AND THEN AGAIN….by Tamara Pettit.

……The backhoe outdid itself this year proving their is no limit when Santa and Pat Jones put their minds together for a parade!

….The New Cumberland Christmas Parade was fantastic.   It was the biggest and best I remember  in all the years the community has had parades.  I know I am in a bit of an emotional state this Christmas, but like the Grinch I felt my heart grow three sizes as I watched the floats go by.  City Clerk Tammy Jenkins told me that although the initial count was 28,  entries just showed up and 48 entries ended up in the parade.  First time entries included Ergon, NC Piping and the new NC Sanitation Truck.  The Committee who organized the parade should not only be commended but given great big hugs.

…..The floats were great.    Pat Jones never disappoints and his transformation of the backhoe always amazes me with its transformation.  While a lighted parade is great, the pictures we took just don’t do the parade justice.  

……The parade route was packed and as the parade moved down the Ridge and into lower town, a city employee walked ahead inviting all the kids to the old  city building where the Lions Club had hot chocolate waiting and Santa ready to hear their wishes.  At one time the line of kids extended outside and halfway down River Avenue.  Area churches had a table with new gloves and scarfs along with treat bags.

……I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie.   Don’t know which one because they all look alike.   I think the same person who drew up the template for the “Stepford Wives” did the Hallmark movie.  Nothing is as it is in real life, but the fantasy takes us to a place we can never go.   s    Take snow, for instance.    I have never seen dirty snow in a Hallmark movie or slushie roads.  The snowflakes are big and fluffy never those little ice pellets that settle in your hair and cling to your nose.

……   Those heroines all have the same hair and I hate it.  My theory is that the movies share a few wigs and shuttle them between sets.  And, what about the temperature?   It’s cold enough to snow and the stars are wearing boots and gloves, maybe even a scarf,  but they never button their coats.  And, when they wear hats and take them off, no one has that funny lump and flat spot…..wait they’ve been inoculated for hat hair. 

……Why is she writing about Hallmark movies all of a sudden you ask?    I never watched them and thought them to be the ultimate Christmas sham.    We all know Christmas isn’t perfect.  People get sick and die on Christmas.   People lose their jobs the week before Christmas.   Cars break down, furnaces break and some helpful two-year-old tries to help her Mommy clean by throwing an ashtray down the toilet thus using up all the available cash set aside for presents for the plumber (1949—kid was me —it was a small ashtray…..yes, my Mom gave it to me and I still have it.)  So why make ourselves miserable thinking other people’s Christmas is perfect?

…..  For years I made fun of Shannon for watching them.  As many of you know, my husband died Dec. 15 last year, so I search for ways to cope.   Shannon now comes down a few nights a week  and we watch Hallmark movies.   We make fun of the characters and try to count how many movies they’ve been in.   It doesn’t matter.   They are the same character over and over.   We count the days the heroine  who has  just come to town  knows her the obnoxious guy who will turn into her love interest and ultimately set the record for becoming engaged after a week’s courtship.  Within a week, perfect hair, career-minded beauty has altered her career path; and stays home to save the ranch, candy factory, bed and breakfast; and accepts an engagement ring from the guy who is probably a sociopath on another show.

…..But we watch them because they make us feel good.  And, because we both know that Christmas is good and people are wonderful and you can’t beat life in a small town.

…..Kudos to the Hancock County Animal Shelter who received an award for being a no-kill shelter with a 90% survival rate from Best Friends.   The award was for the operation in 2022 when Nicole Felousiz was director of the Shelter.

…..I am in a quandary about the Swaney Library in New Cumberland so I’m donning my Grinch costume.   On their Facebook page I see a section where you can go Amazon and much like a bridal registry pick from the Library’s wish list.    It includes two vacuum cleaners (Bissell and Robo cleaner) candy (pretty specific about the type of candy)  carts and copy paper.   I think we all need to know what’s up.  While Swaney Library used to be the only private library in the State, that changed when it became part of the State Library system.  The Library receives Levy funds if I am not mistaken.  The City of New Cumberland provides taxpayer-funded donations.  If the Library is in such dire financial condition  that they have take to Facebook to ask for supplies then Council and the community needs to know so we can make sure we don’t lose one of the most important resources in the town.  The Board needs to come to Council;  provide a financial statement; and let Council know what the status is.  The good citizens of this town have raised funds for many projects and I’m sure will respond if a crisis is brewing.  (I  also was concerned because a picture on Facebook showed a small boy “volunteer” using the vacuum cleaner.  I hope the Library’s insurance policy is current and covers this type of liability should the child get injured.)