By Jesse Utz 

Experiencing Christmas cheer in the coulee

Jess Shut Up


Saturday morning Karrie, Nicollette and I got up and went to the Christmas Bazaar at Center School. It was a great time. We visited with friends we had not seen in months. We also purchased a few goodies and treasures we found there. I was also reminded of years ago, going to this same event. It seemed bigger then or maybe it was because I was smaller. The painted walnut tree ornaments are still there. I remember as a kid we always got one or two of those to hang on the tree. As a matter of fact, I still have a Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.

I also remember, from childhood, there was the smell of food cooking in the kitchen; it seemed like a bustling area of excitement. Cinnamon rolls, soup, and other goodies coming out filling the air with yummy aroma. There was also a fishing area, where a small child could fling a makeshift fishing pole over a wall, and when you felt a tug you would jerk the pole back and see what prize you caught. But the big event was the presence of Santa Claus. He was usually sitting in a big chair and listening to a child’s Christmas wish. A mini candy cane was the prize and a picture on Saint Nick’s lap. I remember it being a big, all day event.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Saturday seemed to be a scaled back version of what I remember; the place was packed with handmade crafts, goodies and nick- knacks, very little for the small kids. Unless you were a big kid: there was a large knife collection of quality cutlery from a local hero. Dan Arroyo from Promised Land Hobbies and Gifts had a spread of knives and other sharp tools that only a wannabe mountain man could enjoy. Congratulations on your recent marriage, Dan.

The family had a good time talking with all our friends and catching up. We also went to the chamber of commerce wine tasting and auction that night. It was a blast, although we were working instead of playing. Once again, we caught up with friends and fellow neighbors in the business community. It was a sold-out event and a success by just looking at the smiles on everyone’s faces, although the wine might have something to do with that. A lot of hard work was put into this annual event, and kudos to all who were involved and supported it. Don’t miss out next year; rumor is it will be even better than this year.

As we cruise into the holidays heart of the season, a reminder to watch for those that are struggling this time of year. If you see your neighbor, friend or even a stranger in dire need of help, reach out. On many occasions for many different reasons, this time of year can be difficult and even depressing for some. Even the kindest gesture of picking up someone on the side of the road, giving someone a couple bucks standing in line at the store, shoveling snow, or a friendly hello can sometimes make the difference in someone’s life that can change the outcome of their day. And, hopefully, they will pay it forward and help the next person they see needing help. This might cause a great chain reaction in our community and create a true Christmas Cheer among us all.


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