The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for New Year's Day

Te Deum
By Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day's work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.


We got a late start on the last day of 2007 and as a result ended up having a quiet night, though some people had been making noise earlier about going to see the midnight fireworks in Gettysburg -- we had pancakes and sausage at lunchtime and didn't leave for Harrisburg until after noon, and it takes about an hour to get there even on a low-traffic day. We went to the Whitaker Center, which in addition to having the usual Harsco Science Center exhibits (Health and Wellness, Mathematics in Nature and Art, Pennsylvania Environments, Bodies In Motion) has a holiday model train display and a miniature steam engine replica. My father-in-law had a moderately large HO scale display under construction in his garage, taking up the entire second car bay, so trains are always a popular activity with him.

One of the train displays at the Whitaker Center's holiday display.

This tree has Thomas the Tank Engine trains as ornaments above a working Thomas train.

A neighborhood in Pittsburgh, complete with Steelers cable car.

Somewhere on the Erie Lackawanna line (my father-in-law's grandfather worked on that railroad).

Each of the trees was decorated in a different color scheme or according to a different theme.

This train encircled a pair of Santas moving a hand cart.

And this tiny train encircled a tiny tree.

And downstairs, where the ride-on steam engine was running, were larger drive-through decorations.

We stopped at the massive party store Eiserman's in Hanover to look at the incredible collection of tchotchkes and collectibles, then came back and watched the last sunset of the year. For dinner we had the Swedish food that we have on Christmas Eve if my in-laws are in town; this year they were celebrating with apaulled's youngest brother in Oregon, so we waited till tonight for meatballs, farmer's cheese, lingonberries, rye bread, etc. Then we compared the virtues of crocheted vs. knitted Dalek patterns, played pirate card games and half-watched the Music City Bowl (I think Kentucky won but I really wasn't paying attention) and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Clemson/Auburn, they should have called it the Tiger Bowl).

Happy New Year!

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