Monday, December 3, 2012

Northside Lights

by Rose Lucas  
When I was a child growing up on Elsmere Park, I knew it was Christmas time when I could look out the kitchen window and see a colorful tree in the window of the house across Upper Street. I waited for that every year. So, this year, there is another early tree on Upper Street, although not at the same house, and it stirs memories of many lights in our Northside. For me, seeing early lights was so delightful as our family tradition was to put up a tree on Christmas Eve. My mother had help from Santa, and my father took my younger brother and me out to visit relatives and “see the lights”. When we came home, the tree was lit, and we could see it from the street. It was so exciting! I will always associate lights with the season, and on our street, for about the last 30 years, neighbors have put candles in their windows – even in the third floor windows. For almost that length of time, we have had luminaria lined up all around the Park – it takes more than 300 to circle the street. They are so beautiful for the three days of lighting: December 24, 25, 26. Recently, when the city put more lights along Main Street, I was reminded of the really gaudy decorations that used to hang on Main Street – for a child, they were magical. Garlands of greens (of some artificial ilk) crossed the street, red plastic bells were lit to hang from utility poles and big lighted stars hung from the garlands. It is nice to see the tasteful decorations today, but I miss the lights on the tree in Founders Park – the big evergreen was strung with lights for several years, and it was a great Northside Light. Maybe we should work on that for 2013? In the meantime, to all my neighbors in our great Northside neighborhood, season’s greetings, and enjoy the lights of all types in your life.