Ever since I've lived in Salem, I've gone to the annual Christmas Parade. It's a tradition I've always enjoyed. When my kids were young, I'd dress them up in winter coats, hats, mittens, boots and we'd stand and wave at the people on the floats.
As they got older, we joined in the parade as members of boy scouts, girl scouts, PTA, sports teams. Probably the last time one of my kids participated was when my son, as a high school senior, joined the float celebrating their undefeated, state championship football team.
Even after the kids had left the house and no longer came with me, I always went to watch the parade. It's such an old-time tradition, and, after being a resident of the town for 25 years, I knew a lot of people in the parade.
Recently, it's been our pleasure to bring my niece Laura and my grand-daughter Emily to the parade. They both love it, and love being together.
This year was different. Our new house is right on the parade route. Emily couldn't make it - the poor thing is sick. But Laura still wanted to come, and we met up with some friends to watch.
Our "crew" includes my friend's daughter Ashley, her dad Red, my friend Sylvie, my friend Debbie, Sylvie's husband Jim, me and Laura. Hubby was manning the camera. We are standing in front of the fire station because Ashley's husband is a firefighter, and is newly arrived back from Iraq.
Lancaster school was the school my children attended. I think they had the best float in the parade.
Girl Scouts always have a place in my heart.
Ashley's husband is on the float of veterans newly returned from Iraq.
Our Salem High marching band.
And of course, Santa and the Mrs.