Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cross Christmas in Orlando December 11

Tuesday, December 11, I arose after sleeping like the dead and headed for sunny Florida. Well, I was looking for sunshine, anyway!  I had a nice drive through the panhandle and made it to the Orlando area unscathed. For those keeping track, I finished The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell and started listening to the latest Dean Koontz "Odd Thomas" book.

In general, I'm not really a Koontz fan, although I've read or listened to countless of his books. He creates interesting plots, but his tendency to leave the story and wax philosophical every few pages really grates on me. As in, "Judy cowered in the closet, holding her breath as the crazed murderer rampaged through the house. Judy considered herself a Christian, but perhaps she didn't pray as much as she should. The power of prayer is an extraordinary thing. On any given day, even under the most mundane of circumstances, any ordinary and small human being can reach out and connect to the magnificent power that is God. This truly is an every day miracle that many people don't consider, and should in more situations than merely when they find themselves in danger..... Blah blah blah. ....
Get back to the story already!!
But Koontz's series about "Odd Thomas," the ordinary fry cook who can see, and help, the spirits of the "lingering dead," is original and fun. It's told in first person, and the title character is a deep, self-examining young man who is trying to discern his purpose in life in spite of the strange occurrances and unusual circumstances in which he often finds himself.  Koontz's style of writing works perfectly in this character.  In addition, "Odd Thomas" has a wonderful sense of humor and sometimes the things that happen, and his observations, are quite amusing.
It's a terrific bonus that the audiobook reader is perfect.  This is much more entertaining audiobook than the Patricia Cornwell one, and if this guy reads the whole series then I highly recommend it (I've read the other books in the series the old-fashioned way).

Now, on to Orlando.

It was Daneen Cross who contacted me to ask me to come to their display and all the time I have been communicating with her I thought she was one of the rare female "extreme" decorators.  I was totally knocked breathless when I drove up to her house and saw how bright it is!

But it turns out that this is the work of her husband, Scott...who is the shyer one of the pair.  Daneen calls herself the publicity person, and she has such a wonderful and fun, outgoing personality that this is a very good thing.  The Cross' live on a cul-de-sac and they had a boatload of people come to the concert. Daneen also gave me the grand tour of the inside of the house, which has one entire tree just decorated in blue and orange and dedicated to the Florida Gators.  Wish I'd gotten a photo of that!
She had gone out of her way to put out a lovely spread before the show, but because I did not arrive early enough to eat, I only had one deviled egg, but it was very tasty!
It was hard for me to judge, but I think there were at least 100 people out there for the concert, which was a nice crowd, and everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the display, which was just jam-packed with characters for the kids' enjoyment.  Here are some of the photos I took:

The charity is "Autism Speaks"

Sorry my photos are kind of blurry. It was impossible to get everything in!

The gorgeous white tree is the centerpiece of it all, and that lifesize Santa and Elves are really gorgeous. Plus there's a train going around the base of the tree!

A Florida Gator?

I was very happy to see two other decorators at this concert as well.  Bob Walker and his son, who hosted me in Winter Park, FL in 2010, and Michael Beason, a decorator who had also attended the 2010 concert at Bob's house.  After the show, Michael and his lovely daughter Katie treated me to dinner, and Daneen came along as well.  I think I managed to get her intrigued enough about the network of decorators in Florida that she and Scott may be inclined to join them for some of their mini workshops and events.  That's me, making matches and spreading Christmas cheer wherever I go!!
Thank you, Cross Family, for the chance to perform at your magnificent display and meet another wonderful and fun Christmas family!!

No comments:

Post a Comment