It has been a few days since I’ve been here. I really don’t know why, I have just had no desire to write. The days since Thanksgiving have been a little tougher than I was expecting, but those tough times normally drive me to the keyboard, not away from it.
From my business travel days I still remember the real good trips and the real bad ones; the others have kind of faded. I guess I could say the same for the Rodeos I did.
Christmases in my life fall into two categories and there are no bad ones. I guess because they have all been good, like the mediocre business trips, specific memories of each one have kind of faded. A few of them have been unusual for a variety of reasons; those are the ones I remember. And yes I will bore you with some of those memories.
I know I mention from time to time that we didn’t have much money when I was a kid, I don’t do that for sympathy, it is just a fact. When I was a little kid Mom and Dad always managed to get innovative with the family budget and put smiles on our little faces on Christmas morning.
We always went to the country and cut a Red Cedar for a Christmas tree, most of the time we went to the Lazenbys’ farm, they were friends of my parents and they had an abundance of cedar trees. I remember the first time we had electric lights on the tree; I think the string had about eight bulbs and when one of them burned out they all went out, but hey it was a start.
The first one I will share really wasn’t unusual, but for some reason the memory became vivid this past week. The year was probably about 1949 or 50, times were tough, and I wanted a cap gun and holster. Christmas morning Santa had left me this killer (no pun intended) 2 gun and holster deal. I noticed it had some damage on one of the holsters, Mom said Santa probably damaged it in the sleigh. I had actually got a pre-owned or second hand set. They did what they needed to do to put a smile on the kid’s face.
We all took our guns to school, when we returned after Christmas break. We played Cowboys and Indians at recess. I don’t remember how we determined who would be Cowboys and who would be Indians but I know it had nothing to do with skin color or ancestry. If either of those happened today it would be the lead story on the 10 o’clock news. Times have changed.
Sharyl and I shared our first Christmas in ’63. I was home on leave from Ft. Polk Louisiana. I really don’t remember a lot of detail; I think we spent some time with my family and with hers. We would do forty-eight more before the string was broken. It is a little tough to accept, the last time she wasn’t with me for Christmas was in 1962.
Three short years later 1966, Sharyl was about 7 months pregnant. I think one of the common side effects of pregnancy is an occasional kidney infection. Even then she had this thing about side effects. She spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in bed, but we were together and other family members stopped in for a visit.
Fast forward to Dec 23, 1983, it was bitter cold (like below zero) Sharyl suggested we leave some faucets dripping. I assured her we were okay. Three weeks and 1000 feet of new water line later we were, as I had assured her, okay. I can still hear my feisty sixteen year old saying “WHAT NO WATER, HOW AM I GOING TO FIX MY HAIR”. We showered all over town for that three-week period. It was still a good Christmas.
The last four certainly fit in the unusual category. I won’t repeat what was previously written about each of them. I will just say I consider them good because we were all together.
I have been blessed to spend 69 consecutive Christmases surrounded by those I love. I plan to continue the streak in a couple days. I know this one will be a little somber or melancholy, but it will be good because I will be surrounded by those I love.
Although it goes without saying, I will say it anyway. We always remember the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our savior.
To Sharyl and Conner: I love you guys dearly and I miss you every day. I’m sure you will enjoy spending this Christmas with that savior.
To each of you: I hope you are surrounded by those you love and that you have a very Merry Christmas.
Good Night and God Bless.