Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas memories Part One

Yesterday was sunny and breezy, with high wispy clouds in a bright blue sky, a perfect winter day. I sat on my back porch and watched the clouds awhile, overcome with imprinted sensations from another place and time. I was a child again, bursting with excitement, walking to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Cold air bit at chubby cheeks and knees. I wanted to break loose and run, but Mother firmly held my mittened left hand. I skipped and chattered at her side, hoping Santa Claus would greet me at their door, asking Mom if Santa visited everyone or just Grandma's house. My memories of past Christmases may not be on a par with IDEALS magazine, all beautiful in their perfection, but they're mine and I want to start the season by sharing them.

In December 1945 I was three going on four. The world war was winding down, but I knew nothing about war in those days. What I DID know for certain was that Grandma's house was bright with shiny decorations and a fat cedar tree with piles of gaily wrapped packages under it. My child's mind reasoned that a fair number of those presents would be mine! I had been a very good girl, nice not naughty, so Santa surely had not forgotten me as he flew around the world with sleigh and reindeer.

Grandpa met us at the door that day, smiling ear to ear. He picked me up and swung me around the living room, then held me high so I could touch sweet Angie the Christmas Tree Angel at the top of their tree. The air inside their house was moist and fragrant with scents of a baking turkey and dressing. Piled high and colorful along the buffet in their dining room, Grandma had arranged home made cookies, pies, candy, and frosted molasses creams. Now if there was anything I loved better than presents, it was food, especially desserts. Grandpa knew that, so after he piled my coat, hat, and mittens on the bed in their back bedroom, he snuck two cookies from the pile. He had a colorfully decorated snowman and I had a reindeer. Grandpa was the absolute BEST at sneaking goodies behind Grandma's back so I learned that technique from a master.

That year Santa brought me a doctor kit, a gift I put to immediate use. Uncle Don and his friend Earl Elliott ate too much and needed doctoring. Uncle Don crashed on the couch, moaning and groaning and rubbing his full stomach. Earl sprawled on the floor beside the couch, swearing he would die at any moment. Lucky for them, a fledgling doctor/nurse was on the scene to administer emergency treatment. With the little stethoscope around my neck and a fake plastic thermomenter in my hand, I listened to their hearts and lungs and gurgling tummies, then took their temperature. Both patients lived and are still alive today as a testament to my skill in 1945. No need to thank me now, Don and Earl. I was just doing my job.

One of these days soon another memory will take hold. Stay tuned until then.

3 comments:

rogersmith51 said...

Boy, did that bring tears to my eyes !!
Going to g'ma / g'pas' WAS grand.
Thanks for the memory.........BRO

Dr.Noshots said...

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Laurel Johnson said...

Thanks for visiting Dr. Noshots. I checked out your book on amazon and it does sound interesting. :)

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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