Dec 10, 2006

When I was about 11, it was Christmas Eve, and it started snowing. Not "spitting snow" as my mother used to say, but a sure fire full-blown snowfall. Big beautiful white flakes tumbling down faster than you could say, "ah". I just loved snow, and on Christmas Eve? Perfect. I noticed down in the lower field, the kids were out slay riding, so I trotted myself down there. We had a tire burning, and the hood of someones pickup. We would start at the top of the hill, and everyone hop in, and away we went. It was cold as hell, but we didn't care. At the bottom, we pulled the thing up and did it all over again. I had a huge crush on a neighbor of mine, will call him Johnny, and of course I was at my liveliest, hoping he would notice me, single me out a little bit, but we just enjoyed the 3 minute ride down the hill, and warming up at the fire, when we climbed back to the top.

It grew darker, so we all headed home. I had to walk a good ways down a dirt lane as our house was a little farther. I just looked at the snow, gathering on the green pines, and the icicles hanging from the roof of the house. My feet were like ice, but I knew once inside the house, I could prop them up near the fire and they would warm up in no time. I was filled with the beauty and joy of Christmas, and wanted those moments to never end. A tall gawkey tomboy, I was, walking through a land of enchantment, feeling a part of the snow and the cold, and deepening twilight. I hated to go inside. I wanted to stay out in the snow, but it got colder, and my feet were numb they were so cold, so I reluctantly went inside.

The Christmas tree was all lit up, a few presents under the tree, and my sister and I made cocoa from scratch. You put some cocoa in a pan, slowly add milk and sugar, and heat it till every thing mixes together. It was marvelous. No microwaves, no boxes of Swiss Miss with marshmellows, just the old-fashioned home made cocoa. My mom was thawing out the turkey, and would get up early to stick the old bird in our old gas range. It all seemed so magical. At that moment, I didn't think about what we didn't have, only about how much we did have, and how truly fortunate we were.

Our old house was not so old anymore. The living room aglow with the light from the tree, turned our worn out furniture into something new and beautiful. It was magic. And the snowfall outside, the absolute quiet, nothing but the fire in the old gas heater, to break the spell. We always had to read the Christmas story, my sister and I, and sing carols. And of course we waited up for my dad, hoping he would make it home for Christmas. We knew he would bring oranges and apples, a coconut, walnuts, and hard candy. Such contentment, anticipation, and all that beautiful snow. A Christmas Eve I will always remember.


The Future Was Yesterday said...

For years, Mom had to cook on a wood fired cook stove. She brought perfect loaves of bread, the tastiest turkeys, pies, out of the oven of that thing..... I never realized what a genius she was until I had to learn to cook for myself, years later, on a gas stove!

Snow at Christmas....well, that was God's way of saying "Here. Here's a little something extra this year." I miss the snow - for about an hour.:)

Mary said...

We used to make hot cocoa that way too. Mmmm. Sledding was behind the old mansion. Iceskating on the swamp. I pray for snow every Christmas just like I did as a little girl. And I leave the curtains wide open like I did when I was a child in hopes that I will wake up in the night and see the snow falling. Alas I haven't had a white Christmas in many years. Since I moved to the shore I rarely see snow. :-(
Lovely post.

spadoman said...

Thank you for the story and sharing a little about yourself and your life. That, in itself, is a gift to all of us.

just me said...

Where I live now, snow is rare. When it does snow an inch or two, the weatherman takes over the tv, excited as a 16 year old boy at his first visit to a whorehouse.

My grandma had a wood stove. But somehow one of our thieving neighbors got it, when the house she lived in up until her death caved in.

I still pray for snow, too. ;)

betmo said...

lovely. there's something about the hush of snow at night that is magical. all we have had so far here in new york is rain. so much for not having global warming :)

Bruno said...

Yessir, car-hoods, downhill sled races, and bonfires! Unfortunately, todays' car-hoods wouldn't last 5 minutes, downhill sledding has been scared off by injured-neighbor lawsuits, and bonfires, well, I guess they contribute too much to global-warming, huh?

Fuzzylogic said...

What a wonderful Christmas story!your words almost transported me right to the moment and scene.And the mmm...homemade hot cocoa!Snow at christmas makes it all the more magical.You all seem to be wanting snow so much,I will be glad to send some from canada to all of you down there:)
Thanks for dropping by my blog.After reading how badly you wanted the Wiley coyote to catch the roadrunner I was reminded of one video my friend had sent from youtube where he does finally catch the roadrunner!!I will search it out and perhaps post it or send it to you.Love and peace.

Viking said...

Nothing better than West Viriginia at Christmas time...been there..nothing more beautiful..wish I was there now.