Early Christmas Run-On
We go to the Christmas tree lighting in TinyTown, NC. There are about forty people positioned in a half moon around the courthouse. There is one stop light in TinyTown, and the Sheriff is parked to block the intersection, redirecting passing cars to park and join the festivities. The mayor is the emcee for the evening and announces that the Christmas Carol Choir will not be performing because the director has the flu. He has large hands and a stalky stature, though the microphone does not look out of place in his hands. His tone is kind and calm, and after the announcement, he tells the town the news they’ve been eager to hear more about all day: the fire at Buck Stove headquarters.
See, the mayor of TinyTown also helps run the Buck Stove headquarters as a day job and around 2am a fire was called in. It took over seven hours to put it out, the mayor reports, so he is a bit out of sorts for tonight’s much anticipated tree lighting.
But the lights go up indeed, and the twelve-foot tall tree is small-town-perfect and there are fake reindeer that move their fake necks to eat grass that isn’t growing and a small boy in a Christmas sweatshirt has taken the microphone from the mayor in order to sing a spontaneous hymn about Jesus and before we know it, the crowd is cheering and three adults move to the mic to sing Silent Night in harmony and then the festival moves indoors. In the antique shop there are carrots and shrimp and hot cider and cocoa and good prices and local artists and Christmas CD’s and someone recognizes my name and announces very loudly that “SHE’S THE WRITER WHO JUST PUBLISHED THAT ARTICLE IN —-MAGAZINE” which is a very exciting moment for me indeed, especially since I have not even seen a copy of the article yet.
And just when I cannot get enough of this small-town-fame Wesley parades across the shop and serves me fresh hot apple cider with a smile and a hug and suddenly it feels like home, with warmth and love and recognition and community and geez, while I’m here I might was well buy a gift for my mother while she’s not looking then quick, kiss Wes goodbye, hope in the car for the forty minute ride across the dark valley floor, then up, up, and away – tucked into the mountains under a blanket of starts for sleep, sleep, sleep.