(If you must have politics, please scroll down)
Decorate A Vet, an organization that thanks veterans for their military service by putting skilled artisans and volunteers' hands to work.
Jeff Jones, the founder and vice president of Decorate A Vet says when we thank him, "Gotta love the Christmas spirit!" And the expression on his face when he makes this statement is one of joy.
As you'll see in the some of the photos below, the blessings we received from Decorate A Vet go far beyond decorating veterans' homes for Christmas. Permanent home improvements are made!
Home improvements here started five days before the official decoration day of December 7:
I asked that Decorate A Vet fill with gravel a few holes at the point that our back yard (an area for parking our vehicles) and the paved street meet. Jeff said, "We can do better than that." We got a driveway — the first driveway we've ever had for this old house:
|Two loads of gravel arrived.|
|No more miring up in the carport!|
We've long had a macadam area from the front gate to the back porch and the grill area. Over the years, however, weeds have sprung up on the macadam and turned it into soggy ground. I asked for Decorate A Vet to kill some of the weeds on the macadam. Jeff said, "We can do better than that." We got a scooter-way and a patio area:
|Excavation for the scooter-way and patio area begins.|
|The workmen even replace the crumbling landing at the bottom of our back steps.|
|The scooter-way and patio area are almost finished.|
|We can hardly wait to use the new grill area.|
Decorating the outside for Christmas began in earnest on December 7. Decorate A Vet brought nearly 200 volunteers to our house, and they went to work:
|This old house looks so festive!|
|Close-up of the azalea bush next to the front porch. And mulch too!|
|The fence and the holly bush are decked out too.|
On December 9, we had an ice storm, which added more to the Christmas atmosphere here at the AOW household:
|Icicles make the ornaments even more beautiful.|
|Ice, ice everywhere!|
|Close-up of ornaments with icicles.|
On December 10, we had a snowfall, which added even more beauty to all that Decorate A Vet has done for us:
|This old house in a winter-wonderland setting|
|Close-up of the azalea bush after the snowfall|
|Photo taken while standing on the west end of our front porch|
|The view from the center edge of our front porch|
As Charles Dickens penned in A Christmas Carol in 1843:
And so, as Tiny Tim said, "A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!"