Early to bed and early to rise during the dark heart of winter means that Fern and I are up before the sun each morning. On this particular day the dawn brought a break in the clouds that have been blanketing the Bay with their quilty offering. Coffee in hand, I stepped outside with babe in arms to greet the solstice sunrise as the sky grew silvery grey. We watched the gulls and crows taking flight from their place of evening refuge, and as the sky brightened stepped back into the warmth of the kitchen where blueberry oatmeal was waiting. A few bites and then Fern pointed to the window, “Bye bye, bye bye” (which also means hello) and I looked up to see golden rays that I had almost missed. Out through the door again to see the grand display of a low southern sun, dousing the black storm clouds with glory.
This evening, full with dinner and cozy in jammies, Fern was ready to venture forth into the already deep night to visit the promise land. I had brought her there late last week with Cross-My-Hearts for her teary good-byes that we would be back again at night. Zipping up to 21st and Church st., the squealing began at first site. A megalithic, 3 story norfolk pine signals all approaching sleighs and reindeer with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments bigger than my head.
Presents the size of VW bugs are piled high all around, while mechanized ferris wheels twirl and hum.
Fairy princess dolls dodge toy trains in glass displays.
Tom and Jerry (The residents. Really!) have the inside hook-up with Mr. Claus, and boast 15 ft. tall stockings filled to the brim.
What did she make of it all? She was utterly enchanted.
However, it didn’t take long for the squeals of delight to turn into confused chirps and overstimulated whinging.
(That double chin! Don’t you just want a little nibble?)
It was nothing a little candy cane couldn’t fix. Someone should give one to St. Nick, who looks like he would give anything to escape the notoriety of what has become a San Francisco tradition.
Ho ho ho! Best first (and maybe the last) Santa picture ever. We aren’t going to tell Fern that Santa is real, but will still be keeping his endearing character as an integral figure during the season. Good thing too, so when she looks at this photo in a few years she won’t get a complex because Santa doesn’t give a crap.
Then back home, jiggity jig, with more renditions of “The Night Before Christmas” (from my childhood)
and “The Tomten” (This is Fern’s favorite story right now, read all the way through each night with booble.)
And finally to the business of a long winter’s nap, with visions of sugarplums. Or the half of that candy cane that we couldn’t pry out of her sticky little hands.