Ghosts of Christmas Past / Fantasmas de Navidad Pasado

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES OVER THE YEARS. The top photo is Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 1985. We gave our parrot, Sherlock, on San Geraldo’s shoulder, to friends in Connecticut when we left for San Diego in 1993.

Hand-reared by us, Sherlock was a sweetheart (with us). He became progressively more aggresive during breeding season and, after three stitches in my lower lip, we decided he (who probably should have been named Shirley) was too much for us (me) to handle.

One of these days, I’ll share photos and stories of our 8-1/2 years together. The one time we both openly sobbed together was after we gave Sherlock away. The friends understood and already had quite a menagerie. Sherlock was loved and, within a few days, he was calling the dogs by name.

The memories are sweet; the moves were an adventure. I can’t help thinking of the friends we left behind. Some of those friendships continue. Some didn’t survive the distances. Some are still missed.


RECUERDOS DE NAVIDAD A LO largo de los años. La foto superior es Georgetown, Washington, DC, 1985. Le dimos nuestro loro, Sherlock, en el hombro de San Geraldo, a unos amigos en Connecticut cuando nos fuimos a San Diego en 1993.

Criado a mano por nosotros y un amor (con nosotros), él Se volvió progresivamente más agresivo durante la temporada de reproducción y, después de tres puntos en mi labio inferior, decidimos que él (quien probablemente debería haberse llamado Shirley) era demasiado para nosotros (yo) para manejarlo.

Uno de estos días, compartiré fotos e historias de nuestros 8 años y medio juntos. La única vez que los dos sollozamos abiertamente juntos fue después de entregar a Sherlock. Los amigos entendieron y ya tenían una gran colección de animales. Sherlock era amado y, a los pocos días, estaba llamando a los perros por su nombre.

Los recuerdos son dulces; las mudanzas fueron una aventura. No puedo evitar pensar en los amigos que dejamos atrás. Algunas de esas amistades continúan. Algunos no sobrevivieron a las distancias. Algunos todavía se extrañan.

• Marina del Rey, California. 1982. Our second Christmas together, after our first in Boston. The tree was dropping its needles before we got it to the car.
• Marina del Rey, California. 1982. Nuestra segunda navidad juntos, después de la primera en Boston. El árbol dejó caer sus agujas antes de que lo lleváramos al coche.
Georgetown, Washington, D.C. 1984
• San Geraldo on a ladder to decorate the top of our 14-foot/4.2 meter tree.
• San Geraldo en una escalera para decorar la cima del árbol de 4,2 metros / 14 pies.
New Haven, Connecticut. 1986.
• Finding our tree. Guilford, Connecticut. 1991.
• Encontrar nuestro árbol. Guilford, Connecticut. 1990.
San Francisco, California. 1998.
• Viola’s Resort, Palm Springs, California. Our labor of love. 2000.
• Viola’s Resort, Palm Springs, California. Nuestro trabajo de amor. 2000.
Sevilla, Spain. 2011.
• Rockefeller Center during a visit to New York, 2011.
• Rockefeller Center durante una visita a Nueva York, 2011.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

23 thoughts on “Ghosts of Christmas Past / Fantasmas de Navidad Pasado”

  1. Wonderful collection, you must be more organized than I am, it would take me hours to find that many photos, then I wouldn’t have a clue what years they are from.

    1. David:
      These are the ones I named with words like Christmas, Xmas, and tree. Not difficult to find. I have more that might need the help of Sherlock Holmes.

  2. Lovely tree collection there, and I never knew about the bird, though I’ve heard they can be quite mean. Carlos had a friend in Miami who worked Ocean Drive with his parrots and they were sometimes very mean, making business very slow.

    Sidenote: in that top photo SG is giving me Mandy Patinkin realness.

    1. Bob:
      Will share soon about Sherlock. A groomer at our pet supply place in Connecticut said Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrots had chronic PMS. No exaggeration As for Mandy Patinkin, I suppose I can see it in the photo, but believe me, SG was SO MUCH BETTER than him at that age. Also, his hair was not as dark as it appears in the photo. At the time, and with just the mustache, others said, Patrick Bergin (Sleeping with the Enemy)… except for SG’s sky blue eyes. My mother thought Tom Selleck, so made him Tom Selleck’s sweater one year for Christmas, because “If it looks good on Tom Selleck, it will look good on Jerry.”

  3. We have never decorated very much for Christmas. I love to “see” decorations, but not to “do” them! The parrot ornament I had in my blog yesterday actually hangs up inside year-round. Thanks for sharing your photos from past Christmases!

  4. Your New Haven tree was BIG! It blows my mind that you were living in DC some of the same years I was visiting there with my family, when I was just graduating from high school. Did you ever go to Lambda Rising on Dupont Circle? I used to sneak away from the family and buy books there! (Which fortunately they never found.)

    1. Steve:
      We hauled the tree home on top of our Honda Civic wagon. Hanging off both ends. In a wind storm. It was so much fun to have a tree that size. Our only mistake: We strung it with 750 lights and it was so bright we couldn’t look directly at it without blinding ourselves. Oh, yes, we loved Lambda Rising! And I remember you! You were so adorable and always looked so furtive. The only book MY parents ever found was “The Lord Won’t Mind.” My mother found it in my sister’s room after she married and moved to England. She was convinced it was mine and that I left it there when I went away to school. In my sister’s closet? I read it years later. I wish!

    1. Judy C:
      Sadly, we have no photos of our very first tree. I’m sure I have photos of many other years.

    1. Debra:
      Thanks! I always thought SG was handsome, never thought much of myself. You should have seen us driving home in the wind with that tree atop our Honda Civic Wagon! 10 minutes felt like an entire day.

  5. “Hand-reared by us, Sherlock was a sweetheart (with us). He became progressively more aggressive during breeding season and, after three stitches in my lower lip, we decided he (who probably should have been named Shirley) was too much for us (me) to handle.”

    Can I assume that, unlike dogs and cats, parrots can’t be fixed?

    1. Kirk:
      Yellow-naped Amazons can only be sexed surgically, which didn’t seem worth the risks. As for fixing them, also risky we were told. When Sherlock’s hormones weren’t raging during those several weeks, he was unbelievably affectionate and gentle. He would lie on his back to have his belly rubbed!

  6. Such good memories! And all such fine trees. I have to say of all the place you have lived, the Sevilla, Spain place is still my favorite. I just love the features and architecture elements in that place. I would love to have shutters on oversized windows like that.

    Hope you Christmas was a good one.

    1. Mistress G Borghese:
      We’ve had some grandish homes, but both agree that the apartment in Sevilla was our favorite in many ways. Such an exceptional intro to Spanish life. Those shutters were on 7 small wrought-iron balconies. Every room had one and the living/dining room had three.

  7. These are marvelous. Thank you for sharing. I love seeing folks through time this way, especially knowing love runs through it all.

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