For Kelly: Wish you were here....
Growing up in a southern Missouri town of less than 6,000, we had limited social opportunities. Our idea of high culture was driving back from a Cardinals game in St. Louis, windows down on the Impala, listening to The Beatles White Album and stuffing down Big Macs and vanilla shakes. Good times.
Where we live now is better, with lots to do, but some of our traditions are unusual. One of our favorites is our city's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
There are always not-brief-enough remarks by local leaders, a lively crowd, and an anti-climatic flip of the switch. The tree is nice, but the lights are LED, dull and uninspired, and always a disappointment.
Next is the parade, which is acutally just all the people there walking across the park to the baseball statium behind Santa and Mrs. Claus. Then comes the fireworks.
I love the 4th of July, but pyrotechnics and White Christmas together is like no other experience, totally surreal.
The air is cold, the ball park seats are cold, our hands are cold, but the fireworks warm us completely and we clap and sing in delight: Jingle Bell Rock - ka boom - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - ka boom - Alvin and the Chipmunks - KA BOOM!