The Days Before

I sit here writing this as a blizzard is blowing outside my window.  Snowdrifts creep up the steps of the front porch.  Snowflakes hit the windows as wind gusts slap them against the panes.  I sit here in my warm house, by a roaring fire, a cup of hot chocolate holding one marshmallow in my hand.  My knitting at my side waiting for me to pick it up.  I hear the wind outside and feel the coziness within where I am safe and warm………

No, this is really not happening.  Only in my dreams.  We are having unseasonably warm temperatures here in the Midwest of the United States.   Fifty and sixty degree days almost like the beginning of Spring.  Today it is raining outside my window.  I am still warm and cozy inside my house with an electric log glowing in the hearth, blowing out warm air.   It doesn’t seem that Christmas is less than two weeks away.  I worked in my shop this morning making a few little gifts.  I won’t stop sewing until the day before probably.  David says I always do this every year.  Think of one more thing to make even though I have finished with all the gifts.

The picture above is of two of my brothers back in the 1950’s checking their stockings on the fireplace our daddy had built and covered with brick looking paper.  I still have some of those stockings we hung back then.  I love everything about this picture.  My brothers in their pajamas, the Christmas tree on the side, the wallpaper, the logs in the fake fireplace, the candles on its mantle.  I remember it all. I see in the picture that someone got a Bobbsey Twins book.  I was too little at this time to have received it, but I did love the Bobbsey Twins when I grew older.  On Christmas morning the stockings would be full of candy, little gifts and always an orange and nuts in the toe.  One year my stocking held a Cinderella watch.  I loved that watch, but wore it out winding it over and over.

My heart and mind turn to Christmases past when we children were all at home.  Christmas was always a very special time for our family.  Mother and Daddy made it a wonderful time for us and always managed to give us a wonderful Christmas every year.  One year I got a bright, blue Schwinn bicycle.  Because we hadn’t had much snow that year, I took it outside onto our road and rode it up and down the road pretending it was a horse, because, you see, I always asked for a horse every Christmas. I would go so far as to go out and look in the barn every Christmas Eve to see, if maybe, there was a horse standing in a stall.  Little did I know that it would not be long before my brother, Fred, helped me buy my horse, Tornado.  I took all the money I had in the bank and he gave me some money and we bought my beloved horse.  I rode Tornado bare back until one Christmas there was a saddle under the tree.  I loved that horse until I fell in love with David and I forgot about all else and after I married, Daddy sold him. Not David,  Tornado!  I still feel sad that I forgot all about him.  But I had several years that  I rode him all over the countryside.  There is nothing like the back of a horse to make you feel happy.  I loved riding.

I can still remember the smells of Christmas.  The tree brought in from the woods.  Mother baking fruitcake, cookies, making candy.  My sense of smell was blasted with so many good smells and my sweet tooth was satisfied immensely during this time.  Mother always made gingerbread men to put in the Christmas stockings she had made for the children in her Sunday school class. I always helped her ice them and decorate them with raisins for eyes and mouth and buttons.   I think I may try my hand at gingerbread men this year.

I get nostalgic this time of year.  Wishing we could all be together one more time, but Mother and Daddy and my oldest brother, Jack, are in heaven celebrating being with Jesus.  I will see them one day and every day will be like Christmas.   So I make the most of Christmas here on earth and pray for peace and that everyone will have someone to love this year.  That’s what Christmas is all about, you know.  The greatest Love came down at Christmas into a manger stall.  Celebrate.  What a  wonderful time.  Bye.


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