Let There Be Colors!

As some readers of this publication know, I am a big fan of colors, both the natural and man-made varieties. Obviously, there’s nothing even remotely unique about me that way. But somehow I wasn’t particularly conscious of this leaning till it became a subject that I felt drawn to write about pretty soon after I gave birth to Yeah, Another Blogger in 2015.

For instance, I’ve written about excellent sunsets any number of times, especially sunsets that my wife Sandy and I have inhaled on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, one of our favorite locales. And pieces about illuminated residential Christmas decorations have graced these pages, maybe not all that gracefully, at least thrice that I can recall.

But have I ever placed the colors of a sunset and those of Christmas displays into the same story? Uh-uh. Not until now, that is. And I had such a nice time doing the legwork for this narrative, I just might make the theme a tradition.

There I was, then, on the 13th of December, standing on my house’s deck and admiring the oranges and yellows and pinks that filled the western sky. It was 4:21 PM, fourteen minutes before the Sun would disappear below the horizon. I’d watched sunsets from my house, which occupies space in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, loads of times before. But as far as I can recall, I’d never left my abode to admire a sunset from elsewhere in the neighborhood. Why? Because I’m a dumb shit. For, as I discovered moments later, the views from other spots on the surrounding blocks were terrific, far better than from my deck, where trees get in the way of the festivities a whole lot.

The view 200 feet from my house

Following an impulse to do some exploring, I made my way from the deck to the house’s front door, exited, walked down my front path and made a left onto the sidewalk. At the first intersection I came to, a mere 200 feet from my house, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a pretty open view of the sunset at that corner, about as open as you’d hope to find in houses-and-trees-heavy suburbia. Very unexpectedly to me, someone else was gazing at the sunset too. “I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one here,” that someone, a lady in my advanced age range, said to me. “This is the best place in the neighborhood to watch a winter sunset from.”

She was correct, as far as looking in a westerly direction goes. But, as sunset aficionados know, colors float enticingly almost everywhere in the sky when the conditions are right. And that’s precisely what colors were doing that late afternoon. As I walked along many blocks in my neighborhood, I made frequent stops to admire the displays taking place in all directions above me. About 20 minutes into the walk, a guy pushing a baby carriage along a sidewalk succinctly summed things up when  he saw me snapping a sunset photo.  “There’s a lot of color in the sky tonight,” he said to me. “The sky’s beautiful,” I answered. It was.

A few minutes after my brief conversation with the carriage-pusher, as dusk entered its final stage, I started examining front lawn Christmas displays, of which there were many. They varied in composition, ranging from the tastefully traditional to the merrily over-the-top. Strings and clusters of blue, red, white and green lights, and of other colors, abounded. Inflatable Santas, snowmen and additional creatures were coming out of the neighborhood’s proverbial ass. Man, individually and collectively the displays wowed me. They created a giddy, phantasmagorical aura that I wouldn’t mind being around throughout much of the year. I took in the sights for a nice long while and then headed back home under a seriously dark sky.

The recap of my colorful adventure now is nearing its conclusion. Christmas-display-wise, I was glad to have learned that my neighbors’ talents had not waned even slightly in 2020. I’ve greedily enjoyed their splendid decorating efforts during each of the 16 Christmas seasons that I’ve spent in this neighborhood. As for the sunset, it showed me that I need to get out of my house more than I do, for, just outside my doorstep, there might be sweet experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t know were awaiting.

And, speaking of a sweet experience, and of a colorful display to boot, there’s one that I will be missing on New Year’s Eve. For years, Sandy and I have taken in NYE fireworks in Philadelphia’s historic section, near the Delaware River. But, due to the good ol’ pandemic, the fireworks have been nixed this year. Shit! Those displays always are great, and are an invigorating way to usher in a fresh set of days. I suppose that Sandy and I will spend the eve at home instead.

Still, there is this: Vaccines have arrived and Trump has been voted out of office. Therefore, there is every reason to think that 2021 will be far better than 2020, a f*cking shit show, has been.

Happy New Year one and all!

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. Mucho gracias.)

133 thoughts on “Let There Be Colors!

  1. Isabelle January 1, 2021 / 6:47 pm

    I’m very passionate about sunsets and your glorious sunset is marvellous! I watched the Christmas decorations of your neighbourhood with excitement and great joy. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. selizabryangmailcom January 3, 2021 / 9:29 pm

    Yes, there is hope! Especially since he’s now been recorded threatening Georgia’s secretary of state if they don’t “find him” 11,000 more votes!!

    Irregardless of all that, this is the best word ever: phantasmagorical

    Here’s hoping 2021 will be phantasmagorical. (In a good way, of course)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. selizabryangmailcom January 4, 2021 / 12:20 am

    Not much to like.
    Hopefully he put the last nail in his coffin with this latest BS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 4, 2021 / 12:44 pm

      Hi Kathleen, and many thanks for stopping by. You know, subsequent to writing this piece, I’ve gone out twice to the corner down the block from my house to look at sunsets. And I’m glad that I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cath January 4, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Neil.

    What a beautiful post this is. Love those sky pics. I’m not such a fan of illuminated creatures, but that last house was something else. What a glorious evening you had.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 4, 2021 / 5:05 pm

      Yeah, many of the households around here really get into the decorating thing. And it’s aways good to look at.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Silver Screenings January 5, 2021 / 7:27 am

    Sorry to hear the fireworks were cancelled in your area. We still had them, although no gatherings allowed.

    As for the beautiful sunset and the cheery light displays, they make for an excellent nocturnal tour of your neighbourhood. Like a previous commenter said, I really like the last house.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. chattykerry January 7, 2021 / 12:18 pm

    Those colors are so beautiful. We rarely see much sunrise or sunset because we live in a forest with a high canopy. Happy New Year, Neil.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. candidkay January 15, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    You had me at Cape Cod sunsets! One of my fave places on earth:). Here’s to 2021, a slew of vaccines, and HOPE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 15, 2021 / 4:59 pm

      Hopefully this will be a good year. But Trump has brought fascists and other right-wing lunatics to the stage, and they are a huge problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. silentlover1987 January 19, 2021 / 2:21 am

    Beautiful Pictures ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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