Christmas in my hometown
Moving as a child, I wanted to stay in one place. Growing up in a military family, we moved frequently. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful life full of travel and adventure. But when I was in high school, my father retired from the Air Force and I wanted nothing more than a place to call home. Christmases growing up were filled with presents, joy, and traditions. Traditions that I carry on still today. But I did not grow up with extended family, family gatherings and relatives coming to visit at the holidays. And now, Christmas in my hometown is special.
When I first settled here, Griffiss Air Force base was in Rome. Home to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), Rome, New York was a thriving community. The population decreased drastically with the closure of the base, and the loss of jobs and people really hurt the city. But the small city has worked so hard to survive and thrive.
Rome, New York
What I found in Rome, NY when my father retired and my younger brother and I “begged” him to stay still exists today.
- An Italian heritage that still thrives and people try to keep their traditions alive. (I’m not Italian but I love making and keeping traditions).
- Family owned businesses and restaurants that have been around for generations
- The best pizza, hands down of anywhere.
- A great location – I can be in the city, in the country with beautiful red barns or down by the river watching eagles all within a 5 minute drive from my home.
- Neighbors that watch over your house when you are away and neighbors that will stop over for a beer after working around their house or just to say hi.
- History with the Erie Canal, Fort Stanwix, a native American portage, and Francis Bellamy, writer of the Pledge of Allegiance lived here.
- A local dance studio that puts on top performances including the Nutcracker.
- Huge parade held each year in HONOR of America – actually a week of celebration.
- Small businesses that remind us it’s okay to work hard to make a living.
The spirit of the Season is greatly felt as Christmas lights and the giant Christmas Tree put the whole city in jovial Christmas spirit. Family and friends gather around to enjoy the sparkling and glistening scene. People walk through Vogel Park for the beautiful serene lights. They enjoy the Christmas village and city tree in our downtown area. And people decorate their houses to spread Christmas cheer.
Now many of you are probably thinking wow, she loves her city. It’s not without its problems. But after traveling all over the world, Rome is Home. Sure, there may be better places to live. However, home is what you make of it. Always look for the best and not for the worst. And most of all, Rome is the family I didn’t have growing up. It is the people, places and history in Rome that makes it special. Christmas in my hometown is special and I hope you find that special place that means something to you.
Thanks to all of you
My heartfelt thank you for all of your views, comments and likes throughout the year. I hope your Christmas is filled with joy, laughter, good health and most importantly, love.
Debbi Marquette Photography is located in Upstate New York at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. She is an award winning and published travel, landscape and bald eagle photographer specializing in artistic, authentic, and memorable landscape and wildlife photography. Debbi travels frequently, lives near the mountains and constantly has a camera in her hand to capture photographs so others can see the beauty of our world.
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