The Solstice has passed, and a new year has begun! I’m going to hit the ground running for sure! I had some tough climbs last year that left me out of breath, so it’s time to get back in shape!
Since I’m already in Philadelphia, there’s no better place to start than the famous Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! It’s the Eye of the Beaver!
It wasn’t easy, but I made it! So did a whole bunch of others who all wanted the same photo pose, arms outstretched in triumph before the Philadelphia skyline. Whoo! I was so ready for the new year, but first, I had some other holidays to attend. I’d been invited to spend Festivus with my friends in West Milford, New Jersey, so once I got down from the Rocky Steps, I was on my way east to an important holiday border crossing zone, Washington Crossing State Historical Park!
From this site, McConkey’s Ferry, the forces of General Washington, already weakened by starvation, defeats, and desertions, made a daring crossing of the Delaware River, in a blizzard, on Christmas night, 1776! Their goal, like mine, was Trenton!
I went to the visitor center to ask if they had any boats in my size for crossing the mighty river. I was in luck, they told me, and handed over a rumpled ball of pink plastic. After a few dozen puffs—I’m really working at my lung capacity this year—I was ready to cross the Delaware in a brand new flamingo tube! I sure was glad there were no icebergs this year!
Nevertheless, when you’re short and floating in a flamingo, it takes a while to float across a river as big as the Delaware, and had it been more crowded on the Jersey shore, bystanders would have been just as surprised to see me jump out by the state capitol as the Hessians waking up from their Christmas carousing on the morning of the 26th!
Just up the road, there was a towering monument commemorating this victory that saved General Washington’s career and turned the tide of the war in America’s favor! The Trenton Battle Monument stands at the location where the Continental Army stationed their artillery and laid siege to the city. A statue of George Washington has gazed down upon this now fully American city since October 19, 1893!
I was running out of time to rendezvous with my friends in north Jersey, but I just had to make one more stop along the way. In Grover Mills, not far from Trenton, an invasion of a far different kind was rumored to have taken place in October of 1938!
In this park, the first cylinder of the Martian invasion crash-landed during Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds. Played out as a live news cast, he convinced a million listeners that the US was actually under attack by invaders from Mars! Panic ensued! Throngs of people took to the freeways to flee New Jersey! Folks ordered gas masks by the gross! There were rumors that people killed themselves rather than be harvested as alien food! Luckily for everyone, as Mr. Welles himself announced, the broadcast was a work of fiction and no Martians were actually invading. How’s that for fake news?!
Hiding behind the commemorative plaque, though, was a familiar space being of a different kind. It was the alien from Po-Pohl! I had no idea what it was doing there, but it had come to help me get to my friends’ home for Festivus. What a nice alien! So, we joined hands in the Martians’ field, and with the push of a button, we warped away!
Happy holidays to you and yours, and I look forward to seeing you in 2018!