THE RETURN OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Today at 11:28 AM marks the occurrence of the winter solstice. Its Latin roots are sol and stit or sun stopped. As a practical matter the sun appears to have moved as far south as it ever goes and will now start its journey back north. Tomorrow there will be two more seconds of daylight.  Phew! What a relief. However, even so, it’s going to take a few months to warm up again.

Cold or not it’s a beautiful time of the year but, come on, it can also be a little hectic. Sometimes it whirls by in a swirl of color and that helps make the short bleak cold days tolerable.

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The little figures above were as seen by my Lensbaby Composer Pro lens. Sometimes it gives the effect of too much partying but I like what it does. The little figures were in a stand at Philadelphia’s Christmas Market in Love Park near City Hall. It’s always fun to wander amongst the families enjoying the scene with its Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) character.

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Elsewhere in the area, in Dilworth Park Garden just west of the City Hall building we found an enchanting America’s Garden Capital Maze. A half dozen of these big guys were watching over everything and I thought they were a great contrast with the downtown center-city buildings.

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Still in the Christmas Market area I came across this artist who created animals from heated colored glass rods. Seen again through the eye of my Lensbaby lens there is an aura of 10,000 B.C. to it all.

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We’ve been blessed with two decorative snow storms. They’re decorative in that traffic didn’t get snarled and they didn’t have much impact, and lingering warmth disposed of them pretty quickly. While they last the results are magical and fit our northern concept of Christmas. Here was my view of my friends’ nearby town house, that of Valerie and Dick C. They always enhance their place with decoration and lights, both inside and outside, and it adds to our life.

On a snowy night, perfect.

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After the snow my late wife Marty Lou’s crafty snowman looked good and felt at home. Marty and three of her buds would get together in December and make a Christmas Craft. They started here with a clear glass lamp chimney and painted it white. The get-outta-here felt hat is pinned up in front with a tiny sleigh bell. On the rim is a cardinal’s nest and miscellaneous grasses. There’s also some mistletoe berries and a tiny ceramic ginger bread man on the back of the rim. A plaid scarf protects against a sore throat, and the nose is a painted slash.

Sadly, of those four crafty ladies only one is still with us. I look forward to the annual reappearance of the little snow man. Christmas as a family event refreshes memories of family and friends who have left us. This year that includes Miss Pearl who I lost last December.  I miss her very much.

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HAS CHRISTMAS ARRIVED IN MY TOWN HOUSE?

You bet!  Too many traditions to ignore. First, my 86th Christmas Tree. I don’t remember the first three or four. Frankly, there are lots of others that I might not specifically remember, but I do remember the concepts and isolated memories of Christmases past. Notably, the $2.00 Charley Brown tree from our salad days in the early 70’s. This year’s tree is beautiful, loaded as always with ornaments from over the years including some from my grandparents’ trees. Age? I don’t know, but my parents married in 1918 and probably had their first tree that year.

Barb and I decorated mine last Saturday and we applied the tinsel one strand at a time as my childhood friend, Bimmie W. trained me to do.

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Elsewhere Christmas has cropped up in my living room. The Snow Village houses have appeared on the top of the china cabinet and on top of my wall unit. The houses and trains of my youth are on the shelves of the wall unit. One of the centerpieces which Sigrid made for our recent joint (Barbara and me) birthday party is on my coffee table. A basket of tree ornaments is on the little side table between the two chairs, and crystal and pressed glass pieces are on the dining table and on the coffee table. With the candles lit it is festive.

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A BEVELED GLASS PANEL

Finally, I tackled and completed another beveled glass panel this fall. It doesn’t say Christmas but it will be a long-requested gift. Details and construction are seen here (scroll to the bottom) on my Stained Glass page.  Tho not specifically a Christmas theme, it is a warm inviting window panel for the holidays.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS OR A HAPPY HOLIDAY

TO ALL OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

AND A HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY 2018

 

27 Responses to “THE RETURN OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE”

  1. Bob Stevens Says:

    Merry Christmas, Ralph. Lovely work, as always.

    Bob Stevens

  2. Jay Says:

    You are indeed a most special person……..thank you for always sharing your beautiful, magnificent, thoughtful and oft-times intriguing works of “art”.

  3. Season Bonner Says:

    Very enjoyable post, Ralph. Looking forward to your next adventure!

  4. Rich Lewis Says:

    Glass artist and photographer? You never cease to amaze me. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  5. Roz Says:

    I would say you are ready and enjoying it all. We are too – but a bit warmer here in SC. Please come see us. Roz

  6. Bonnie Says:

    Thank you for always sharing – have a Merry Christmas Ralph.

  7. bunnylace7@yahoo.com Says:

    Ralph, Thank you so much for giving us a “peek” into the window, both past and present, of your Christmas seasons and traditions. My heart was warmed and your photos are a feast for the eyes. May I wish you a very Merry Christmas from one photographer to another. Love, Susan

  8. Bonnie Rovere Says:

    A Very Merry Christmas to you and Barbara! Your home looks lovely and your stained glass creation is beautiful. Very warm and homey! Missed you at the meeting Tuesday.

  9. eajackson Says:

    Merry Christmas Ralph. What a wonderful Christmas tale along with your beautiful images. What would it take to have you create a small stain glass piece for Alan and me.?

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thank you, friend and colleague. Your comments are always comforting. In re a small glass piece I’d be happy to trade for one of your alcohol paintings. I have to warn you, however, it took four years for me to get around to that panel for Sigrid.

  10. Anushka Says:

    Wow! Beautiful Pictures and Very Descriptive Narration.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  11. denisebushphoto Says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Ralph … nice to see and read how you are enjoying the season!

  12. BJ Tetlow Says:

    AS always, Ralph, thank you very much for sharing the great photos.
    Merry Christmas!
    BJ


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