Do You Miss Home? Part 4 – Winter.

A true child’s story of winter.

When winter finally set in the snow would start.  I am sure we must have had snow-days due to the heavy snowfalls, but I don’t remember them.  I do remember spending almost every daytime second outside.  We didn’t care how cold it was; it didn’t matter.  You know how they dress the kid from A Christmas Story all bundled up – that was how all of us looked every time we went out to play.  My little sister and I would just flop down on the heavy blanket of snow and roll all the way down the hill.  It was a blast and a beautiful memory – even the struggle trying to climb back up to do it all again.

kid in full snowsuit (Yes – we looked EXACTLY like this every winter!)

Christmas was a wondrous time, but winter itself was (still is) my thrill.  Snow drifts would build over six feet high and get a frozen, crusty layer on the top of them.  That was always our snow forts.  We would start hollowing the drifts out and make tunnels, doorways, windows all along the drifts.  As long as the weather stayed freezing, the drifts would stay in that shape from playtime to playtime.

These pics give you the idea. However, we were never such woosies that we had to use portable fire pits. (Mainly because we did not have them back then.)  Oh, and NO DRINKS of any kind.  When we got cold enough, into the house, we would go, and mom always had hot cocoa on the stove waiting.  A bowl of marsh mellow’s on the side, please.

The kids on top of the snowbank are exactly what we looked like.  Not so many trees, more steep rolling hills.  When dad came through the driveway, around the barns and sheds with the tractor and front end blade;  the snow would really pile up on the banks, and then the fun would begin.

old tractor and plow

(Yep, this was like ours but no Quonset, we had a machine shed -bigger than a Quonset – that kept all of our farm equipment.)

We also did not have sleds we had saucers and one huge bad-ass toboggan.  The toboggan held the whole family if we squished together, it was huge!  The saucers were the most fun for us.  Not only did they go downhill the fastest, but they were lighter/easier to lug back up the hill, and could easily be hooked on ropes behind that little tractor and pull us all over the place.  Our large field off the yards and gardens was our favorite.  Plenty of room to swing way out when sledding.  Think of water skiing only sitting down on a big metal saucer (yes, our original ones were metal – never grab without gloves metal), hanging onto the heavy rope handle that was tied to the tractor.  Dad’s job: Take corners fast enough to swing us wide and try to dump us off our sleds – happened every time.  Dad 3, daughters 0.

Kids saucer-plastic      This is a new version of our old favorite, and yes, if I had the opportunity to try one today – I would!

kids saucer-metal   This one is almost exactly like ours – but no tow-rope or connectors for it, and the handles were a heavier rope type, not floppy like these nylon-cloth ones.  Man, could it fly down the fields and across the snow!  Think about your car sliding around on icy roads.  That would be us only laughing about it all the way.

When it gets right down to it, I still believe that winter is my favorite of the seasons.  The others have their merits, but winter is:

  • Family
    • Christmas
      • Fun
        • Warmth
          • Sharing
            • Playing
              • HOME

Tis the season to remind us that snow is here specifically for the kid in us all.

winter-time for home

(Oh, and a Merry Christmas to all!)

You can also check me out on:  www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.

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WHAT’S YOUR CHRISTMAS LIKE?

Hi, Ho All!  And a very Merry Christmas to you.

So, what’s on your agenda for Christmas?  We are traveling to Aurora (for those of you not of this area – it is a suburb of Denver – bigger than Denver now I think?) to spend a night with our other sister and her husband.  This night of Christmas Eve will be the first time we have ALL gotten together for Christmas, on Christmas, in about ten years.  It seems there was always someone working or something messing up the plans.  Since it falls on Saturday and Sunday this year – wooo hooo!

The festivities will include:

  • Drinking beer and setting up stuff.
  • Eating food created by all the families and friends.
  • Drinking beer and sharing the funnies from 2016.
  • Laughing, LAUGHing, and then more LAUGHING (it is a MUST every Christmas!)
  • Drinking beer and yelling at the kids to settle down (ya, like that’s gonna happen?!)
  • Trying to keep the kiddos busy until it is time to open presents (yes, we do it on Christmas Eve – however, also on Christmas day …the ones that Santa brings are on Christmas day).
  • Drinking beer – always before calling relatives, it’s a must!
  • Calling out-of-state relatives and sharing fun memories of winters and Christmas past.
  • Drinking beer while eating.
  • Torture the kids by telling them we will open presents when the 15 minutes is up (note: we started the 15-minute countdown about 60 minutes ago – hee hee)
  • Drinking beer and moving to a fun present opening spot (preferably one good for pics too for me)
  • Open presents. Now this part REALLY drives the kids nuts.  We do name exchange with the adults, and they must wait until the said adult has opened the present, I have gotten a picture, and then they get to open something. (ok, more giggling here is required!)
  • Drinking beer – to steady the camera of course!
  • All presents to family and friends are opened, now it’s time for the kids to play and adults to laugh and talk more. Sometimes we do games.  Usually dice games (we love Yahtzee!!).
  • Drinking more beer while eating more food – gather strength to say bye to friends and family for the night. It maybe another year before we get to see them all again – boo hoo hoo!
  • The food starts to disappear into to-go containers as the crowd starts to dwindle. Eventually, we will all drift off to sleep on a piece of furniture (or maybe the floor since her downstairs level has a heated floor – niiice!!!).
  • The next morning consists of Coffee, a homemade special breakfast, packing up the goodies and heading home.

Once home, chores must be accomplished first (at which point the animals all make it a moment to let us know that they know we were gone!  Pecking, squawking, biting…the norm.), then into the house to see what Santa has delivered.

My grandson has not been at his best this year, especially in the last month.  I have warned him that Santa does not like this, to which he replied: “I’m not sure I believe in Santa anymore?!”  To which I responded with – “Oh, really?  So I can send him a letter that you do not need anything or maybe just some coal for the outdoor cooker this year since you don’t believe?”  He immediately reneged on his previous statement…hmmmm?!?  So, I may have to find or make some small boxes and put a chunk of coal in each one.  Then lovingly place them under the tree – hee hee, yes, this warms my heart!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!

(My Christmas cacti are bloomin fools this year!)

WAS THIS A KINDER TIME?

I fell back to childhood again when I looked at this picture from my Facebook feeds:

ultimate-xmas-tree-2016

I am linked to a page: DoYouRemember.  Most of what they send out just brings back some fun memory.  This one struck a heart string.  A thought and feelings from what seemed to be a kinder time.  

My Grandmother, on my mother’s side, had a home and tree that I think looked just about like this.  Grandma Hill was amazing.  I do not remember much of her, unfortunately, but what I do remember is wonderful.  I also do not remember her EVER being cross with anyone or anything.

Her home was nestled behind this hidden garden.  It was the other lady’s garden ( I don’t remember if she was the landlady or just the lady in the other apartment.  I remember she always looked beautifully put together.  Not a hair out of place. Her apron may have had recent dirt or cooking stuff on it, but it was obviously freshly pressed before use.

We always called her Grandma; her husband was Grandpa Joe.  I was very young when both passed away, so much of them is not clear.  There was something about her home.  It was always warm and welcoming.  There is something about the window behind this tree that moved me to write about this – I just cannot put my finger on it?

Maybe it is just the tinsel on the tree?  It is different now and hard to find but still out there (going to try to find some this year!).  It used to be made of different things: aluminum, cellulose acetate, lead alloy foil.  Then there are the issues of toxins, animals, fish and birds having troubles with it after Christmas.  I just remember how extra special it made the tree look.  All the fancy lights and light shows they have now just don’t come close.  I am surprised that no one has created a safe version of the stuff. 

Childhood was real trees.  We could not afford a fake one.  When the season was over, all the ornaments – including the tinsel – were taken off the tree and stored for next year.  The tree then went down to our dump (yes, we were big enough to have our own dump, then again most farmers did back then).  

So today, November 15, 2016, I had a flashback to one of my Christmas memories from long ago (VERY long ago – J).  I like to keep my holidays in the season, but this season is not cooperating with me.  I apologize for the early topic, but I wanted to share the happy thoughts.

Happy November 15th!

 

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