PHOTO JOURNALISM by PATRICA FEAGER on 12/3/2023
'Tis the Season to feel nostalgic during the month of December. This is Part 3 of my visit to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on November 29, 2023. Pictures tell a story. Let the journey begin.
You don't have to believe in Santa Claus but celebrating the memories and sharing your family stories brings us all closer together. The Dallas Arborteum and Botanical Gardens created a quaint Christmas Village apart from the Garden but within the Arborteum. The Village is open until the end of month.
What seems so far away is closer than we think. Starting the season early eliminates a lot of crowds and encourages thought provoking ideas and memories. Although there was no street sign outside of Santa's House, I call it Memory Lane.
When was the last time you felt like a kid? Walking inside these tiny houses make magical memories reappear.
Do you have fond memories of writing letters to Santa Clause, friends, and family and dropping them off at the Post Office? Receiving letters and writing Christmas Cards was always a quiet time to sit down and read or write. Ironically, I was looking for some important papers yesterday when I stumbled upon an old letter addressed to my Grandmother from a relative in Poland. I couldn't read the letter but I recognized my Grandmother's name. The date of the letter was 1901.
Do you remember walking as far today as you did when you were a kid? My mother never drove a car. We walked all over the avenues just about everyday. Whether she shopped or not, she made sure we at least window shopped. I remember holes in my shoes often from all that walking and my mother would have to buy me new shoes. When I came upon the Cobbler's Shoe Shop at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, I was reminded of a pair of red wooden shoes in my mother's mother's house. I wonder what happened to them? As a small child, I walked in them at her house. Listening to the sound of wooden shoes on wooden floors was fun!
If you are a Baby Boomer, do you remember your family doctor who really was a part of the family? Dr. Zelik was our family doctor. In our doctor, we trusted! He usually did house calls but when we did go to his office, it was tiny. Basically, it was like a house with three rooms. The waiting room had a few chairs. The Drugstore within the Doctor's Office was a private room behind glass and a thick wooden door. It is where he mixed medicines. It was only on rare occasions he gave us drugs. Most of the time, he spent valuable time in my mother's kitchen teaching her how to make healthy meals or giving us chamomile tea that did not come out of box at the grocery store. The best part about going to the doctor was whether I was sick or not, I always left with a lollypop from my doctor.
Did you ever go inside an old fashioned Butcher's Shop? Where I grew up we had one grocery store stocked with everything except meat. My mother walked us to the Butcher's Shop. Seeing links of sausage in the Christmas Village window at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens reminded me of our trips to the Butcher's Shop. We stood in line to wait our turn to buy the meat. There were fresh chicken's out back in the yard and my mother got to choose which chicken she wanted. Then we waited until the butcher was done doing his job so that we could have dinner.
Did people where you lived speak other languages? My mother spoke multiple languages. I never knew what she was talking about, such as to the Butcher. I always liked the scale best and to watch the interactions between my mother and the Butcher. I'd watch the needle move as the Buther flung more meat on the scale or took some off. Shopping at the Butcher's Shop took hours!
Did you have a Bakery Shop where you lived growing up? The Bakery Shop was always my favorite! It was a rare treat for my mother to take us to the Bakery Shop but my friend Pat who lived across the street always had money in her pockets and together we'd march down to the Bakery and she split with me whatever she bought. Hot apple slices right out of the oven was our favorite! She was a really good friend!
Did I leave you with good memories today? These are smells I have the fondest memories of from my nostalgic days of Christmas:
The smell of rising bread in the oven
The sweet scent of candy
Cinnamon hot chocolate
Pine trees indoors dripping & glistening with silver strands down the tree
Baked Ham and Turkey
My mother's homemade cookies
As you journey through life, savor the moments with family and loved ones. And please, don't forget the seniors without family or children without parents. Wishing all of you a very happy December. Now is a good time to give back to your community.
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