Last December I had an unexpected opportunity to enjoy Caroline Street’s festive holiday decorations after dark. My son was at a play rehearsal in the building that houses Jabberwocky and I had scored an amazing parking space...right across the street! If you’ve ever tried to get a parking spot on Caroline Street in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll appreciate my thrilled disbelief at this bonanza. What’s more, it was a generous space with plenty of room for me to pull into. Double bonus!
Unfortunately, I was so excited by the empty stretch of asphalt that I swerved into the spot with a bit too much vigor. Well a lot too much vigor. I sideswiped my front passenger tire and gashed it. So, while the children worked on their lines a few stories above, I paced the block waiting for the auto service guy to show up.
I strode up and down, berating myself and thinking about how much a new tire was going to cost. Two new tires probably, in order to keep things balanced. Of all the timing—right before the holidays and so many gifts yet to buy! I paced some more as if I could run away from my dilemma. Gradually I slowed down and took a deep breath.
I looked around and admired the twinkle lights garlanding the trees. I peered in a few shop windows, strolling now rather than stomping, and was able to appreciate the time and care that our local merchants had put into their seasonal displays. A kitten wearing a winter scarf! A cascade of ribbon decorating a miniature tree! A wide-eyed doll that looked like she’d just come from Santa’s workshop! And the candy! (I was parked near Sweets on Caroline). It looked absolutely delectable!
By the time the service guy arrived, I was feeling better and was able to make a couple of jokes at my own expense. It wasn’t the sort of holiday memory I had planned on making, but it has become one of my favorites. Those beautiful, glowing windows gave me a few moments of unexpected delight. I can’t wait to stroll in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoy them again this year!