Happy New Year, y’all! Monday, February 8 begins the 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year ~ it’s the year of the Monkey, the Red Monkey, the Red Fire Monkey?. . . . I’m not sure how that works. Chinese traditions, lore, superstitions, culture? It’s all intriguing.
Before our Double A Trio moved to Germany, they spent several of their Spring breaks with us. Granddaddy OF and I get a big buzz out of planning projects and excursions for and with our grandpeeps.
In March of 2007, our Spring Break plans included a trip to Chinatown.
The clue for the day was presented by a Chinese dragon (who was once a goldfish ~ or so goes the tale). As we were dressing for the trip, Chloe suggested she and Emma have their hair fixed with “needles sticking out.” Would chopsticks work? Worth a try!
Emma and Chloe, the clue, and hair dos.
After dim sum at Phoenix, we set out for a little sightseeing and shopping. Our stroll down the main street was interrupted by a small procession. Drums and cymbals and lions, oh my! Very colorful and verrry loud. We had no idea what the occasion was; the dancers accompanied a car a few blocks to a building and then it was over. A surprise treat on our little excursion.
Stepping back a little further in time . . . When our daughter and son were in grade school, they participated in a group called Explorers ~ an extracurricular program for creative students. One evening as we were hugging good-night, they dropped a “by the way” bomb. By the way as in they needed a costume for a play the next day ~ the two of them were playing the part of a Chinese Dragon. The very next day! They scooted off to bed and their daddy and I went to work. A box, spray paint, Styrofoam packing pieces, 2 Leggs eggs, and a big piece of my prize wool blend felt ~ a couple hours of work ~ no image to go by but that which was in our own imaginations ~ we had our dragon! The next day, the very next day, in less than a minute ~ two speaking lines between them ~ our children’s moment and the dragon’s moment?~ over!
No biggie. As a preschool teacher, Girl Scout Leader, and such, I figured the dragon had a good life ahead. Many little legs paraded the dragon hither and yon over the years. I “retired” and into storage it went; when we moved, it came with us. I don’t know why ~ that dragon takes up a lot of room.
Years later at Chloe’s 5th birthday party ~ A Princess party of course ~ our dragon was fitted with a fogger. To enter the castle, each princess had to slip past the scary, smoke breathing dragon.
Anyway! Back to 2007. On the drive home, I got to thinking about that little parade we had watched in Chinatown.
While the girls modeled their new dresses ~ much more suited to “needles sticking out” hair dos. . . .
. . . . .I put my plan into action. Out of storage came our “Chinese” dragon, a tambourine, and cymbals. Another parade! Chloe had been fascinated by the lion dancers as they lifted and lowered the masks. Let me tell you ~ that girl had the moves down pat as she maneuvered the dragon’s head up and down.
Chloe and Sam and the Dragon
A great day. A fun adventure! And the dragon? ~ a little more worn ~ is back in storage. Why? Folks, you just never know what will happen next at the Sidewalk House. Gung Hay Fat Choy! and Hugs!