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Thoughts on life and local events

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Chris

Traditions & Memories

Last year after my wife and I got the lights on the Christmas tree, we let the boys take over and begin decorating. Historically this has involved them putting them on the tree in the same location within a 6 inch radius and me telling them to spread the decorations out. The grownups will put a couple decorations on the tree as well, ones that must be on there; a couple from a honeymoon trip to the Adirondacks, a mini union suit that commemorated baby's first Christmas, etc. Additionally, there's the decorations that have been on my tree since long before I can remember. 

You see a tradition in our family was for each year the kids would get a new decoration from Grandma, usually around Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter. So I have decorations going back 43 years, each one with my name and the year on it. Some of them have to stay in the box now, or risk being damaged, but I try to put a few from over the years on the tree no matter what. One of those is particularly special, as represents a very specific memory. 

As I recall ( and Mom if I'm recalling this one wrong, I don't want to know ) I was maybe 10 years old, I don't know, shopping with Grandma one year and an ornament caught my eye. A galloping unicorn made of a glass like substance. I can't remember why I was drawn to it, although given my appreciation of fantastical beasts it shouldn't be a surprise. Anyhow, I asked for it, got it, and it became part of the collection. As far as I know it went on the tree every year I can remember after that. Especially after her death in 2010, that ornament is mandatory on the tree, placed by me in front of a light so it shines. 

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So getting back to last year, there we are, decorating the tree and I reach for the unicorn. Not in the box. I look in the other. Not there either. I search the remaining boxes, and then becoming more frantic, the two decoration boxes again. 

Nothing. 

I began to think, surely I wouldn't have missed it when we took down the tree last year. Would I ? Even if I missed it in the house, I would have noticed it when I put the tree in one of our bird pens. Right ? What if I didn't ? What brush pile did it end up on ? Ohmygoditslostforever....

Folks, if you'd ever wanted to see a 42 year old man rapidly losing his shit, this would have been the time to see it. I was coming unglued looking for it. 

Fortunately my partner "for better or worse"  ( or sudden insanity ) found it. Deep breaths, heart rate settled maybe feeling a little foolish, it went on the tree and we went on with Christmas. 

The point to all of this is, we all have our traditions, and in those traditions are memories that last long after we've grown and others have gone on. We were blessed to have been raised with values that put emphasis on traditions, or more precisely, the memories that remain long after the material things are gone.  

Nevertheless, there is that value attached to small things like a two dollar ornament. Maybe it's something I wouldn't have consciously recognized even ten years ago, but with each passing year do. With each passing year memories fade, it can't be helped, they just do. We forget life's little moments, maybe even memories of people fade. So we treasure those little plastic talismans that bring us not good luck, but good memories that may have otherwise faded. 

And we remember all over again. 

Chris

Welcome Back

This is a test blog, do not comment below :)

 

 

No, you're not seeing things. 

Six months ago, after nearly five years of running local news websites in one form or the other, I decided it was time to hang it up. 

Over the past month or so I've toyed with the idea of doing something different, involving more multimedia as well as continuing to share the work of some of our areas' talented writers, but the thought process always came back to the beginning. I had the software license, I had the ability, I just needed the spark. 

That spark came in a couple different ways. Around the same time I started toying with the idea I had random people ask me about the site. I also began to see even more of a need in our area for a reliable news source without the fluff pieces that are great for clickbait and driving social media response, but not much else. To be honest, I was also missing the chance to tinker around on the back end of a website. That's always been the fun part, creating the features you see here. 

Additionally, I had a brief conversation with the admin of another site I enjoy. His site gets hits from all over the world and has been going for nearly 10 years. His perspective about why he does it; for his own enjoyment more than anything else, kinda resonated with me.

Having the ability to get unlimited high speed data didn't hurt either.

So I said I'd dip my toe back in. I'd spend the few bucks to renew the license on the software and hosting, and just play around, if only for my own enjoyment. What I found was, the more I did that, the more I missed doing it in the first place. Next thing I knew, the site was here. 

But there's still something missing of course. The people. 

So I'll do a slow roll out. First a sort of "soft opening" for the people who have been part of this from the very beginning. Maybe we'll pick up a few people we lost along the way. Then if all looks good I'll roll it out to the public. Then we'll see what happens over the course of the next year. 

While some features will be familiar, some are going to be different. Many will not be back. Also, I plan to keep the amount of forums to a minimum. Additionally we won't be archiving all the posts from now on. Most will have an expiration date but the better discussions will go to a "Best of" container. This should help keep the costs of hosting down as well as keep time spent at the computer to a minimum.

For the foreseeable future, the most glaring change will be that the site will now be "Subscription Only". However that "subscription" is free, all someone has to do is register an account and log in to read the site. It's my hope this encourages people to respond and add their thoughts to the discussion that takes place here. 

Gone are the days of focusing on making this a "product" or trying to compete with social media. Or anyone for that matter. We're going to continue to offer a place for news and civil discussion. Along the way we'll have some fun and hopefully I can make a couple new ideas I have incubating hatch out. 

Thanks for stopping by again. I hope you make ElmiraTelegram.com a regular stop

Chris 

 

 

 

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