Monday, December 7, 2009


Nothing like a little holiday spirit to fix the downbeat drone of floods, low-tide and the like ... except it poured rain here on Saturday, when we (Mr. Betty and I) had planned on venturing down to the wharf to take in the illuminated boat parade.

Picture all manner of colored lights flashing and streaming every-which-way from spars and stays and overdone holiday decors and enthusiastic bundled-up yachtsmen strung out on a dozen or so boats ranging from someone's little runabout to someone else's little sailabout to a fishing boat to a tour boat to a tug boat that chugs down from Providence (I think) to the local Coast Guard vessel: Tiger Shark. They all do a couple of rings around the inner harbor with much waving and tooting of horns.

You'll have to picture it, because I have no picture. (The description is based upon years past.) And we did venture down, but we didn't stick around. Foul weather gear and Santa Claus just don't mix — or they do, or did, by necessity, but they weren't working for Mr. Betty and me on Saturday night.

It wasn't just drizzling, mind you, it was raining — as in the fluorescent reflective hoods of our matching red rain jackets were up and framing our red-nosed faces. The forecast was for the rain to change to snow, i.e., it was icy cold on top of being wet. A handful of smiling, shivering families under umbrellas were lined up to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the cutest little Newport-style North Pole. A guitarist and singer with most of their amps and equipment wrapped in green plastic trash bags bravely belted out carols ...

And, with no kids in tow — having only our own disappointment to contend with — we stood on the sidelines chatting with a friend who said, "Well, at least the tree is back up ... "

Wait, what?? The tree fell down?? (It's a BIG tree, cabled into place behind the boarded-up smoothie stand.)

Yup — the morning after those 60 mph winds earlier in the week.

At which point we chugged back up the hill toward home to put up our own tree, as a bit of holiday spirit did/does always manage to seep in, despite rain, despite everything ... doesn't it??

And Sunday, of course, was beautiful ...