Christmas memories at Grandma’s

 

 

“Over the river and through the woods”
Could’ve been written by my hand
‘Cause much of its truth matches my
memories
Of holiday travel that we thought was
quite grand!

Grandma’s big old log house was two miles
away.
It was off a side road which was often the
last one plowed.
When the snow piles up, the cars couldn’t
budge.
Horse and sleigh was the only way to
transport the crowd.

Several families would arrive at our place
located on the main road
With their steaming hot dishes in bath
towels all wrapped up.
My dad would hitch our mules Jack and
Babe to the wagon/sleigh,
Then we’d all climb on the hay and we’d
be off with a sharp “Giddy up!”

There was the added aroma of my mom’s
baked beans
And great anticipation and excitement in
the cold crisp air.
We knew there’d be lots of homespun fun
and laughter;
Just great games, fellowship, and food
when we got there.

We’d have homegrown fried chicken,
home-baked bread,
And maybe delicious wild blueberry pies or
crunch.
We kids would go upstairs to play games
and romp
Until we were called down to enjoy the
abundant lunch.

At Christmas, the oilcloth-lined clothes
baskets would be brought out,
With grab bag gifts gaily wrapped with
care.

Somehow each one of the large family got
to open something,
Even of some couldn’t provide a gift to
share.

We knew dear Aunt Electa and Uncle Bert,
Who had no children of their own,
Were the special Santas then and were
always there for us,
Even when we were out on our own and
grown.

It’d be pretty cold by the time we headed
home
With the horses’ breath showing lots of
steam.
We’d wrap up in old army coats, blankets
and hay
And happily discuss the day and next year’s
holiday dream.

At home the fire would be out in the old
barrel stove,
So some kindling would be quickly lit.
We’d keep our coats on until at least
The small house would warm up a bit.

With cousins gone and goodbyes said, the
folks would go milk cows
And do all the necessary outside chores.
When they’d come back in, they’d crank up
the cream separator
While we heard nothing, and they just
heard our snores.

Christmas was again over, and we’d just
look forward
To another great time at Grandma’s house.
But for the time being our closed eyes and
tired bodies
Weren’t even aware of the beady eyes of a
peeking mouse.

By Belle Storbeck Aurora, MN

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