I haven’t written in a while and I’m a little late in posting this but I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! You’ll probably guess this memory is from my childhood and those of you who know me will recognize the narrative.

Christmas Past 008.

I’m nine, and I live in the southern part of Iowa. The part that looks like Missouri, cause it’s hilly and there’s a lot of timber. That’s what my Dad calls trees—timber.

I live in a hundred year-old house, that’s been added on to several times, Mom says. My Dad is proud of our house and farm. It’s the first place he and mom really own all by themselves. That means that we don’t have a landlord anymore. It has 80 acres and dad’s gonna’ farm it. He’s glad to have a place of his own after renting for so many years.

The barn is huge and should be fun to play in once summer rolls around. I’m going to look for kitten cause I saw this yellow cat run under a loose board the other day. 

Like I said, I’m nine and my baby sister was just a month old. Oh…and I gotta’ brother too! His name is Stanley. I think it’s a funny name, but mom and dad like it. Dad says they’ll call him Stan when he gets bigger. My baby sister is Eileen. She’s still kinda’ red and cry’s some, but I’m glad Mom had a girl. Now I have a sister. I have to watch her when mom goes out to milk the cows.

Our farm house sits a little off a road that runs north and south. It’ll take you to Trenton. That’s where we get gas or groceries if Mom’s in a pinch. I like the store because the Pulver’s…they own the store, are nice to me.

Since it’s Christmas Eve tonight, we’ll get dressed up and go to church. Our church in out in the country, they call it Greenmound. Don’t know why they call it that, but they do. Dad will even go. He only goes on Christmas and Easter, cause Stan and me are in the program. He wears his suit that he saves for funerals. The best part is getting the bag of candy and oranges at the end of the service. You have to wait until it’s your pews turn to head out the back of the church, and then they hand out the sacks.

We’ll come home and get ready for bed, cause Santa will come tonight. I’m not sure if I believe in him anymore, but Stanley does and my baby sister doesn’t know any better. I’d hate to be her, cause babies really don’t get anything for Christmas. They wouldn’t know if they did.

We sleep upstairs—it’s not heated. There’s only two bedrooms up there. Mom, Dad, Stanley, and the baby all sleep in one room… I get the other one. The rooms have a slanted celling and I bump my head sometimes, and then I say something bad like my Dad always does.

The floor’s linoleum, and man my feet about freeze when I hop to my bed. It doesn’t take me long to take off my cloths! Mom has so many covers on my bed, I can’t move. I like to watch my breath turn into steam when I’m falling asleep.

Sometimes I feel like we’re poor, cause we don’t have heat in our bedrooms like my friend who lives in town does. There’s a soft carpet on her bedroom floor. She gets to wear pretty pajamas that I would freeze to death in, if I wore them in my room. But, dad says it’s good for me to sleep in the cold. Sometimes, like maybe tonight, he’ll open the stair door a little before we go up, to take the chill off.

Our back porch always smells like milk, game or manure. I guess that’s what farm houses smell like. That’s where dad leaves his chore boots and cleans rabbits, if Mom lets him.

Oh well, I don’t mind cause it’s Christmas Eve. I can take anything.

Grandma and Grandpa will probably come over tomorrow. Mom will fix a big dinner, but we’ll open presents first. I hope I get the skates I saw in the Sears Catalog. Grandma will probably give me something “practical,” as Mom calls it.

It’s fun cause we don’t have school, there’s tons of snow, and I just might get those skates!

It’s cozy in our house and mom always decorates the tree with lots of tinsel. She lived in California, so she knows how to make things look pretty. Dad says she goes overboard, but then he’s just a boy!

The snow crunched tonight when I walked outside. Dad said, “That means it’s really cold, sis!” He always calls me sis. I like it when my Dad calls me, sis!

I wonder how the baby Jesus slept when it was so cold. He just had cows and sheep to keep him warm. I stood in front of one of our cows one time to see if her breath would keep me warm…no way! Mom says it was a different cold, cause it was in Bethlehem. Mom knows a lot about Jesus.

So I’m going to sleep now, and I’ll say a prayer for all those kids that only have cows and sheep to keep them warm.

I’m a lucky girl!


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