15 Dec
If I were to give you a play-by-play of my Thursday, it would begin with waking in the middle of having an inappropriate dream.  Inappropriate in that I was dating someone inappropriate in the dream world.  Things were serious; we were holding hands.  [gasp.]  That’s all I can say about that.

I went about my day, spending my morning in Blooming Prairie with Pastor Charlie and Pastor Heidi.   We were working to get things in order for the annual BP Christmas Wish tree.  It included running to the grocery store for gift certificates, going thru applications, and shopping for sweatshirts to give to teenagers from the local screenprinting place – Sports Stitch.  It was here I ran into a dear, dear member of ROG.  One who, as he was leaving, decided to affectionately grab/squeeze my arm awkwardly and make my arm jiggle.  That was my morning.  I spent my early afternoon in Austin.  Then, come 3pm, I played hooky.  Paige and I met in Owatonna and drove north to Fort Snelling where we hopped on the lightrail to downtown Minneapolis.  It was holidazzle time, baby.
Holidazzle.  The annual nightly light parade down Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.  It was a wonderful excuse to escape to the city where no one knew us.  A place where we could be anonymous.  A place where I didn’t need to be Pastor Lindsay for just a few hours.  It’s a weight off my shoulders; a break.
We ate at The News Room, a great restaurant with walls covered in newsprint and bathrooms not clearly marked as men’s or women’s.  A couple with their toddler-aged boy sat next to us.  The boy kept looking at me and yelling, “Hello there!”  His parents were a bit embarrassed, I believe; I loved it.
Waiting for the parade to begin.
After dinner, we stood on the sidewalk with hundreds of other people and waited for the light parade to begin.  The light parade of cheesy music.  The light parade of kids strapped securely onto very slow moving floats.  The light parade with everyone from the Hansel and Gretel, to the Wizard of Oz, to people in spinning lightbulbs and circus trains, and to Santa’s workshop.
When the parade was over, we walked on the mall a bit.  It’s funny – you always watch the light parade as it goes in one direction with it’s cheesy music and strapped-in children.  You never wonder how the lighted floats and strapped-in children return to their point of origin.  Last night, Paige and I discovered the secret.  They hop on old buses and are bused back to the beginning, so just as Paige and I were about to cross the street, this bus of fairy tale characters, still in odd costumes, stage makeup, and crammed onto a bus, drove right past us.  The Tin Man stared into the depths of my soul.
He knew who I had been inappropriately holding hands with in my dreams.
It was absolutely hilarious, this bus of characters.  The Tin Man next to the giraffe from the circus float. The little kid mice sitting next to a spinning lightbulb.  All friends.  All tired from a long, cold ride of waving.  All awesome.  Thanks, Holidazzle, for providing a night of anonymity and a night of free entertainment.
We’re exciting; can’t you tell?

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