the car. All week the volunteers will be driving though the park to pick up the rest of the bags as people strip their trees. 

With in the next few weeks the Wonderland elves will be gathering again to start testing the 1,950 strings of lights that were on this year’s trees to be used at the 2020 festival. The final takedown will be Saturday the 11th. 

Have a great week and if you see us “Around Town” be sure to say Hi! 

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