Monthly Archives: December 2018

That New Year’s Song

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s that odd stretch of days between Christmas and New Year’s here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, but that has not slowed down our storage rental customers one bit. Our storage tenants are shuttling in and out of the storage rental office preparing for 2019!

Yesterday, I was working at the front desk when into the rental office burst one of our wonderful, long-time customers, Mike. He was waving a champagne bottle and singing Auld Lang Syne. He stopped long enough to say “Happy New Year – this is for you!” I thanked him, and wished him a Happy New Year too! He strolled off towards his car singing that song, Auld Lang Syne, at the top of his lungs.

The champagne bottle sat in front of me as I listened to Mike’s singing trail off into the distance. “What the heck is Auld Lang Syne?”

Thinking back, I can remember hearing this song as a child and wondering who is “Lang” and why does he have a sign? This needed some investigation for clarification’s sake.

Origins

Auld Lang Syne was an ancient song that roughly translates as “for old times’ sake”. The song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year. Does anyone remember the 1937 Little Rascals Episode below where they sing this song?!

Blame it on The Scots

It has long been a much-loved Scottish tradition to sing the song just before midnight. Everyone stands in a circle holding hands, then at the beginning of the final verse (‘And there’s a hand my trusty friend’) they cross their arms across their bodies so that their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right, and their right hand holds that of the person on their left. When the song ends, everyone rushes to the middle, still holding hands, and probably giggling.

Lyrics

Below is a video and a copy of the lyrics of the entire song with the original Gaelic version (in bold), followed by a more modern translation for each individual verse and chorus – enjoy!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.

Translation
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

Translation
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Translation
And surely you’ll buy your pint mug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

Translation
We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered – many a weary foot
Since long, long ago.

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

Translation
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dusk;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.


Translation

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.

Now that we have a little history, and translation on Auld Lang Syne, we can sing it loud and proud as we raise a glass and remember the year that was, and the one that will be.

I am just happy that I no longer have to wonder “Who is Lang?”, and “What does his sign say?”

Happy New Year everyone!

Mr. Nick in his moving truck

Mr. Nick is one busy storage unit renter

So, it’s the day before Christmas here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Almost time for my annual visit from one of our biggest customers, Mr. Nick. Mr. Nick’s been a storage unit tenant with us for as long as anyone can remember. He’s an unusual guy – older – the outdoorsy type – from up North somewhere. You know, big bushy beard, wears a lot of red flannel shirts with suspenders. That sort of thing.

Mr. Nick has seven of our extra large storage spaces with the extra high ceilings. He stops in every year around this time to let us know that even though he’ll be emptying out the storage units, he’s not moving out.

 

feature_christmas-elf-featMr. Nick is certainly a bit on the eccentric side and I’m assuming pretty wealthy since he’s mentioned renting storage units like ours all over the world. Each year right around Christmas time, his crew pulls in with a couple of giant, red S.C. Moving and Storage vans, and empties out out all seven of his storage spaces. The funny thing is, beginning in January, I’ll see his helpers back again and on a monthly basis, refilling the storage units with electronics, toys, sporting goods, and all sorts of goodies.

This year I decided to have a little chat with his crew. Nice guys – unusually short, but very well mannered and hard workers too. They all refer to Mr. Nick as “The big guy” which is quite true in height and around the waist line.

While his helpers were in the yard the other day,  I decided to be a little nosey.

“Excuse me guys. Just curious. What type of business is Mr. Nick in if you don’t mind me asking?” I questioned.

“Import/export” replied one of his of helpers.

“Oh, so he buys and then resells things” I asked.

“No, no – He gives it all away!” answered a particularly short man, who appeared to be the leader of the crew.

“Wow, really? That’s great – a wealthy philanthropist!” I gushed.

“I guess you could say that, but the big guy really doesn’t care about money – He just likes to make people happy!” came a high pitched voice from behind a pile of toys.

If that don’t beat all I thought to myself. I tipped my Storage Inn hat and wished Mr. Nick’s crew a good day and Happy Holidays. I walked back to the rental office thinking about my conversation with Mr. Nick’s helpers. Hmmmm, I thought – Puzzling. A guy from up North, with a bushy white beard, dressed in all red, with an import/ export charitable organization?… who collects toys and other goodies throughout the year, only to give them away at Christmas time? If I didn’t know any better I would guess he’s… omg…. I think I know what the “S. C.” in  S. C. Moving and Storage stands for!  Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!

The Reindeer Revue

“Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus!” 

Yes, December is here and the storage staff and storage customers here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, are getting into the Christmas spirit!

Earlier today, one of our storage space tenants, Derek, stopped into the storage rental office to retrieve holiday decorations and pick up storage supplies including cardboard boxes and tape.

We got to chatting and it turns out that both of our granddaughters go to the same school, and they’re playing reindeer in the same holiday play! My granddaughter Madison is Vixen, and Derek’s grandaughter is Rudolph. We joked about how his granddaughter had the more famous part and agreed to see each other there.

Our conversation made me wonder, “why reindeer?” –  “why not horses?”, so I decided to check it out…

Reindeer are a well-known part of Christmas lore, but you might not be aware that their part of the Christmas tradition is less than 200 years old. Here are some fun facts about reindeer and their role in Christmas legend!

Reindeer Fun Facts

In North America, reindeer are known as caribou.

Reindeer live in the northernmost parts of the world like the Arctic, Northern Europe and Siberia. This explains why reindeer lead Santa’s sleigh – he needed animals that could live at the North Pole!

The name “Reindeer” comes from the Norse word “hreinn,” meaning deer.

Both male and female reindeer grow antlers; there’s no way to be sure, but that could mean that Santa’s reindeer were in fact female.

Reindeer are good at surviving in harsh and cold environments. Their noses actually warm the air before they breathe it in, so that their lungs don’t freeze.

Santa’s Reindeer

Santa’s reindeer made their first official appearance in 1823 in Clement C. Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas,” where he introduced the “eight tiny reindeer” that lead Santa’s sleigh through the night.

The original reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixen (later known as Donner and Blitzen). The names Dunder and Blixen translate from German as thunder and lightning.

 

Some people leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer as a special treat on Christmas Eve, but you might want to think about leaving moss instead – that’s a real reindeers favorite food!

Originally, Santa only had 8 reindeer until…..

Rudolph is a newbie!

Rudolph wasn’t an original member of Santa’s reindeer team – The little red-nosed reindeer didn’t make an appearance in popular culture until 1939, when department store Montgomery Ward hired writer Robert L. May to write a book starring a brand new Christmas character.

In 1949, Rudolph’s story was adapted into the famous song, originally recorded by singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

The beloved, stop-motion movie version of Rudolph’s story first aired on December 6, 1964, and has aired countless times each year since then!

To celebrate his 75th birthday, the United States Postal Service issued a set of Rudolph stamps in November 2014.

Reindeer clearly have a lot of significance in Christmas legend. It’s amazing to think how important Rudolph is to the modern North American concept of Christmas, considering that he’s only 76 years old!

As for me, all of this talk about Santa and his Reindeer has made me hungry for some warm Christmas cookies and a nice glass of milk!
Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!