Letters to the Editor for Nov. 22, 2013

Thanksgiving alive, well

To the Editor:

While hurrying to the bathroom last night, I happened to look out my hallway window and was startled to see the trees of the apartment complex across the street all lit up for Christmas.

We just celebrated Halloween and according to the calendar, Christmas is several weeks away. The stores have been advertising holiday gifts, decorations and entertainment items since Labor Day. Even several restaurants have the fake greenery and red bows placed all over their establishments.

And, every day, I hear in the news that another big store will be kicking off their Black Friday bargains while I’m still eating my Thanksgiving dinner!

I admit it. I love Christmas. I love decorating my home. I love looking through the toy wish books with my grandchildren.

I love writing my Christmas letter.

I love singing Handel’s “Messiah.” I love listening to all the carols and holiday music nonstop on the radio while in the car. But, I don’t love it in November.

To me, Thanksgiving is the only saving grace for November.

November is depressing. The leaves are gone. The ground is brown and hard. It’s cloudy all the time. It’s dark by 5 p.m. in the afternoon. It’s cold.  And, windy. And, sometimes, snowy.

Halloween is gone and Christmas is close to the end of the next month. So, the only thing to look forward to in November – besides my husband’s birthday – is Thanksgiving. And, looking around me right now, I can’t find it!

What happened to Thanksgiving? Why don’t we see any movies or “made for TV” shows about the Pilgrims or stories about being thankful for what we have? I guess I want to see people celebrating “A Walton’s Thanksgiving,” again!

And, I don’t see it!

My home is decorated in fall décor – colors such as orange, rust, brown, and gold are prevalent throughout each room.

Pumpkins, squash and other gourds are tastefully placed as centerpieces on the kitchen and dining room tables.

The smell of spices permeates the house as I bake apple pies and gingerbread. I meet with friends and relatives and tell them how thankful I am that they are in my life.

I’d like to think that I’m doing my part. Thanksgiving is alive and well – at least at the McGraw household.

There will be 13 people eating Thanksgiving dinner around our dining room table. A turkey platter and napkin rings my mother made in her ceramics class over 40 years ago will be front and center on that table.

We will have the traditional food associated with Thanksgiving. I will roast a huge turkey breast the day before so we will have enough white meat. And, according to my husband, Norm, I will make better gravy than his mother ever did!

Let’s all slow down and enjoy the season we are in. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And, on the day after Thanksgiving, I’d like to be the first to wish you Merry Christmas!

Mary McGraw
Coon Rapids

Walmart study failed

To the Editor:

In regards to the article a few weeks back on the impact study for the purposed Walmart in the Ball Street neighborhood, it was stated how much time is being spent on the numerous issues. It went on to say how much time and energy went into the study for Fleet Farm on Lexington Avenue.

The city council, planning department along with the architect and lighting engineer for Walmart failed in their study on the newly opened store on 115 Ulysses.

I am a resident of Claremont Pines development directly east of the store, I see nightly how the study failed. Two weeks prior to the opening we went to bed one night to one third of our bedroom window as bright as daylight.

I got up to see what was going on and I found high intensity quad lights on 38-foot poles looking me in the face. On Aug. 16 I talked to Tim Green general manager of Walmart. He stated he would discuss my issue with corporate; two weeks passed and the lights still shone bright.

I called Blaine Planning Department and talked to a young lady who informed me Walmart asked for and received a variance to use taller poles. She told me nothing could be done, but I could contact the city council so this was not repeated in the future; just what I wanted to here.

I called Bryan Schaffer,  the planning and community development director, and discussed the problem. He stated no variance was given and he said he would look into this issue, I called back a week later; he said he was out during the week and found no issue.

I really have no issue in the daylight myself. He came a week later at night, shut his lights off, still no problem. He did not go around the house to see the lights in our windows; another waste of time.

Ball Street residents good luck; the lights will shine in. The big box stores with the large tax base will prevail.

Thanks Blaine, what more can I ask for – all night lights, all day traffic and pollution from 44,000 vehicles using Highway 65 each day. What wonders a wall along 65 would do.

G. Paquette
Blaine

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