Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve - 2012

I'm being very nostalgic this morning. I should be making sandwiches and getting ready for friends to come for Jess' birthday party. Instead, I am sitting in front of the fireplace and listening to Christmas music - thinking of Christmas' past.

When I was younger, my grandparents lived out in the country - at the old Woollum Homestead. There wasn't running water, we used a well to get our drinking, cooking, and bathing water. We used a "chamber pot" to go to the bathroom at night or we hit the path for the outhouse. We had a smoke house, where, after the first frost a hog was killed and hanging. We went to the woods to cut our Christmas tree - some would say it was a Charlie Brown scraggy little tree.

My Maw would decorate it with her best of ornaments, we'd string popcorn and holly berries with the Morris girls across the highway.

Maw would bake for days ahead of time. Cousins, Aunts and Uncles would merge on the house Christmas eve. You could find 4-6 cousins piled under the covers of an old feather bed. Some slept on pallets on the floors. There was always room for one more.

Maw and Paw were loving and kind. Having Christmas at their house made everything even more special.

I cannot remember Christmas' that were any better or more special than those we shared with my grandparents. Cousins didn't fight, argue and be hateful to each other like now. There weren't divisions in the family like now - Maw or Paw would settle those very quickly.

I remember one of my most cherished gifts from Maw was a turtle shell, that she stuffed, made a head, legs and a tail for it. I kept that treasure for many years - until a cousin, Sherry Kay, broke into my house and stole it before going to prison. She stole a lot of material treasures that my Maw had given me - never to be seen of again.

But one thing is for certain - Sherry Kay didn't steal my memories of a loving, happy and Merry Christmas with my grandparents. So I suppose we all can learn that it isn't the gifts that we receive - but it's the love of family and friends shared and memories made which are the most important. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have my turtle and a few other things back so that I could pass them on to my grandchild. I just know that won't happen.

I miss Maw & Paw, especially at Christmas. Maw would read the birth of Christ while I sat in her lap, with a blanket over me, in front of the fire place. Maybe that's why today in front of my fireplace, the Christmas carols playing - I remember wonderful Christmas' past with happy thoughts and memories.

I miss you Maw & Paw and you know you always had my heart. Merry Christmas!