Dec-gI just looked at my new clock, and see that it is Monday.  Intuitively I also know that it is Christmas Eve.  Last evening I watched WHITE CHRISTMAS (a small tradition of mine) and tonight I will watch IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  I then reviewed and made a list of my blog posts from 2012 and December 2011 before falling asleep.  I see that on the 24th last year, I shared the live nativity on the common in front of my house with you.  I also noted that many of my posts began, “I just feel like writing,” so here goes.

Most of you know that I am now “laid-up” for the next 6-8 weeks following foot surgery.

Note my directions, and Doctor's initial

Note my directions, and Doctor’s initial

Tuesday the 18th I had a large bunion removed from my left foot, but more importantly had the big toe completely fused with screws and a plate following removal of gouty residue which we assumed may be there.  And, yes, prior to an operation on an appendage the patient can mark the correct spot along with the doctor.  Of course I went a tad further with full initials and an arrow to the spot!  Friday when I had my first post-op doctor’s visit I learned that my hour operation took almost two hours because my fine surgeon, Dr. John Gregory, did not like a spot one screw went into soft bone tissue and he essentially redid the surgery relocating all to a different location.  I have had no pain at all – NONE.  I do seem to have a high tolerance for pain, but we also know who is looking after me!  I am taking the overly cautious route of minimizing my movements around the house, and in not going out taking the risk of bumping the foot and damaging the healing process.

I returned from England on 2 November with pain and walking problems (worse this time than after my other 2012 sojourns), and after two visits with my foot surgeon opted for surgery.  No one chooses elective surgery over the holidays so I grabbed the first date after A CHRISTMAS CAROL was done.  Of course, that way I will be able to start traveling with Dec-eease sooner.  The five weeks spent on our fifth annual production again was very gratifying (and kept my mind off the walking problems and impending operation). Our 4 nights of performances were attended by almost 500 people, and the cash contributions totaled almost $3700.  The total cash contributions to the local area food shelves for our first five years have now exceeded $16,700 – not too bad!!!

This evening, peering out a window, I will only be able to get a partial view of the live Nativity on the common.  “On my list” was to acquire an old large Nativity set, and I stumbled upon one in March in an antique center in Massachusetts.  Once I verified that all the figures were there in the original box I could not write my $45 check fast enough.  The dealer had marked it 1960s, but in my researching the Japanese hallmark and the store it was originally sold in I am sure it is from the mid 1950s.


I did get some of the house decorated for Christmas, mainly my miniature tree collection in the kitchen and part of the dining room.

Part of my tree collection on the kitchen mantle

Part of my tree collection on the kitchen mantle

Dining room, partially done

Dining room, partially done

Part of my review of last year’s travel blogs was to start thinking about what I would do in 2013.  At this time in 2011 only the Yellowstone adventure with Betty, Scott and Rich was planned, but evolved into about 72 nights away from home.  Nothing is in the works for 2013, but I am not worried – things just happen.  I went to sleep deciding that my first adventure will be to return to my favorite Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  This morning my TravelZoo email was offering a Berkshire special – The Red Lion Inn.  I immediately bought my voucher (good until late May) representing an over 40% savings for two nights.  I may just have to buy another.  I remembered in my review that I could not share Pompeii, Sorrento, The Isle of Capri, the Amalfi Coast and Positano with you due to my laptop being hacked.  So as I convalesce and start developing travel adventures for 2013 I will share 2013’s ideas with you along with some “catch-up” for 2012.

But, most importantly:



As always, yours, RAY

and, this image taken at 8:30 Christmas Eve from my front door of the Live Nativity on the Common.


Given to my mother in 1927

Given to my mother in 1927

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7 Responses to MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM WALPOLE – December 24th 2012

  1. James Killoran says:

    Great images, Ray. Keep traveling

    Jim Killoran

  2. Arnie Silverstone says:

    Hi Ray,
    Glad you are on the mend and will be out and about creating more travel blogs.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ……
    Arnie Silverstone (Star Island photography teacher)

  3. Delores says:

    hi ray – it was a great night for the live nativity – but WAY cold. still keeping fingers crossed for a few snowflakes for a white christmas tomorrow. oops – i mean today. wish the boys would go sleep soon so santa can deliver packages and fill stockings. will touch base with you later. glad to hear initial reports of NO pain. Delores (and fellas)

  4. Jim says:

    Good morning, Ray — and the brightest and merriest of Christmases! Thanks for the post-op news; I’m glad to hear that the surgery was a success and the pain non-existent (it would be much
    worse were it vice-versa!). And when I got up just now, I noticed that we had had some overnight
    snow, so we may even have that White Christmas of which we’re all supposed to be dreaming.
    Hang in there on the rehabilitation and do give a shout-out when you need help/food/care/attention.
    Feliz Navidad!

  5. Marian says:

    Merry Christmas Ray. Beautiful photos, which brightened my season spirits. Nice to hear that you are doing so well after the surgery. Continue to mend for your 2013 ventures.
    Have a super New Year.

  6. Juanita says:

    Ray – I didn’t realize you had foot surgery – praying for a speedy recovery for you. I am so sad I missed The Christmas Carol this year but was unable to go either night. The Christmas pictures of your home are beautiful! God Bless you always and a blessed Christmas and New Year! Love and prayers always!

  7. Annie says:

    Ouch! You may be pain free but it was a bit painful for me just reading about your surgery. What a trooper you are! So glad to know you’re on the mend and making grand plans for 2013. We’ll be patiently waiting. Happy New Year!

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