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West Linn Adult Community Center contributor Mieke Wiegman is enjoying the holiday lights

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Mieke Wiegman enjoys seeing the colorful holiday lights in her neighborhood.

Thanksgiving is now behind us, and while I enjoyed the beautiful colors varying from reds, golds and yellows, amongst the fallen leaves carpeting the ground these past few weeks, I am also happy to see that now we have a different kind of wonder. 

Christmas lights! Already we are being surrounded by lots and lots of colorful lights. Lights on roofs, lights on bushes. Lights ranging in color from purple to green, from blue to white and red. Twinkling, showing off, beckoning. They are around windows and door frames, all seeming to say "welcome and enjoy!" At the same time, we find many whimsical creatures proudly parading in people's front yards, more light, more color, more delight. I'm sure we've all noticed that these Christmas decorations arrive earlier and earlier in the season. Some people already light things up on Thanksgiving Day. 

A few years ago, I didn't quite care for those early displays, but the older I get, the more I enjoy seeing them on my daily routes. It brightens my day, and makes me feel lighter. We are fortunate to have our house sandwiched in from the back, as well as the front. My backyard neighbor shows a beautiful display of white and blue lights, with purples, more blues and greens coming from their side yard bushes. I can view this wonder from my kitchen windows. My opposite neighbor displays a huge teddy bear on their lawn, which lights up from the inside at night with a zillion lights, and when I'm working on my computer, it puts a big smile on my face. Next to it is a giant snowman, all lit up too in a similar way. Envision that with lots of other lights scattered around and displayed in their front yard, plus large colored Christmas tree balls, and you'll get the picture. As my office window faces their house, I'm am quite happy to enjoy this view regularly, as it puts me in a good and happy, light mood.  

I'm also grateful that they do not display one of those strobe/LED lights, which can cover the front of a whole house or building and which constantly moves around and changes color — now that would totally drive me crazy.

I know that some neighborhoods really go overboard with their displays. My neighborhood is probably quite on the conservative side. We have some people who are getting older and have not invested in the new lights currently being displayed more prominently, or maybe we simply don't care that much anymore to put in all that work, or even pay somebody to do it. Still, there are many other families who have wonderful displays, and I for one will enjoy it every day till Christmas. I may encounter them on my walks, but when my husband is driving, I get to see sparkles, and colors, and little sprinkles of more colors peeping through trees from a yard or a house sitting way back from the road.

West Linn is beautiful at all times, but especially at the holidays. As it lightens my heart, I hope it will do yours too, when you look at all the beautiful Christmas lights surrounding us when you venture out.

Soon at the center we will have our own display of lights. Each year, many volunteers work hard to put together our tree, and decorate it for all visiting the center to see and enjoy. Come on in soon and enjoy our tree, our many activities and our special Christmas lunch on Friday, Dec. 15. Don't forget to sign up and pay at the front desk for this. At the same time, get all your Christmas shopping done at the Little Shop on Rosemont. They have a wonderful collection of gifts to please everyone. Again this year, is the popular caramel puff corn, locally made, with no hulls or hard kernels. It makes for a great hostess gift, or a treat just for you.

Lunch this week features Shoyu chicken, macaroni salad, steamed rice, green beans and pineapple-coconut salad on Friday, Dec. 8; beef stroganoff with egg noodles, cauliflower and vegetable medley on Monday, Dec. 11 and grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and brownies on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Cost is $5 per person.

The WLACC is located at 1180 Rosemont Road. Call 503-557-4704 for details on programs and lunches.

Mieke Wiegman is a volunteer at the West Linn Adult Community Center.

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