Well Christmas time came and went, and it would be almost two weeks later that I was actually ready for it. I don’t know why, but I didn’t actually get to feeling the Christmas spirit until after the tree is down! Weird huh?
Of course this past Christmas, we had some sick family members. About a month before Christmas, Dan and I both had bronchitis and each of us had to have two sets of antibiotics and steroids before we got rid of it. Then two weeks before Christmas, I got hit with the stomach bug that was going around town. It was awful and the very day I got sick, my mama was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia! Mama was as about as sick as I had ever seen her…literally unconscious at first. I was truly worried she may not recover, but thanks to all the prayers from friends and family, to the good care of Dr. Rhodes, and most importantly, to our Heavenly Father, she finally started coming around about ten days later. This was after Christmas had come and gone…but talk about a wonderful Christmas gift!
Oh, and on the day before Christmas Eve, Dan got the stomach virus that I had! God bless his heart.
The grandchildren loved all the toys that Uncle Dan ( I call him Uncle Santa!) gave them, especially their shiny new bikes! Their first gifts from me were clothes and new coats, hats and gloves..you should have seen those two little boys when they opened them! ha-ha! They were just pulling the clothes out of the wrapped packages, slinging them one way and the other! I don’t blame them , I didn’t want clothes as a child either! They did get two real ( a child’s version) digital cameras from Mawmaw , which were a hit! William and Wyatt had a ball getting pictures of their mama and daddy! ha-ha Little Kenzie wracked up on clothes too, along with a doll. Uncle Dan gave her a phone almost like her mama’s and she LOVED it!
Dan and I spent New Years Eve down at Kelvins and Amanda’s house, just sitting around watching the celebration on TV and enjoying ourselves.
It was so good to be with family when the clock struck twelve.
I was looking through the online yard sales one day when I came across a wood burning heater just like the one we had back in the country. Back when I was a little bitty thing. This is the first time I had ever seen one just like it in all these years since we lived on Horseshoe Bend.
I got permission from the owner to post the picture in my journal here. Now, I know this old heater may not look like much of anything to others, but to me…well, you would have thought I came across a pile of gold! Lord, it brought back so many memories and let me tell you, I wrote the seller and thanked her for letting me get a glimpse of this small part of my childhood history!
That heater sat in our front bedroom / living room area. It was a living room because that is where everyone gathered to talk during the day. It was a bedroom because it also held two old iron beds for us to sleep in. That old wood heater had a long metal pipe that went into the wall of the fireplace. I was chasing Susan once and she ducked under that pipe, but I ran slap into it and carried a goose egg on my forehead for a good long time because of it.
As I studied the picture of that old heater, I could see my mama taking the fire poker and carefully raking ashes from that little part in the bottom front of it into a metal bucket. I can also see her putting the wood in the door of it. Wood that she would nearly freeze to death chopping into smaller pieces on those cold winter mornings, just so that we could be warm. Even though she had a scarf wrapped tightly around her head and her old black woolen coat that hung way down to her feet on, many a time I can remember her coming in from outside with her eyebrows frozen and her hands red as fire.
You can’t see it, but there is a round disk shaped ‘stove eye’ on top of that stove that you can lift off. Mama use to pop our popcorn on that…a real treat to us little Horseshoe Bend children. I remember her putting the pop corn into little bowls and giving each of us one. We children would all sit on the old wooden floor around the heater eating it, being careful not to lose one popped kernel!
The heater sides would glow a fiery red when it was at it’s hottest, and as a little bitty thing, I thought it was soooooo pretty! I can distinctly remember mama telling me many a time to; stay away from it, not to touch it. Well, I was always hardheaded and one day when I was around 3 or 4 years old or so, curiosity got the best of me and ignoring my mama’s warnings, I stuck my little hand to that pretty red glow.
Let me tell you, I never did it again.
As in life, I reckon some lessons are remembered best when learned the hard way.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.