2020 November 23 Day Off

Monday

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I awoke with sniffles and sneezing. Fortunately, Santa doesn’t go back to the mall until Black Friday.

I suspect this is going to be a very different Black Friday than in years past. Many retailers have been offering “Black Friday” deals all month long in an attempt to diminish the crowds on Friday. A lot of stores are only allowing a certain number of customers access at once time.

Social distancing, masks, and aisles marked for one way traffic are certain to be ignored by some shoppers, but I expect most will follow the new guidelines. At least I hope they will.

The fact that many people are out of work because of workplace Covid 19 restrictions means less money to spend on non essential items. There will be less travel and smaller gatherings – in many cases no gatherings of people not living in the same home.

Yes, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are sure to be very different indeed

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God bless and g’nite

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2020 November 22

Sunday

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This is a crescent moon. But for some reason the camera filled in the dark area and made it look like a full moon. Or maybe it was the hazy fog that caused the distortion.

After taking the photo of the early morning noon, I went back to sleep until quartet past seven.Another gray day start.Arriving at the mall at 11:31 and finding the outside doors were locked, I tried calling Melissa. I hoped she was already in the mall and could come and let me in. However, she was running late and she kept talking and not listening to what I was trying to say. I finally hung up. I called her back and told her to stop talking and listen. I was then able to let her know that the mall was locked and I was not able to get in. She said she was going to call Sergio, but she was also on her way. I don’t know what she expected the district managed to do about the doors.After a Google search I found the phone number for mall security. When I told him that the doors were locked, he replied that they were supposed to be locked until twelve noon. I explained that I needed to get in and ready for work at twelve. I was told were to find an unlocked service entrance.I made my way through the “Jefferies Tubes” (Star Trex fans will understand) to the storeroom-dressing room-break room. I had a key to unlock the gate but had no idea how to get the lights on. So, I dressed by the light of my cellphone. I was just getting my boots on when Melissa arrived. (Which means the mall doors were now unlocked) Needless to say we were a little late getting the Santa set up and running.Mike got the equipment running while Sarah I straightened things on the set.

Here I am, masked and ready.This little girl stood like this (but facing me) when we talked about her Christmas wish, her school, and so forth. When they first took Her picture, they had her sit, hands in lap, and ankles crossed – the typically photo. I said, “Wait a minute.” I then had her stand like this facing the camera. I then I copied the pose. Mom was delighted. I asked permission to have and use the photo.God bless and g’nite

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2020 November 21 Ella’s B’day

Saturday

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Another overcast foggy morning. The prediction is for clouds for the whole week ahead and rain next weekend. I’m not sure how “needed” the cloud are, however dry Texas can always use the rain.

Actually, on my way to work, there was a brief, light rain.

I, Santa, do have a chance to interact with the children – some what. They have to stay 6 feet away but I can still visit with them and get their Christmas gift wishes. It is working better than I thought it would, but not as well as I had hoped.

I even had a chance to have interaction with 2 special needs “kids”. Those are always closest to my heart.

Unfortunately, I am contractually forbidden to share some things about what happens on the set. Therefore these posts may be short through November and December.

God bless and g’nite

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No tracking from the fit bit because Santa doesn’t wear a watch while “on duty”.

2020 November 20

Friday

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  • Yes, the fog from yesterday came back for a second run today.
  • It had all cleared before I drove to the mall today. That’s right, Santa has officially arrived at Lakeline Mall. Despite a little hiccup with all of the electronics not playing well together, we had a good morning.
  • Santa was still able to interact with the children albeit at a distance. Posing for the photo feels awkward to me. I’m just sitting six foot behind them and facing the camera.
  • One thing that is very different this year. No one is saying, “Smile!”

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God bless and g’nite

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

2020 November 19

Thursday

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Indeed the day began hazy and overcast. There was also a slight ghost of a fog crawling along the low spots, trying to hide in the shadows.

  • It took many hours for the sun to fight his way through the suffocating clouds.
  • I don’t know which combatant enlisted the wind. Perhaps neither. Perhaps the wind was merely fleeing the battle in the heavens. Whatever brought the wind, it came. It came through the open windows, making flags of curtains. Indeed it presented lighter decorations with the gift of flight. Though they flew no further than the floor.
  • At last the sun was victorious and sent the clouds into full retreat. However, delayed as he was in overtaking the sky, the sun managed only a weak showing that raised the temperature barely above mid seventy degrees.

  • Due to Covid-19, we have abandoned our wandering ways and become full-time Texans. With that change came the need to find a local dentist (or two). I had x-rays and photos taken of my mouth as well as a thorough cleaning. I was praised for how well I care for my teeth. (Little do they know)
  • Ella, on the other hand was invited to return after the Thanksgiving holiday. She knew going into it that she would need with correcting of her dentures. On her next visit, they will be discussing long term plans for her teeth and or dentures.

After leaving the dentists, we made a short side trip to the church. We wanted to see how construction was proceeding on rebuilding the preschool building. It still stands in it’s bare bone stage. We noticed that work was being done in the worship center servings floor area. All three buildings of the church campus are undergoing construction.Do you recall yesterday’s post about my biting into what I thought was a pear, only to discover that it was a type of squash known as chayote. Today for lunch, I skinned them, cubed them, boiled them, and mashed them. Served with butter, salt and pepper, they were quite good. Possibly my new second favorite squash behind the spaghetti squash.My new masks arrived today. Not only will they help slow the spread of viruses, they will help disguise my Santaness as I go in and out of the mall.God bless and g’nite

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2020 November 18

Wednesday

Welcome, family and friends, to our daily journal. Share it with your friends. It is a way of remembrance for us and a point of contact for you.

It is the middle of November and the trees and bushes are still holding onto their leaves. Even though we have been eight Texas winters, I’m still in awe of how long autumn is here. The early morning sun shining through those leaves was interesting.We received our voter registration cards today, so that in the next election, it will be simpler. Yay! I’m ready. Can we have some new presidential candidates now? I didn’t care for the choices this last time.I mistook this for a pear and took a big bite off the end. I told Ella that it tasted almost like a cucumber. Google Lens identified it as a “Chayote, also known as mirliton squash or vegetable pear because of its pear-like shape and size, is pale green on the outside, with white flesh on the inside. It’s crunchy and mild “with a slightly sweet taste and light notes of cucumber,” according to Specialty Produce.May 13, 2020. I have 2of them and am trying to figure out what to do with them.Will you just look at that sky! How perfect is that? If it was any clearer the sky would be black, because we’d be looking straight into spaces. It was a wonderful day to sit outside – so we did.After the pure blue of the day, came the burnt orange sunset.God bless and g’nite

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2020 November 17

Tuesday

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Believe it or not, these are photos of the star lit sky of early morning. Oh if only my camera could see as the human eye does. Perhaps, if you are viewing this on a large enough screen in a dark enough room, you may see some stars.

We slept warm, burrowed into nests of blankets and comforter. Like deep sea divers, our cpap machines delivering air to the depths of blankets, quilt, and pillows.It was after six o’clock this morning that I turned on the heater and then scurried back to my den of coverings. And snuggled closer to my den mate.Later still I rose to heat the coffee and warm the oven in preparation for baking biscuits. Feeling too lazy to roll and cut biscuits, I made drop biscuits instead. When it came time to eat, I regretted not taking time to roll and cut. Drop biscuits are just so crumbly.

Reflections on being Santa in the time of Covid: Where is the joy?

What joy will the children receive in visiting Santa when they can’t sit on his lap and whisper their Christmas wish? Or even see his face.

What joy will Santa have when he and children are masked and smiles can not be shared? When Santa it’s only a prop for the photo, he might as well be a cardboard cutout.

What joy will parents have to receive photos of masked faces to remind them of Christmas 2020, the joyless year?

It’s nearly enough to send Santa into depression.

I made it to the mall to check out the Santa set and my suits. If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I was skeptical about the shirts fitting. Three of the four shirts had sleeves 2″ too short. But at least I have suits. I hope that Santa John has a suit with him, because there was no suits for him here.We had an all around busy day. Yesterday I said, “Tomorrow we may get some free produce at one of the churches in Leander.” Well today ours yesterday’s tomorrow and we did get some free produce from 2 churches. That’s good ’cause now I’ll have fruit to take for my lunchbreaks.I already mentioned going to the mall.We also stopped at the pharmacy and got Ella’s prescription. This is one she hasn’t had for a month.I’m tired. I will be back tomorrowGod bless and g’nite

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2020 November 16

Monday

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I was very glad that I had started the electric fireplace, before going to bed last night. 34° that feels like 28° might have been a shock to our little pink toes – all of our little piggies would have gone, “Wee, Wee, we’re freezing,” all the way home and under the covers..

  • We planned a trip to Wal-Mart to get one of Ella’s Meds, that she’s been without for quite some time. To make the trip better than going for one single item, I also ordered a few groceries. As it turned out, her meds were not there and part of my grocery order dropped from the list without noticing. So basically we made the trip needlessly.
  • Tomorrow we may get some free produce at one of the churches in Leander. It appears that it is open to everyone. We will see if there are income guidelines or local residency to Leander.
  • Also tomorrow, I will go to Lakeline Mall and try on the Santa suits for this year. They are provided by the photography company. That way there is more continuity between Santas and from year to year.
  • For the last several years I’ve had to have the company send me different shirts. Every year I order 37″ sleeves and every year they send 34″ sleeves. And, yes my arms are longer than my legs. Must be some ape-man genes in my DNA. I’ve also encounter some problem with getting the proper neck size. The neck isn’t as important, as the top button is hidden by the beard.
  • I also learned that there WILL be a second Santa, John. I don’t know how we will split up the days and hours. Over the last several years, working with Charlie, I worked morning and early afternoon and he worked late afternoon and evenings. He worked days in the school system so that worked well for him and for me.

As the sun sinks silently into the west, our days temperatures were above the average high and the day’s low was below the average.

God bless and g’nite

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Really? I walked two and a half miles today? Maybe I was sleepwalking.

2020 November 15

Wordless Sunday

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God bless and g’nite

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Today 81° – 69°
Yesterday 78° – 56°Average 69° – 51°
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2020 November 14

Saturday

Welcome, family and friends, to our daily journal. Share it with your friends. It is a way of remembrance for us and a point of contact for you.

This was another “Uncle Albert” do nothing day. Though I wasn’t at all tired, I took a nearly two hour long nap – just out of boredom.
We did play several rounds of Fast Track today. I believe that Ella was the over all winner 🏆.

As amazing as the sunset as to see, the northwestern sky about a half hour later was also beautiful.

God bless and g’nite

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Today 81° – 69°
Yesterday 78° – 56°Average 69° – 51°
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