Do You Remember Adventure XI?
Stinky is anxious for Periwinkle’s arrival. He’s positive she will like the adventure he’s planned. When she comes tumbling from the teleportation tunnel with the familiar whoosh, he grabs her and wraps her up in a huge paw hug. Periwinkle reciprocates and exclaims, “That sure was nice, Stinky. It’s a lot colder here than at home, and that hug warmed me up nicely.”
Before Periwinkle can even ask about their adventure, Stinky tells her, “Periwinkle, we are going to revisit a place we went on our 11th adventure. Do you remember that adventure?” Stinky asks.
Periwinkle gives him one of her famous eye rolls, which Stinky ignores. “Are you kidding me, Stinky? This is our 164th adventure. How can I remember the 11th one? When was it?”
“It was Christmas Eve of 2019,” Stinky replies.
Periwinkle is quiet for several minutes, and Stinky can tell she is thinking very hard. Finally, she asks, “Is that when we went to visit Santa?”
“No, but that was a good guess. I really thought you’d remember that adventure. It was a super special one,” Stinky says. Periwinkle can hear the disappointment in his voice and feels terrible. She grabs Stinky’s paw and heads to the teleportation tunnel. “I guess we better get going. Hopefully I will remember when we arrive,” she tells him. Stinky has his paws crossed that she does.
Rockefeller Center, New York
The two pop into their tunnel and in the blink of an eye arrive at their destination. When Periwinkle sees where they are, she immediately remembers the previous adventure, which you can read about here, “The Adventures of Periwinkle & Stinky: Part XI.” Periwinkle throws her paws around Stinky’s neck and starts giving him whisker kisses. When she finally stops, she squeals, “Oh, Stinky, how could I have forgotten this magical adventure. We went all around the world looking at Christmas lights. And when we arrived here at Rockefeller Center, we went ice skating and you asked me to be your girlfriend. That was one of the best days ever! I can hardly believe that we have been adventuring for more than three years or that we have been boyfriend and girlfriend for almost as long.”
The Christmas Tree
“Time really does seem to have a way of quickly slipping away,” responds Stinky. “Shall we go look at the tree?”
“Oh, yes please,” Periwinkle tells him.
“I’m sorry it’s raining, Periwinkle. I am happy I brought an umbrella.”
“That was a good idea.”
“What can you tell me about the Christmas tree, Stinky. I know you researched it before we came.”
“You know me so well. I did do a little reading. The first tree went up in 1931 when workers pooled their money to buy it. It was a 20-foot tall Balsam fir. It had handmade paper garlands and strings of cranberries created by the workers’ families. In 1933 Rockefeller Center made the Christmas tree an annual tradition and held the first tree lighting ceremony. Two trees were put up at Rockefeller Center in 1936. A skating pageant was held at the ice skating rink, which had just opened on the Plaza,” Stinky tells Periwinkle.
“Wow, I had no idea trees were being set up at Christmas even before our parents were born,” replies Periwinkle. “Can we get a closer look at the tree now?”
Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw and leads her closer to the tree.
Some Facts About the 2022 Tree
“Wow,” exclaims Periwinkle!
Stinky tells her about the 2022 tree. “This year’s tree is 82 feet tall and weighs 14 tons. It’s an approximately 85 to 90 year old Norway Spruce and comes from Queensbury, New York. It has 50,000 multicolored LED lights, which equals approximately 5 miles of wire. The top has a star made up of 3 million Swarovski crystals on 70 triangular spikes.”
“No wonder it is so bright,” exclaims Periwinkle. Stinky replies, “My mom would put that many lights on our tree if she could.” That makes Periwinkle giggle. She asks, “Is this the tallest tree ever put up here for Christmas?”
Some Additional Historical Facts
Stinky tells her that the tallest tree was 100 feet in height and on display in 1999. It was a spruce tree from Killingworth, Connecticut.
He also shares some interesting facts about the tree being unlit during World War II due to black out regulations. Three smaller trees, instead of one big one, were put up in 1942 and decorated with red, white and blue unlit globes and painted wooden stars. In 2001, following the tragedies of September 11, the tree also was decorated in a patriotic red, white and blue theme.
The original Swarovski Star was added to the tree in 2004. It weighed 550 pounds and had 25,000 crystals with one million facets. It was 9.5 feet in diameter. LED lights were added the following year. The current star was first displayed in 2018.
“Stinky, those are a lot of interesting facts about the past Christmas trees. The trees certainly have become a wonderful tradition. Shall we look at some of the other lights?”
Channel Garden Angels
“Stinky, look at these gorgeous angels. Do you know anything about them?”
“Of course. Sculptor Valerie Clarebout created the angels in 1955, and they debuted in 1969. Each have wings, robes and halos and hold a 6-foot-long trumpet. There are 12 8-foot tall angels made from 75 pounds of metal wire. To complete the celestial display, Clarebout used 76 miles of material, including 18 miles of aluminum wire and brass as well as thousands of miniature lights.”
“They really are sparkly and breathtaking. Can we go to the ice rink now?” asks Periwinkle. Stinky takes her paw and leads her there.
The Plaza Ice Rink
“Stinky, I love being back here, and I am so happy the rain has stopped. I don‘t think this would be much fun in the rain.”
“These fun hats you found for us are really cool as well. They definitely put me in a festive mood,” says Periwinkle.
The tabbies join paws and spend quite a bit of time skating, talking and giggling about their first visit to the rink. After several circles around the rink, the tabbies stop for a hot beverage and a snack. While nibbling, Stinky leans closer to Periwinkle and whispers in her ear, “I love you, Periwinkle.” Periwinkle smiles, gives Stinky a whisker kiss and replies, “I love you too, Stinky.”
When they finish their snack, Stinky suggests that it is time for them to return to his house, and they head back to the teleportation tunnel.
A Blue Christmas Tree
When Periwinkle and Stinky arrive at Stinky’s house, Periwinkle asks to see the Christmas tree and the kittens. Stinky leads her to the dining room to show her one of two trees to which he and and the other Kitties Blue have access. “So here’s the tree unlit,” says Stinky.
“Stinky, this is incredible. I don’t think I have ever seen so many cute ornaments. Can we see it with the lights on?”
“Sure, let me get Mom to turn them on for us. By the way, my mom’s been collecting ornaments for 50 years, and many have been gifts,” Stinky tells Periwinkle.
“That is stunning! Are the kittens still removing ornaments at night?” Stinky tells Periwinkle that they have been good the last couple of nights and left it alone. Then Periwinkle asks if she can get a peek at the tree with the breakable ornaments. Stinky explains that his mom hasn’t finished decorating it, and she’ll have to wait until she comes back in two weeks. He can see Periwinkle’s disappointment, but when he leads her to the kittens, it appeases her.
Stinky thinks it would be funny to put his tree hat on Raleigh. After he does so, he takes off before Raleigh can get mad at him. He leaves Periwinkle to visit. When she finishes, Periwinkle joins Stinky in the kitchen where she says, “hi,” to Stinky’s mom and dad. Too soon, it’s time for Periwinkle to head home. She thanks Stinky for the adventure with paw hugs and whisker kisses before entering her tunnel. Then with a wave she is gone in a whoosh. Stinky finds a sunpuddle to nap in and dream about Periwinkle.
Periwinkle and Stinky are participating in Happy Tuesday at Comedy Plus.