You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Some cats -- A Gypsy Hill Park Christmas -- More cats
When Choupette (on the right) first met her tiny half-siblings in late October, she was mysteriously aggressive and hysterical. Theories abound, but it was very unpleasant to see. But now, whilst Emily is in Europe, Pugsley and Wednesday have come to stay with us -- we just picked them up in Kingsport, TN, a week ago -- and we were trembling with misgivings. 21 December 2019.
Happily for us, Choupette has been on best behavior and has taken the little ones under her, so to say, wing. In this episode, Choupette has been showing Pugsley the inside of the shower stall, and Wednesday has swung the door shut on them. Ha ha, what a little imp.
All very chummy now.
Choupette and her new little friend
A few scenes of downtown Staunton
It's Christmas Day in Staunton, nobody's out and about (except us).
Even the Temple House of Israel seems quiet. (Well, it's Christmas.)
(President Wilson's birthplace is up on the hill behind.)
Christmas Day on Kalorama Street
East Beverley St., the main drag
The former Dixie Theatre, now, with the building next door . . .
. . . the focus of the Arcadia Project, fundraising to convert the buildings into a new multi-discipline community art and culture centre.
A third of a city block, now seeking new tenants
Nanny June Vintage Clothing, on E. Beverley, presently featuring Catherine Howard (the gentleman who figured centrally in my dissertation was her nephew)
The central intersection, Beverley and Augusta Streets
Christmas in the Gypsy Hill Park
Kristin's off to Leesburg with the kittens, and we're perambulating a little bit in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park (26 December 2019).
Our flag-festooned children's railroad concession . . . honoring our military; and why wait for the 4th of July? ('Display donated by Gypsy Express')
The town swimming pool ('No Loitering'), with a lawn figurine for every . . . something or other (we've forgotten for what) [Update: I looked more closely the following year: it's the 'Field of Deer' -- they're put up by individuals and families in memory of their dear departeds. Very fine tradition.]
'May all your teeth be white!'
'Smiling is my favorite, thanks to . . . (etc.)'. We'll be viewing almost 900 metres of heartfelt Christmas wishes. In each direction.
Merry Christmas! (and Happy New Year, too!) from Old Dominion Realty [Virginia is nicknamed the 'Old Dominion State'.] [Which sounds a lot better than 'Virginia is for lovers' on the license plates.]
'Don't be a Scrooge! Get adjusted!! Merry Christmas from our Family to yours!' (The Chiropractic Wellness Center)
'Families can be Together Forever' [Yikes! Can you imagine? Forever!!!]
'Happy Who-lidays from Valley Air' (Coincidentally, as we write these words, the technicians from Valley Air are here installing a new Trane 'HVAC', like the one with the wreath on it, to replace the old one that has let us down so dismally.) (We don't know what 'who-lidays' means.)
We've rounded the far end of the park and are heading back another 900m towards the entrance.
Happy Holidays from McSwain Elementary (with a lot of authentic handprints on it) -- and 'Merry Christmas from our paws to you' from the Mosby Foundation: Caring for Dogs in Need.
The Barren Ridge Church of the Brethren (and Sistren?), presenting a Veggie Tales Nativity
An attractive display from the Sherando Church ('God is with us'), and we're pleased to see that the Staunton Secular Humanists are represented as well on this Christmas occasion, with a prominent (and timely) reminder about 'PEACE'.
And five organizations with logos that are indecipherable from beyond two feet or so have decorated the softball field with assurances that they support our military personnel. (No matter what!) (No questions, please!)
The mortgage company also wishes for peace on earth. (Fiat pax!)
Approaching the Stonewall Brigade Bandstand, we were tricked into believing that someone unnamed was wishing Henry a Merry Christmas. Actually it's the Henry Funeral Home and Cremation Centre wishing all of us a Merry Christmas. May you not require a cremation until after the start of the new year.
It's helpful to put a prominent label on your garage, lest your visitors try to park their cars in your living room or pool house.
Choupette and Melvin sharing a quiet moment as the demons prepare for something awful (they've returned from Leesburg, 28 December 2019)
Wednesday lying in ambush
An attack that's gone awry
Melvin, who usually remains dignified and aloof, is delivering some strong words to the little miscreants.
But they're anxious to get back to business.
The kittens doing the ritual aggression dance, amusing Choupette no end
The Christmas crèche
A couple of foxes and a lot of birds (and some Murano glass)
An owl and a rabbit
And more rabbits stranded on the ledge above
Settling in for the night
Next stop: The Frontier Culture Museum