Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Ride

I knew it would be warm, but 59 on Sunday night was outrageous, and I knew I had to do something to celebrate.

I got out my bike at midnight and went for a ride.  Every second was fantastic, and there is one section in particular that is the subject of today's entry.

Four towns are on my usual route.  Not to sound condescending, but I pass a row of homes and apartments that aren't in the greatest shape.  It's not a crime ridden section, but it's clear it's not a rich neighborhood.  Every home had a tree in the window, even if it was a small one.  Every home and apartment had a string of lights on the front porch.  Not wealthy in terms of dollars, but wealthy in terms of spirit, and one is a whole lot more important than the other.

That brings to mind a Christmas story from years ago.  I've told this one before, but it's been a while, and we have some new readers.  It was 1990 or 1991.  I was working down the street.  Photographer John and I, who now works with me here at WNEP, were sent to do a story on an East Stroudsburg Salvation Army Christmas Eve dinner for the less fortunate.  Everyone there was great.  A tree, gifts, food, music, happy adults, even happier children, Santa...  The whole nine yards.  It was a good story.

As John and I were leaving the Salvation Army to head to a few more assignments, I said to John that I felt sorry for the people there.  John replied that I shouldn't feel sorry.  The people at the Salvation Army were having a great Christmas, and they had things they otherwise couldn't get or afford.  It was a party with friends and family.  They knew people cared.

It was the classic glass half empty/half full situation.  I was the half empty guy.  John saw the glass as half full, and you know what?  He was right.  I often think of that cold December night, and it came to mind as I was riding my bike on a warm December morning, more than twenty years later.

Warm weather.  Warm thoughts.