Nov 30, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho

We're all trying to get into the Christmas spirit here. One of our members is "out of town" right now, so we hope he'll get out, I mean, get back before the Christmas season gets underway. The rest of us are doing our best. We even have the tree up. I had to go out and buy some new ornaments. Last year we were not in such a celebratory mood, and I only had about five ornaments on the tree.

When I was a little girl,(growing up on Walton's mountain) the greatest thing for me was watching the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Because at the end of the parade, Santa Claus arrived, and I figured after that, it was ok to sing Christmas Carols.

When I was in school, during the Christmas season, we always sang carols about a half hour before the bell rang, which was 3:00pm. At home, when everyone had gone to bed, I would get up, and turn on the lights,(the ones you couldn't burn too long because they got hot and would set the tree on fire, so saideth my mother) and just wonder at how beautiful it was. We never new for sure if we would have presents or not, as my mother bought everything on credit from the Speigal catalogue. Depending on her approval rating, and the postal delivery, we usually had a 3 in 1 shot at having presents.

We always had a turkey though, thanks to my sister. She kept her head glued to the radio, WKAZ, and Gentleman Jay Harold, and listened for the gobble-gobble-gobble. At that, she dialed the number and almost always called in enough times, and at the right time to win us a turkey. The rest of the fixings were in the basement where Daddy kept a bin of Irish potatoes(white), and sweet potatoes, and then, on shelves, were all the vegetables from the summer garden in big quart bottles my mother had processed in the canner. Corn and green beans, tomatoes, and even some blackberries and apples. Sometimes if the weather was going to be too cold, we would have to cover the potatoes with old blankets to keep them from freezing. It seems like a life time ago. But, I guess we are talking about somewhere between 35 and 40 years.

Damn, I'm getting old. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I would love to go back to that time, when I was just a squirt kid playing in the snow with no socks, where a snowfall made the whole world a glittering, silent fantasy land. To the times when my biggest worry was having to stand up and give a book report in front of the whole class. But I can still recall the memories and look back from a different perspective. We were poor, that's a fact, but in our own little world of family and friends, we did ok. We survived. Hell, we even had fun.


The Future Was Yesterday said...

Damn, I'm getting old. I never thought I would hear myself say this.
You're not alone. There's at least two of us getting old!:) Or else my Nephews and Nieces are getting married waaay too young!:P

You brought back so many memories. I grew up in Michigan, which gets a little snow once in a while. We went out and shot our Turkey back then, and saved it in our great big freezer. Like you, jars and jars of summer bounty in the basement, potatoes of several kinds in the Potato Bins, Home made bread (from scratch), big warm rolls that melted in your mouth from said bread dough.

The first heavy snow warning of the year I never could sleep. I'd sneak to my bedroom window and check to see if it was snowing yet. The amazing transformation of drab, brown landscape into soft, billowing waves of pure, unbroken white. Christmas, like yours, was touch and go, depending on how the crops had fared that year. We grew or raised what we ate. But it really didn't seem to matter so much. We had all that good food, we were never hungry, we were always clothed, albeit in hand-me-downs at times.

We were poor as well. But you know something? I honestly never realized it until I was out of high school, and striking out on my own.

I wish so bad, I could turn the clock back....just for a day.

Bruno said...

I, too, catch myself re-thinking about my "past-youth" days, and I can still say, without remorse, that I am thankful that "virtual-video playtime" had yet to be invented. That's right, instead of, "Where's my CD?", the question was, "Where's my sled?" Of course, mom was there to "remind" me I needed a coat! I think us "old-farts" used to call this plain, ol'-fashioned F-U-N!!!

just me said...

Amen. And with the snow, we lived out so far, the snow plows never got out are way, so no school, either.

just me said...

See, I've even reverted back to the speech of my youth. Like, "Girl, go get me a poke so I can bring some taters in the house...there's one over by the cheer..."

spadoman said...

great memories. I am feeling quite melancholy right now. I don't remember ever feeling poor or sad. Life was grand. What happened. I want to go back too. Maybe I will finally break the bad habit of consumerism and get out. Like Paul said, "Gonna give it all away, to a registered charity.....If I ever get out of here"

Oh well, nice piece of writing. I love to relive the olden days. Wakes up the soul.