Between the years

View of a sunset from Indian Rock in Berkeley with views over the bay towards San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
Sunset from Indian Rock in Berkeley

Christmas is officially over I suppose. Out tree is still up and will be until early January. We had a very quiet couple of days. Since we have no family around to visit and mostly everyone of our friends away to the snow or sick (with Covid or otherwise), we just hung out at home.

On the 24th we went out in the very late afternoon to go to Indian Rock park in Berkeley to see the sun set and look at a house that is covered with fairy lights from chimney to basement. The kids always enjoy going there, too. There are so many secret passages to explore and rock stairs and not stairs to climb that it does not get boring and we adults sat with all the others there and waited for the sun to slowly sink behind San Francisco city views – so pretty every single time.

House decorated with lots of fairy lights and a lighted up small Santa on the chimney
Christmas house

So this is the house I mentioned. It’s very close to our first apartment. I want to say we ‘discovered’ it but honestly it’s hard to miss. The decorations grew a little over the years but the lights were there as long as I remember. I always wonder if they put them up themselves or have someone do it for them and how long it takes and what the neighbors think about it. It sure is a beacon of light and I needed that this Christmas Eve. I leave you with a couple more pictures.

Angel figurine in front of the sunset
Sunset angel
Group of ice bear figurines with santa hats and merry christmas message
Ice bear merry christmas

On the way back home we stopped at another holiday display in El Cerrito. There once was a man called Sundar Shadi who started a holiday display in this little town in 1949 and continued to put it up and extended it until 1996. Now it is put up on the hillside by volunteers.

Christmas display at night
Shadi Christmas display in El Cerrito

By the time we were heading back the sky was on fire. It always blows my mind how red the clouds get after the sun is gone. It’s like magic.

Sunset over the bay with views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge and El Cerrito city lights
Sunset good night

We had a quick dinner and the kids played us some Christmas carols on their clarinets before we unwrapped our presents. Everyone was really happy with the outcome.

Part of me was a tiny bit sad that we could not see family in person this year. I know we made the decision together and we all needed the rest (and traveling around this time of year is not rest), but still. I wish instead of AI they would invent beaming people back and forth – sigh.

Speaking of AI. Have you tried out ChatGPT yet? “Overall, ChatGPT can be used to create chatbots and conversational agents for a variety of applications, including customer service, social media, education, and personal assistance.” That is part of the answer I got when I asked the chat bot what I can use it for. But it also will write you stories given a prompt. I hope my son never realizes the potential. He hates writing with all his heart and this would fix all his problems – even in German. I am still trying to figure out how to feel about it. Same is true about Dall-E which you can find on the same website. What do you think?


12 thoughts on “Between the years”

  1. That light display is magical! Your family’s Christmas celebration seems very warm and cozy. But I completely understand missing family members. We were separated from my family for many years, and I wished they could be teleported. I agree;  why can we have AI but not beam individuals back and forth? ❤️

    It’s funny that you mention ChatGPT! I only started playing around with it last week! It’s quite interesting. I plan to talk about it on my podcast next week. I had no idea DALL-E existed! Oh no, I’m not going to get anything done this weekend…

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those light displays are gorgeous – so magical! I wish we had some light display that we could walk through; where we live everything is on private residences, so we drive and then park and look at the lights, but I always get slight pangs of jealousy when I see interactive light displays and these ones look especially stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is such a beautiful house display! We always go to a neighborhood where just about every house is done up in all sorts of Christmas lights and decorations. We want to know if there’s a stipulation when you buy a house in the neighborhood that you MUST do a massive Christmas lights display, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you also call it “between the years” 🙂 It sounds like you had a lovely, quiet Christmas but yeah, I feel you on being sad that you couldn’t be with family. Me, too. When will the event the “beamer”?

    Is your tree still up? 🙂


    1. Ha, until I read your post I did not even realize it’s such a German thing to say 😉
      I always leave the tree up until January 6th and just took it down today. It started loosing the needles or might have kept a little longer. The snowflakes are still in the window though. Those can stay until winter is over, right?


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