Thursday, December 20, 2018

Here's To The Next 25 Years... Plus A Loss

Remember when Extreme Christmas Light Displays were all the rage?  Slowly they've died out to just a few remnants of those who enjoy putting on the extreme exterior Displays and Home Tours.  For the past 25 Years I've gone to this one, that still exists in Downtown Glendale on State Avenue, Hosted at David Chuchla's West Valley Home. 

It's exterior has always been impressive and over-the-top, but it's the interior Tour that takes your breath away.   With 70,000 Lights, 50 Christmas Trees, 1,000 Animated Figures and 6,000 Ornaments, it's open every Night in December from 6:00-10:00 p.m..  Twenty-Five Years of a Labor of Love given to his Community, it's brought Joy and Awe to Generations here in the Valley.

It's been an annual Christmas Pilgrimage for Twenty-Five Years to visit the Home and take the Free Tour.  The Family looks forward to it, doesn't seem like Christmas is complete until we have stopped by and said Hi to David.  He began it many years ago with his Partner Gene Wells, who sadly passed, but he continued the Tradition and never missed a Year, even while dealing with personal loss.

While visiting this Year he was telling us he tried a Halloween Extreme Home Tour but it drew a rowdier and less respectful crowd so he'll never do that again.  One must be aware that these are Private Homes and be duly respectful of that fact and be a gracious Guest with manners.  To open up one's Home to the General Public and 'give' of yourself, your time, resources and talents for the Holidays is a huge sacrificial Gift to the Community.

I would think that is why many never do it or aren't up to it, I know I wouldn't be, and so I fully appreciate and have mad respect for those who have and do invite us to come!   You start out as Strangers and soon get to know those Dear Souls who generously Host the annual Event at their Homes.   Sadly, many have passed away over the Years, the Twin Rix Brothers, Bob and Bern of Phoenix, instantly come to Mind.  I can't express how much I miss and grieve the loss of them and what they gave to their Communities for Decades during Christmastime!

I was even more saddened to learn that Bob Rix's Beautiful Historic Home had to be razed and replaced by a new build.  It was a quaint 1920's Era Tudor and just adorable inside.   In latter years there had been storm damage that Dear Bob couldn't repair sufficiently, by then he was in his Seventies.  I Wish the Community had rallied to repair it for him.   That said, he had fought for many Years with the City about his Displays and the right to Host them for the Community.  So perhaps some within the Community had relief the long Run was over.

I am Mindful and sympathetic of the pressures Extreme Displays put upon a Residential Neighborhood to cope with the extreme traffic it draws.  When we go to any of them we are also respectful of the Neighbors, not blocking driveways or making excessive noise that disrupts and interferes with their Holidays.  Many do want a quiet unassuming Holiday Season of Peace at their Homes and that is understandable, I'd be of that ilk myself.  It all can be a double edged Sword of sorts to Host them or endure them if you live in the area and have to cope with the excessive traffic it always brings.

Once a Display gets on the 'Best' List highly publicized, then everyone knows about it and even Bus Tours aren't unusual showing up!   But even with the downside, I confess that I still like them and look forward to them each Year.  Perhaps I wouldn't if it were right next door, I'm really not sure what endurance would be required of the Neighbors.  I have seen some Streets mass Host Displays by doing some Displays of their own to go along with a Theme of Celebrating Christmas in a more exterior Decor extreme way.  Paradise Lane comes to Mind, but they have since ceased, mebbe different Neighbors now, or City Pressures to cease and desist, I'm not sure?

And there are the Public Displays abounding, much more suitable to Host Crowds than the Private ones.    Going to see the Lights has become an Annual Tradition and Ritual for us, we'll spend a few Nights doing it up through Christmas... and sometimes up to New Years.   I have been told that readying for Hosting a Private Display can take Months to prepare, so the Hosts must be really committed to their extreme display rituals.   The countless Hours and extreme expense it requires means a certain dedication to it, or obsession with it, has to exist.

I have my own levels of dedication and Obsession with the Holidays, it's just not at that level, nor will it ever be.  So I bow down to those who muster that level of commitment to anything!   I would imagine, when you get to a certain level of Collecting what it requires, you'd almost have to also rent offsite Storage throughout the Year?!   So the expense would not just be during December when you're actively Hosting your Event.

The larger and more impressive the Decor is, the larger the Space it will require Year round!   I find it difficult to have sufficient Space for my very Modest Collection of Holiday Seasonal Decor to be stored!   I find myself paring it down each Season to require less Space to Store it for the rest of the Year actually.  Though Princess T was jazzed that I bought that very large, very Fancy Christmas Tree for Nine bucks at the Goodwill that we never could have afforded otherwise, since it retails for Hundreds.  She's going to put it up in her Room this Christmas!

So that's what my Friend and I will be doing Tonight, helping Princess T to erect a 7 foot Fancy Lady Christmas Tree in her Bedroom upstairs!  *LOL*   She even cleaned said Bedroom to entice me to let her do it.  *Winks*   We would have done it last Night but we had The Aquatic Frog Incident and Crisis.  The Young Prince's brand new Aquatic Frog somehow got sucked into her air filter and we had a difficult extraction to rescue her!   He was heartsick, since she's lived in that Tank at his Dad's for a long time, so we don't know how or why it suddenly happened just a day in to him owning her?  Was she attempting Suicide with the change in environment?  We're just not sure.

It is more likely that his OCD with obsessive cleanliness of his Critters Environments might have been the catalyst for the Crisis?   He had thought her Environment was unclean and murky so he'd diligently scrubbed everything and had a spotless filter, which probably had increased suction with no obstruction?  Well, until SHE became the obstruction that is and got sucked into it!  Trying to appear Cool, Calm and Collected for the sake of The Force, who were near Hysteria about her being stuck and suffering was no easy task my Friends!

She's not much bigger than a large Tadpole so has very fragile limbs and body, so pretending I knew how to get her unstuck without further injury was quite the Acting Job!  According to my Friend I should win an Oscar for that Performance lemme tell ya!   You're so Patient and Calm she commended me, she was feeling like a Hot Mess and not being very Helpful really.  Since nerves were prevailing with her and The Force, so they were panicky... and Panic is never Helpful!   My outward Calm might have disintegrated had their Panic infected my Illusion of Calm, coz on the inside I was like, OH SHIT and a few Silent Lord Jesus requests for immediate intervention!  *LOL*

Aquatic Frogs spend all of their lives in Water but are air breathing and oddly not good swimmers!  I didn't know how long she could hold her breath or how long she'd been stuck, so there was that sense of urgency?! The last thing I wanted was to accidentally cause further harm or death to the poor Creature!  We got her unstuck, mercifully she was still alive and whole, but she had an obvious suction injury to her side and I knew she wasn't good and likely it would be a fatal injury.  I prepared him for the obvious demise of his new Gift, she passed away at 3:00 a.m., he had sat vigil by her side, I feel so badly for him, but he'd done all he could do and it wasn't his fault.  We'll be having a Frog Funeral Today, you can send your condolences.   I have convinced him a Male Betta Fish will be a more suitable resident for his Aquatic Gift Set Up.  Nothing perks a distraught Kid up quite like an immediate Replacement Pet, their Grief can be fleeting... Mercifully!


Blessings, Love and Light... Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Sending my regards to the She Frog. And holy wow, thanks for sharing the extreme holiday home.

  2. We've got a couple of Extreme Decoration homes near us, but only the outside. I've been been someplace where tours are done. What fun that must be. I enjoyed the photos.

  3. Oh my condolences for She Frog. That is so sad and i'm glad her last moments were sweet and you were so gentle.
    Those decorations are awesome!! I love going to look at Christmas lights. They make me happy!
    Merry Christmas to you and to all in the Boho Villa.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

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