Our Blog, and random thoughts

The home of our thoughts

Holiday Blues

Mental health is really nothing to mess around with. It can really mess you up internally and physically.

As someone that has dealt with this all my adult life, even though I run a page that helps bring holiday cheer to others, and at times it brings cheer to me, the depression the season brings still looms like a black cloud. I can outrun it for a time, but eventually it will catch up. I am sure all this stems from living in less than modest household growing up, and multiple disappointments by those that were in my life during those times, but knowing that still doesn't change the fact that this season is hard on me. I know that I am not the only one in the world that deals with these issues, but putting myself out there and admitting it publicly, will hopefully help to make me stronger.

Moral or the story here is, don't hide your mental health issues, put it out there, you'd be surprised how many people around you will be willing to support your and help to lift you up. More attention is on mental health these days than ever before, and help is out there. If you don't know where to go, ask a friend or family member to help you find the help. I am bad about this myself, but just remember just because you have mental health issues does not make you less of a person, or broken in any way. Everyone is wired differently, and it's just a learning experience on how handle and manage you mental health, just as you have to do with physical health (exercise, eat right, etc).

Thank you for reading, I am stepping down off my soapbox now.

J.

Crazy Season

Wow… just wow….

It's been 2 weeks since my last blog update, well it's been a busy crazy two weeks. We've been out seeing displays in Olympia all the way to Montesano, and parts yonder there. Also did our first run on British Columbia this year too. Hopefully we'll be able to do another before the season ends. Also we brought on an editor to help with travel to displays in the southend, Katrina has been a great addition to our team, she is just as display crazy as we are. She has gotten to numerous displays we would have not been able to get to ourselves, so helping add content to our page.

Tonight we co-host Woodinville Wonderland, so it should be exciting.

The End of an Era/A loss in the Family

Well today….Official release of the news we've known for awhile….. This is the final year for Woodinville Wonderland. At first when we learned the news, we were pretty awe-struck. How could this be the last year of our biggest family tradition? What are we going to do now? How will this impact the other Christmas displays in the region? This is one of the biggest home displays in the region, and certainly one of the most popular, as it's been highlighted in the new numerous times, and they have been approached by "The Great Christmas Light Fight" numerous times, which they have politely declined each time.

As we stated in my post on Facebook, this all started with the help of the "Z" man, aka Mark, the proprietor of Woodinville Wonderland, as just a simple 1 page paper list. That one page over a few seasons eventually became 4, covering multiple states, a province, and commercial paid displays. It has now grown into a yearly project, and takes hours of work, which is all unpaid, except an occasional donation now and then. As it started we met this nice man who started the conversation off with "Merry Christmas" as we walked into his large walking Christmas display that was synchronized to music. We continued the conversation and learned about how the display was run, and time involved in doing so. That man was Mark. We did not know his name at the time but subsequent visits, we learned his name. Over the years we've seen the display change due death in his family, death in wife's family, and even the passing of their dogs, each of those years an element of the display was a remembrance to them.
As those years passed, Mark and us got more and more acquainted, and we eventually got on the conversation of making a list of area displays. At that time is was limited to Bothell Woodinville, North Seattle region, even though he was connected to displayers much further away. So we would send him new addresses to add, and the list grew, after a couple of years of that, we took over the list, and created the Facebook page to use to distribute the list. At that time I had no idea how this was going to grow into what it is today.

Sorry, I've gotten onto a tangent there.

Woodinville Wonderland has been a staple of the Christmas light community for years now. Has even been highlighted on KOMO4 news when Steve Pool was doing "Pool's Parade of Lights" It has become a tradition, a required, a must see display EVERY year for 100s if not 1000s of people in the Pacific NW. Today it was announced this year is the "Swan Song" year, the finale, THE END. This news is bound to take lots of people off guard, just as it did with us. It leaves us wondering how many people will drive by it next year and be shocked to see it not there. Woodinville Wonderland to us over the years, was not only a tradition, it felt like the display was part of my family, maybe even a part of my soul. We had the honor to run, host and manage Woodinville Wonderland for a few days in 2017 which is an experience not forgotten, that over the years that trust level had been built. We still remember the first year we were given "Yard Privlages" for the sake of taking photos. For a few years we were "the official photographers" of Woodinville Wonderland. That was such an over the moon moment, given the go ahead to go into the inner sanctum, the lawn, where the display was, "No Mans Land", the place that got you onto Santa's "Naughty List". Another of those moments was when were invited inside for something warm to drink, in this case Hot Buttered Rum, a specialty of Mark's we learned. It was very good. This is when we got to know Tracy. We'd finally made them friends, not just us watching the lights and talking to Mark. We are blessed to call Mark and Tracy our friends at this point. We know the loss of the display is heartbreaking, and hard to fathom for some, but the reality of it is here. As I've been taken in under the wings of not just Mark, but other members of the NWCLAP network, they are my family of displayers, so a loss in the family is always tough. Last year it was Christmas in Kent, this year, Woodinville Wonderland. The show will go on, eventually, but not at it's current location, it will be in Chelan, and probably viewable from Manson. It tugs at our hearts to see such a loved display come to an end, but as they say, "All Good Things….Must Come to an End"


Here is the excerpt from my FB post about it

Time for a heartfelt message. I'll have a longer one later today on the blog on www.pacificnwchristmaslights.com
This project was started with the help of a great man named 
Mark. Mark owns, operates, and is the face of Woodinville Wonderland. Over the years we've become more than acquaintances, I consider him a dear friend, even though we mainly connect through his display and lighting groups we are both a part of.
He originally maintained a short list of displays, I later started helping list more and more, and took on doing the list myself. This lead to the creation of this Facebook page, which highlights and lists the displays, and now maps them out too for your convenience. 5 seasons later here we are growing in popularity and notoriety, still waiting to be discovered, highlighted by local media, until then we will continue to grow organically with your word of mouth and sharing on social media.
The loss of Woodinville Wonderland to us is like a stake in the heart, it's been our "go to: display for many years, and has been a family tradition for us, and numerous other families over the years. We even had the honor of running/hosting the show a few days last year, which was such a amazing experience. Next year without the display, it's going to be difficult on us 1. because we are so attached to the display and the magic of Christmas it instills in us, 2. It's been such a part of the community for so long, it's integrated into our lives and the lives of others leaving a hole inside us, with nothing of the same level to fill it, and 3. Mark and Tracy have been so kind to us over the years, seeing them during the holidays will be sorely missed.
May the elements of the display live on in other displays, and we do wish the absolute very best to Mark and Tracy in their future life adventures, wherever their path will take them in the many years to come.


Building Content

So, tonight after visiting a few displays, and a long work day. I decide to work more on the webpage, and stay up later than I should, AGAIN. As a result I have started the integration of the maps into the webpage itself, so far so good, not sure if I totally like it or not yet, but I have plenty of time to adjust and tweak this as I go along. I discovered that one of my compatriot pages, does the maps in a very interesting and unique way, I need to discover more of how and what they did, as I would like that similar functionality eventually as well on mine. I am enjoying having my new web building program as it is making details like this blog easy to do and to manage. Well time for sleep my friends, thanks for reading