The Christmas Lights Ride in Frankfort, Illinois

The little town of Frankfort Illinois dolls up for Christmas every year by donning lights on its centerpiece park “The Breidert Green.” The mayor presides over the tree lighting ceremony and the season is officially open.

The lights brighten up long dark weary nights and add a festivity to the air. Combine that with the Mid-night Madness sale on a Friday night and the sleepy town stays up late to celebrate.

About ten years ago, I led a Folks on Spokes bike ride on a Friday night called the Christmas Lights Ride. Twenty of us met in the empty town parking lot at 5:30 p.m. The route I charted took us around the town on the most brightly decorated streets. I charted the ride to visit every neighborhood in town starting with the historic district and winding through each subdivision. The darkest stretch was along the Old Plank Trail which allowed us to cross route 45 a major thoroughfare safely. After an hour of slow riding a chill beset us and there was a mist in the air. One rider, dressed as he would for a twenty-mile an hour training ride was on the verge of hypothermia, so I directed him to the town center via a short cut to a warming place. The rest of the troupe valiantly proceeded for another half hour. The grand finale took us down Ginger Lane where the folks decorate the parkway trees as well as their homes. Residents wrap each tree trunk with green lights, and the canopy is strung in white. Riding down this curvy street arched in lights has a magic about it to put a person in the right Christmas spirit. Most of us had decorated our bicycles with battery powered mini lights to make the entourage just as intriguing. The neighbors who were out walking the displays, and those still hanging lights were surprised to see a chain of lighted bicycles powered by riders with Santa hats, reindeer antlers and Elf adornments streaming down the street all lit up. We ended the ride ready for a meal. A rider asked me if I made reservations at a restaurant. I replied, “in this sleepy town at this hour there will be no need for reservations.”

Upon our return at 7:30 cold, and damp there was a marked difference in town. There were cars parked everywhere. We scurried to load our bikes onto our cars and to head to the Kansas Street Grill across the street. I hurried across the street to get a table arranged while the rest of the group locked their bikes.

“I’m sorry sir, but the wait is forty-five minutes.”

“What?”

“Forty-five minutes.” That folks, is how I learned about Frankfort’s Midnight Madness.

At this point, I had twenty surly and hungry bike riders who had one thing on their mind, well several things: get warm, get a drink, get some food.

Don’t panic, I said to myself. Think!

“Let’s all go to visit Brent at the bike shop across the street,” I said.

Thankfully Brent a fellow bike club member welcomed us with open arms. Next door to Brent’s bike shop was a new pizza place with an empty room. I walked in and asked how long it would take them to seat a party of twenty.

“Ten minutes,” was the reply.

“Thank you Lord,” I whispered under my breath. I went next door to tell the group the new plan and to drink some warm cider.

The Christmas Lights Ride launched Tony’s Villa Rosa that night. The place became a village focal point from that point on until Tony decided he didn’t love his wife anymore and divorced her for another woman. Tony’s Villa Rosa is no longer in business.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Three Pour Evening

A bottle of Argentina Malbec

A bottle of Argentina Malbec (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This day has been interesting. Yesterday, I discovered a cabinet on the wall of my garage falling down. The contents were too heavy for it and the fasteners began pulling out of the wall. Although, I didn’t want to tackle the job, I did. I removed the cabinet before it fell, and dragged it down to my basement workshop. There, I added new wood to reinforce the weak spots. Then I dragged the cabinet back upstairs and out to the garage. The plan was to remove the sister cabinet and to rework it before it too became a problem. A closer look at the sister cabinet changed my plan. It was very secure and already strengthened. I added more wood to it while it stayed in place. I also added a cleat under the cabinet to give it more foundation. There is no way I want to have to do this again. I finished the job, cleaned up the work site, put away my tools, and headed for supper, and some serious pain killing beverage.

The wine of choice this evening is Malbec from Argentina. I enjoyed a nice pour while heating my frozen pepper steak and rice dinner. Another pour with dinner, and a third with my dessert of pumpkin pie. By now my mind was somewhat numb, and I felt no pain. I donned my heavy jacket and left the house for a walk in the darkness, except it wasn’t dark. My neighbors have decorated their yards with hundreds of mini-lights on their trees, shrubs, gutters, and houses. It was not dark, it was beautiful.

I didn’t walk fast tonight, I kind of stumbled along. The sidewalks were somewhat uneven and I stumbled from side to side in a jerky rapid fashion. Kind of like I was trying to keep myself from falling down. I needed to make a sudden fast moves to stay upright.

The streets of my neighborhood seemed magical. A few years ago, the President of the local Homeowners Association talked everyone into decorating their parkway trees with the same colors, green lights on the tree trunks and white lights on the branches. The sight of a long curvy street lined with trees glowing in green and white lights is absolutely beautiful. The tradition continues and only those houses that are empty or those that are newly occupied do not follow the formula. They are obvious since they are dark and break the chain of diamonds glistening in the night air.

A full moon accompanied by cold crisp air added to the beauty of the evening by contributing a special aura to the electrical lights. By the end the walk my steps were less tenuous and my side to side wandering narrowed to a smooth slightly wavy line.

Journeyman's Journal

This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand

KetoJENic Vibe

Keto Junkie 🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

Quotes Database

Your Site Of Influential Quotes!

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

myserenewords

Seeking Solace in the Horizon of Life & Beyond.

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

Parties & Events

events, fun

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Survival Garden

How to make it

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and Spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Gamintraveler

Travel Couple and Digital Nomads on a World Travel

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site

blogsense-by-barb

at the Re-Birth of America!

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

THE WAKING GIANT

United States Second Amendment Pitbull