Carriage rides in Westminster for the holidays

One of the best things about writing this column, or anything as a matter of fact, is researching your bright little ideas. My idea for this week came from the flyer I found — on the sidewalk, well-trodden upon — that advertised all of Westminster's Miracle on Main Street events.

I know that it is more correct these days to use a one-size-fits-all euphemism for the "holiday events," but this happens not to be a correct column when it comes to Christmas. I am not against anyone else's holidays and I will (and do!) happily endorse all faith-based celebrations that are not associated with possible devil worship but at the same time I see no reason to downplay anyone's celebration in order to make others feel better. That smacks a bit too much of the old dog in the manger idea for me.


I realize that this line of thought meanders dangerously near the theme of, "Can't we all just get along?" that is now held up to ridicule but it was a good idea then and it seems still to be a good idea despite its elitist naysayers.

Returning to my bright idea on Main Street reminds me of the Carroll County Arts Center — where you will still be able to take a look at 170 handmade wreaths today from 2-4 p.m. if you want to take an uplifting break from crass commercialism. They will be offering complimentary food and drink and there will be costumed carolers!

Which makes me ask if I am the only one who wonders why the word complimentary is associated with food and drink? I don't go out much (even for free food) but I have never once had anything on a plate — or in a glass — tell me that I look wonderful.

It's either much worse than I thought or that phrase is a complete contrivance. See? It is this sort of thing that distracts me when I write.

Anyhow, back to my original thought about finding out great things when I think of something good to write. So far this year I have had it brought to my attention that both Thurmont and Westminster — and I have been told the Gettysburg mall area — are having carriage rides during holiday time.

Sadly, Thurmont was a one-day affair and it is already over.

But Westminster will be having carriage rides on Dec. 10 and 17, which means that we are well in time for those two dates. The rides will pick up people between 12-4 p.m. from the rear of the Locust Lane area (near the big parking garage) and I have it on good authority that the ride will consist of travelling down past some of the lovely big homes which should be wonderfully decorated and on into the large park there in the center of town.

The rides are FREE — printed in all caps, mind you — and they will be operated by Remembrance Carriage Company, LLC out of Taneytown.

In case anyone doesn't know and I didn't, I assure you, Remembrance Carriage Company is owned by Dr. Odeon, DVM, who is an equine veterinarian as well as being a horseman himself and a person who is well known in the large, very large as a matter of fact, draft horse world as he also breeds and raises Clydesdale and Percheron draft horses.

I knew that Dr. Odeon was a breeder of draft horses and that he showed them successfully. I even knew that he had been tapped to be the licensed veterinarian representative on the Maryland Horse Industry Board which is an association that was created in 1998 to work with the Department of Agriculture to develop and promote the state's horse industry. But I had no idea that he and his horses did this sort of happy holiday work as well.

So there you are. You will be in good hands, for sure, if you get into the wagon and take a ride back into the old days so that you can see a lovely part of Westminster in the way that it was seen when it was first built.

I won't miss an opportunity to check out that view of those homes and the park on a slow ride to the tune of the clip-clop of heavy hooves, for sure. In the hustle and bustle of hectic schedules there is something centering about going back to when you couldn't hurry even if you wanted to. It means that you not only have the chance to be still and just enjoy the experience but that you darn well have to, once you have chosen to step aboard the wagon.

It's a nice way to develop some insight.