Maybe two parades actually, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the Rose Bowl Parade. Yesterday I was in the Flower Mound Christmas parade.
My last recollection of riding in a car in a parade was for the Miss Chick contest, far too many years ago than I want to admit. I was in high school, dressed in all of my feathered up finery riding on the back of a convertible. I wish I could find a photo of that ensemble. No, I was not dressed like a chicken, nor did I have a rubber chicken in the car with me. I did do the queen’s wave the entire route. I was such a shy person back then, I can’t imagine how challenging that had to have been for me to be in a beauty pageant.
Last week I received an invitation from my friend Mike to ride in this parade with him. Mike belongs to a group of Smart Car owners and the were to portray Santa’s eight reindeer with their cars in the parade. I’m always teasing Mike about his baby car, Tweeti. It’s bright yellow, and how can one not smile when seeing such cuteness? I did tell him that I would ride in the car, as long as I didn’t have to dress up like Big Bird.
My oh my I had to be up EARLY on a Saturday morning for this parade. But, I consoled myself with the fact that when I got home I could have a nap. I had been out the night before with friends and decided I needed a 5 Hour Energy to get me going, it worked wonders.
We met in the Sprouts parking lot, for you non Texans, that’s a local natural foods grocery store. Good grief, it was cold by Texas standards. I was bundle up with a coat, scarf and gloves on, and my festive holiday angel headband on. I was read for some fun and adventure. The members of the car group were soooooooooooo nice and welcoming. I walked around all of their cars and truly appreciated their enthusiasm and passion for their baby cars. I loved the bumper stickers and emblems on their cars. Once the gaggle of cars had gathered we made our way to the staging area. Gaggle is my term, probably in this case, since the were reindeer, I should call them a herd.
I was part of the decorating Tweeti team. Mike had lights inside and a garland and lights to decorate the outside of the car. Tweeti also had antlers, a red nose, and a tail that had been crafted by one of the car club members. It made me giggle as I walked around the car slapping bows all over like a package. Wow, these people went all out in decorating their cars. There were snowflakes, blow up Christmas decorations and all sorts of garland. One owner had made a giant hook for the top of her car that made it look like a Christmas ornament.
My hands were so cold! But it was a morning filled with laughter and camaraderie that I enjoyed being a part of. When the cars were decorated and ready for the parade, we made our way to the next stop in our staging area, just in front of the fire station. That is where the float would be carrying Santa. One of my funniest memories of the morning was when Santa came out of the fire station, took one look at the cars and did a great big Ho Ho HO! These reindeer were for sure a sight to behold!
There’s a lot of waiting time in being in a parade. Because we were the big intro to Santa, we were at the end of the parade. Christmas music was blaring from the smart cars, and lots of laughter. I joked with Mike at the number of people in the parade, and asked him if there would be anyone left to actually watch the parade. I got a kick out of the people with their dogs dressed up ready to march in the parade.
At about 10:30 we were on the move. There were people lined up on the streets to watch the parade. I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of the people as we drove by. There was lots of waving, and a very cool thing that gave me that hometown feeling as my friend Maria used to say. As we drove down the street people waved, and yelled Merry Christmas. It was such a simple thing, but genuine and sincere. Kids on the edge of the street had bags stuffed with enough candy to rival a night out trick or treating. Yes, Flower Mound is much larger than most of the towns and small town parades I attended in Ohio. But the feeling of joy and community was just the same. One of the reasons I moved to Texas was the friendliness I felt from the people of Texas.
Yee Haw! I do love my life in Texas, the adventures and the people who add so much to my life with new adventures and experiences. Thanks to Mike and Tweeti for a great morning, and a wonderful holiday experience.