From the miscellaneous drawer

by Anne Swenson

Although going to a variety of classes always interested me, I was a lousy student. A mid-range student, seeing as many Ds as As or Bs. <BR><BR>Grades didn’t seem important. What there was to care about was whether I would grow to understand the subject. So the more esoteric the subject, the more likely I was to take it. Two un-memorable ones were “Italian painters of the High Renaissance” and one called “Russian Geography.” <BR><BR>The test for the Renaissance painters included being able to identify a hand from a painting with artist, title and date. I failed.<BR><BR>What I did get out of the course was a good appreciation of the skills of the painters and the technique which some offered of placing a view of their city behind a person in a portrait. It made the portrait seem more intimate by placing the person within his or her place in time.<BR><BR>Several years ago my downstairs series of windows at home encouraged me to try to create a Christmas display. Yes, in my past there was a course in this too. At the time I took the course I was creating the window displays for a mall bookstore and it was helpful.<BR><BR>During these inbetween years, when first a knee and then an arm inconvenienced me, the items used in my Christmas display were packed away. But one of my vices or hobbies is to add animated Christmas figures and decor each year whether they were going in a display or not. <BR><BR>This year the windows on the north side, the rear of my house are again being filled with mechanical toys and trains. If all goes well the window lights will be on starting this weekend, and then on daily from 5-9:30 p.m. Please drive out and take a look. Old timers and young children seem to enjoy this.<BR><BR>You get to my house by driving west on 169 to County 88, turn left on Van Vac Road (old 404) and turn right at the second driveway. The driveway circles the house and there’s place for parking so you can get out of the car and walk along the rear windows. The driveway comes back out on Van Vac Road. <BR><BR>If it looks like I’m home in the evening and you’d like to come inside to see things closer, just open the door and give a holler. I don’t have a doorbell and may not hear you otherwise.<BR><BR>Some folks, like me, put out their Christmas decorations just for the pleasure of the season. There are lights on many backstreets and byways which are sometimes overlooked and go unseen. If you call in the location of your display or one your neighbor has planned, we’ll put a list in the Echo for people to drive around and view. Call 365-3141 and give us the information.<BR><BR>