Peace On Earth


Peace on Earth

Aging & Attitude

We ride the noon shuttle from Lake Buena Vista Embassy Suites to Epcot planning to stay for the fireworks.  By 7PM, everyone is spent, having ridden Test Track, Mission Space, and Space Ship Earth. Then snapped pictures with Disney Characters; Minnie, Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto at Epcot Character Spot, viewed the indoor Aquarium, Turtle Talk with Crush, visited several countries and went to Italy for dinner.

It did not help that the shuttle broke down on Route 4 delaying us some.

The weather is wonderful, slightly overcast skies, but not gray and the lines at the park manageable.  The spectacular Christmas decorations dazzle us.  The landscape appears luscious in multi-shades of green with red Poinsettia accentuating the differences.

“Look at all the people.  This is really a phenomenon.” My husband marvels, surrounded by an international crowd of young and old who traveled to Disney.

It is not just for the rides.

Inside the Magic Kingdom great things are possible.  The world is beautiful, goodness, joy, and merriment abound. But Mr. Wonderful’s feet hurt. He and most of the group are ready to leave.

My feet hurt too, however my grandson and I decided to stay.  We will ride Soarin’ and watch the fireworks scheduled at 9:30pm.

Soarin’ is a multi-sensory attraction that simulates a hang-gliding flight over California’s Golden Gate Bridge, Redwood Creek, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Diego, Malibu, Los Angeles, Anaza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Camarillo, and feels like the real deal.

The wait at Soarin’ is sixty-five minutes.  My grandson, days away from being a teen, waits patiently in line participating in the wall games while I chat with a couple behind us from Chicago.

We discuss the scheduled 9:30pm fireworks and my confusion, “Doesn’t the park close at 9:30pm?  They assure me we will see the fireworks; which they saw at 8pm the night before.

Our sixty-five minute wait was almost up it was 7:55pm.

We are ready, to quote Disney:  “Feel the wind in your hair. The air fills with the scent of orange groves, evergreens and the sea breeze. Your feet dangle free. Dip down so close to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, you think your toes will get wet. Then return to the sky and continue on Soarin’ to a fantastic finale where fireworks burst into sensational colors around you.”

The five-minute ride surpasses the sixty-five minute wait, and the probability of only moving in place. You think your toes are wet for a moment.

We exit excitedly, anticipating rockets and roman candles sparkling across the sky.  Rushing towards the lake Dominic prompts me, “Nana, ask someone.” People are skirting the area sitting on stone walls.

An attendant explains, “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth glitters, gleams, and glows over World Showcase Lagoon in perfectly synchronized splendor”, is a Holiday Special, different from the nightly fireworks and tonight’s closing event, and definitely starts at 9:30PM.

We can relax, purchase a snack, and find a viewing spot.

I watch my grandson say goodbye to childhood, confident and mature ordering a pretzel, opting for cinnamon and sugar (plain salt are sold out) and yes he will pay the extra dollar for cheese.  He casually counts his money, smiling, engaged in conversation, so like his dad, gentleman style.

IlluminNations” started, “featuring breathtaking fireworks, brilliant bursts of fire, laser light effects, dramatic fountain barges, a stirring musical score” that manipulate emotions, accompanied to a symphony rendition of “Let there be Peace on Earth” and left us feeling joy, hope, love, and peace.

We turn to our neighbors, tears in our eyes; shake hands, offer peace, and I think, let it begin with me.

                                                                ….Just  Saying 

                                                                                              Merry Christmas

What Do You Want For Christmas?


What You Want For Christmas?

Aging & Attitude

“What do you want for Christmas?” Mr. Wonderful* inquires, walking into the kitchen wearing drawstring athletic shorts, his toes protruding through open toed sandals, and cheaters sliding off his nose.

“You mean besides World Peace” I quip.

“No, seriously what do you want for Christmas?”

“Jobs for the unemployed would be nice.”

“You’re the one who wants packages under the tree, think about it.”

And I do.

I want it to be 1958 and wake to a shiny blue two-wheeler and bride doll. The air crisp, sharp enough that your nose hair freeze, the sun strong and no wind on Long Island. Santa left the same Schwinn bike for my sister, Mariellen, an English Racer with handbrakes for Victor, my brother.  I ride in circles, periodically going in the house to coax my brother and sister into joining me. They will not, but I am determined to hold on to my joy.

I want it to be 1971. Mr. Wonderful dressed in full Santa costume, white beard and black belt, drives the New York State Thruway, waving at cars and greeting toll booth attendants with Ho, Ho, Ho.

I want it to be 1977. My son wears PJ’s, a blue robe, belted and slippers, his face aglow at the Fisher Price garage Santa left. His sister wears a hand me down Santa infant suit, her arms flapping, matching his excitement.

I want it to be 1985 and a white German Shepard dog does not bark once during the night to wake our kids. He kept his surprise til Christmas morning.

I want it to be 2003. It snows all day, continuing into the night, creating a spectacular White Christmas our daughter’s Southern guest marvels.  We troll the unplowed streets of Newton after midnight, make angles in the snow, sleep late and eat dinner in our pajamas.

I want those simple uncomplicated times.

But were they?

Christmas greeting cards scotched taped around a door frame were fancy decorations. I could decorate the entire house, wrap the presents, and bake cookies, all the same day.

Last week it took one day to unbox the artificial tree and determine if plug A really went into socket E. Only one small section of lights is not working. We turned it towards the wall. Days two and three were spent putting on the ornaments, up and down the ladder, watching not to fall.

I am not the only one getting older, facing the challenge of aging; everyone else is too.

So this year, we are all going to Disney.

                                                                                                  ….Just Saying

*Mr. Wonderful is my husband of forty years