Saturday, November 27, 2021

The One Where I Finally See Lights Turn On

Ten Things of Thankful, here I come!

We pre-gamed Thanksgiving last weekend at the lake house, cooking a small turkey we had in the freezer and having dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy with it. My son was able to drive up and join us, for which I am extra thankful (his wife was on call for the weekend and couldn't come with him, so that was a bummer), and my daughter's friend Kirstin was also there (surprise visit that she and I had planned weeks ago), and it was a lovely time.

You've got to be thankful for a two-day work week! I made pumpkin pie with my littles both days, and we took some mini pumpkins and dried corn out to the woods so the deer and squirrels and other critters could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, too.

No one threw up this year at Thanksgiving. This is BIG, because the last time we all got together (pre-Covid), every. single. person. EXCEPT me got the stomach flu. 

I'm thankful my brother is a terrific cook. We had a wonderful time with him and his wife and daughter Amy, ate entirely too much, and this bears repeating, NO ONE THREW UP.

My daughter's car got a flat tire while we were staying with her, which was fortunate (that we were staying with her, NOT that she got a flat tire), because we were able to get AAA there to put on the spare and then get the tire fixed within a few hours.

We live in the land of Walmart, and that's where we're used to turning when we have a problem like a flat tire while out of town. Funny thing, there aren't Walmarts conveniently located when you're in a city, and the tire repair places were closed because of Thanksgiving, so we are now the proud owners of a membership to Costco, which is only a couple of miles from my daughter's apartment. We did get small town treatment from the tire department when they squeezed us in, even though the were booked all day, and we are all grateful for that!

I did a little Black Friday shopping on the Plaza and ran into friends from home whom I hadn't seen in two years. It was delightful to see you, Vanessa, Carmi, and Laney! Hope you enjoyed the shopping and the cheesecake!

I saved my biggest thankful for last:

The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City opened in 1923 and was the first planned shopping district in the country. It was also built to accommodate shoppers arriving by car. The architecture is based on that of the city of Seville, Spain, and it's known for upscale stores and restaurants. In 1925, several merchants decided to put up colored lights to celebrate Christmas. By 1930, the lights had increased so much that they decided to hold a lighting ceremony, and now, tens of thousands of people attend the ceremony every Thanksgiving.

I grew up in Kansas City, and every Christmas, we drove down to the Plaza to see the lights, but I never, ever got to attend a lighting ceremony. In fairness, we spent many Thanksgivings out of town, but even when we weren't, we never made it down there for a number of reasons, mainly, that it was too cold and too crowded. Trips were attempted and aborted midway when traffic jams made it impossible to get there before the switch was flipped. I moved away from Kansas City when I went to college, and my parents moved away a year later, and while I would go see the lights every few years, I was never able to go to a lighting ceremony.

A few years ago, my brother and his family moved back to Kansas City, but once again, cold weather, traffic, crowds, and A BUNCH OF PARTY POOPERS IN MY FAMILY kept me from going to a lighting ceremony. I had to be content with watching it on tv (and I KNOW there are more spectacular Christmas lights in other places, but this is a Kansas City thing and a Big Deal if you're from there). Fast forward to this year, and my daughter is living a block away from the Plaza. THIS WAS FINALLY GOING TO HAPPEN FOR ME.

My daughter agreed to go with me, and we bundled up Thursday evening before walking down to the lighting ceremony. My husband decided at the last minute to go with us, and we headed down into the throngs. I didn't care about the ceremony itself, which included singers and dancers; I just wanted to be there when they flipped the switch and the lights magically came on. 

And it happened. 61 years in the making, and I was finally there!

I hope your Thanksgiving was magical, too. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop link is open and ready for you to join! Please do!


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  1. Wow, I am so happy you finally got to see the lights being switched on in Kansas City! That's awesome! I am also so grateful no-one threw up at your Thanksgiving celebrations. Great list. Have a nice Sunday.

    1. It was so exciting to see those lights turn on for the first time ever! I am EXTRA grateful we made it through Thanksgiving this year without anyone getting sick! We can laugh about it now, but it was AWFUL!

  2. Hooray for being there! Also for being with family, and not being sick. May the rest of your holiday season go well, too.

    1. Thanks, Mimi! It was a terrific weekend, and I anticipate a terrific rest of the holiday season as well!

  3. and...and! fireworks?!
    Yow. I now know why Dorothy could take the Emerald City so in stride.
    It's always good to do the things that you've promised yourself would you do.
    ya know?

    1. Right?! I had NO IDEA there were fireworks after the lights go on, BECAUSE I HAD NEVER BEEN BEFORE! We midwesterners are pretty unflappable, huh?

  4. How exciting that you were finally able to see something you have waited a long time to see! That looks like a beautiful place! Makes me want to check out old newspaper articles about that place.
    Love letting the littles place little pumpkins and dried corn out for the squirrels and deer.
    Thanksgiving without having anyone feeling sick is worth celebrating.

    1. The Plaza is quite lovely! The architecture and detailing is spectacular. And it has very unassuming parking garages tucked all over the place, so there's usually (except on Thanksgiving night!) plenty of places to park.
      I don't know if any animals eat those mini pumpkins or not, but we made our offering anyway.
      We are hoping that Thanksgiving 2019 (or Barfageddon) was a one time thing!