The song is ended but the melody lingers on …

Newtown is gradually fading from page one backwards into the newspapers and television reports. It’s only a few days, but it’s almost Christmas. People are busy, distracted … and no one wants to think about it now.

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There are the families, of course, and for them, Christmas is not coming this year … but the rest of the world is moving on. It would be nice if something more than a lot of hot air came from this awful event … but this is not the first and I fear it won’t be the last such massacre.

We have a kind of national ADHD about tragedy. We talk about nothing else for a few days, mention it in passing for a few more, then for most people, it’s over. Time to move on to the next new thing.

Throughout the United States, the flag is still flying at half mast. Just in case you’ve forgotten, our flag has not.

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Not yet Thanksgiving, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Thanksgiving is still a week away, but you wouldn’t guess it around here.

The television stations are preempting shows we like with sappy Christmas specials, many of which are decades old.

Meanwhile, around the valley, the nurseries and grocery stores are displaying wreaths, baskets and miniature Christmas trees. Yes indeed, the merchants are gearing up for what they hope will be the annual spending orgy.

Typically, the stores in this area wait until just after Thanksgiving to start selling Christmas. But there’s a recession, in case you somehow missed it. Most folks around here are broke, so I guess the local shops believe we need extra time to get serious about spending money we don’t have.

These photographs were taken today at the local grocery store. It’s only the leading edge. There’s a lot more to come.