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Busy Christmas Season

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I’ve been out of touch for a while. I had cataract surgery a few weeks ago, and it went very well. I can see now.  At a younger age than normal for this surgery, I wondered if it could be due to fibromyalgia as it was a fast growing type.  According to a large number of comments I found on a forum, the answer may be yes.  An eye injury while vacuuming years ago may have been the beginnings of it. 

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In my neck of the woods, we celebrate Christmas.  It’s called Christmas here, not Holiday. Many activities around the area have been going on and I’ve been busy attending and photographing them. 

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First up was an old fashion ‘Country Christmas’ at the old Lagrange College site near Leighton in November. Lagrange College Alabama’s first college and predecessor to the University of North Alabama opened on January 11, 1830 with twenty two students and three professors.  Room and board including washing, bedding, and firewood was $40 for a five month session. Tuition in the Languages and Sciences was $10 and $7.50 if taking the preparatory department courses.  Incidental expenses were said not to exceed $4.  When the Civil War started all students enlisted in the 35th Alabama Regiment of Infantry.  On April 28, 1863 the empty college met its demise when it was burned to the ground by a Federal cavalry unit commanded by Col. Florence M Cornyne.   Today the site is home to several log cabins, a church and other out building structures that were moved to the site for preservation. 
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Next up was the various Christmas parades in the Shoals as the cities of Tuscumbia, Sheffield, Florence and Muscle Shoals are called.

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Plantation Christmas at Belle Mont mansion. Built between 1828 and 1832, it is thought that Thomas Jefferson or one of his associates had a hand in designing the home.  This is a major fundraiser for the restoration of the home which was crumbling when it was donated to the state.  Ball room dancers and characters dressed in costumes of the time greet the many visitors and tell the history of the former plantation. Decorations consisting of fruit, cedar, holly, cotton, and other natural materials were that found in the home during its heyday.

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The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art Trees of Christmas’ opened last week.  In its fortieth year, the museum is filled with trees decorated by various clubs, businesses or individuals of the area.  

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This past weekend Tuscumbia held it’s second ‘Dickens Christmas Ya’ll.  Festivities started Friday night with a Dickens feast with all the characters of the Christmas Carol at the head table, ballroom dancers, and carolers. Saturday, the characters walked the streets posing for photographs with the many visitors.  An old fashion Christmas tree lot along with vendors selling Christmas wares. A fire was set up for making smores, and an old fashion carriage ride and the snow making machine was very popular even though temperatures were in the seventies.   Children had breakfast with Santa at the Helen Keller Library and moved over to the Art Center for lessons in ornament making.  Ivy Green, home of Helen Keller was also decorated in a style of that when she was living in the home. Santa could be found each night in the caboose at the Tuscumbia Depot and railroad museum. The day was finished up with the lighting of Tuscumbia’s Christmas tree.  We might need to ask for donations of Christmas ornaments, as the tree is very bare. It only has lights.  

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The weekend finished up with the thirtieth anniversary “Celebration” concert of the Symphony at UNA.  Composer Robert Briggs a native of Florence, Al composed Symphony No. 2 ”The Shoals” for the event. 

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Now I’m too tired for Christmas.  I would like to thank and recognize all of the many volunteers who care about our home towns and put in countless hours to make these events possible.  Without them, these events would not occur.  

The Hooligans have been working on their letter to Santa.  I decided for this years Christmas card reindeer antlers would be worn for their picture.  As with the last two, the pictures were all bloopers. When they finish their letter, I’ll send along our Christmas greetings. 

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