Week two of what Carolyn and I see in our respective towns. This time of year is very festive and lights are everywhere. We are anticipating the Christmas celebration with much excitement. I hope you and your family find joy and excitement too!
“Christmas is a togethery kind of holiday.” said Pooh. “That’s my favorite kind.” said Piglet.
February 2001 I met my husband. At the time I had been divorced for quite some time, and it was me and my daughter for so long, I was very leery of allowing another person into our very guarded life. After going through such a terrible experience, I shielded both of us from anymore pain. Then I met the one person who I felt could bring joy into both of our lives. Fast forward to May 2002, Brian and I were married. My daughter was eleven at the time and we both felt secure in my decision. At the time Brian was in the Coast Guard and he was stationed in Bayonne, NJ. He had been recently promoted and this promotion is what brought us to our current home. The move brought much anguish since we lived close to my family and my daughter and I were very close with them. My sister and her family were like an extension of who we both were. They were there for her and for me when we needed their support and love the most. Needless to say, this move was difficult but it was inevitable.
Fourteen years later, we call Smithville our home. We have all made a new life here, new friends, new jobs and for my daughter, she met the love of her life and married him this past summer. Smithville is a small section in Galloway Township, it is well known for the Shoppes at the Village, which is where my photo was taken for today’s post. This area is known for events such as the Mayfest, Oktoberfest, Christmas tree lighting and for the Christmas tree light show on the lake. My photo today was taken during the light show one night last week. The weather was extremely warm for a December night in NJ, and there were kids and families enjoying Christmas cheer. The excitement of the children enjoying the lights, the talking Christmas tree, carousel and train ride could be felt everywhere. The train was crowded with visitors enjoying a ride around the Village to view all of the many lights, the restaurants were equally crowded with families enjoying Sunday dinner. The trees on the lake are synchronized to Christmas music which blink on and off. It’s quite a challenge to capture the trees all lit at one time, but I gave it a try. I hope you enjoy my capture and a small piece of where I live. If you are visiting this part of NJ please stop by this fun and festive area for a walk around, enjoy the rides and stop in for a bite to eat.
‘Place of Much Water’ is the meaning of Atascadero … my town*. The rain has been sparce in California as a whole for many years, so this definition carries little meaning to locals. Regardless of the lack of water, this little town with its tall oaks and quiet streets is a cozy and pretty place to live or visit.
This photo of the Pavillion on the Lake was taken several years ago in August 2010. When the lake is full, the lights on the water create a beautiful reflection, which you see here. The path that surrounds the lake generally always has a trail of walkers, joggers, friends chatting and some walking in peace on their own. It is a place where the community gathers.
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Camera Settings: Canon 50d, f/9.0, ISO 250
*Actually, my home is in Creston about 15 miles to the east but I consider Atascadero my town because that is where I live my life.