Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, Just Like the Ones I Used to Know!

This is the last week before Christmas.  It's 6:13 in the morning on Sunday, December 18th, 2011.  It is 51 degrees outside, so it's warm.  Christmas is the one time of the year that I don't mind the cold.  I don't mind the snow.  Living in Central Texas gives us little hope of a white Christmas, but I can remember Christmases past in New Jersey when there was so much snow our boots weren't high enough to keep it from falling into them and on our feet!

I remember sleigh riding at the country club nearby.  There was a hill that we all dragged our flexible fliers up and came racing down.  Sometimes we would run and throw ourselves on the sled so that we could start out going fast.  Flexible fliers were the best sleds you could have.  You could lie on your belly and go face first down the hill, you could sit and hold the rope and steer with your feet, or you could make a 'train', on your belly with your feet locked into the front of the sled behind you.  It would take a little bit of time to get going because of the weight, but once it got started, look out below! 

I remember the first time my Dad took me ice skating.  I was four years old.  He took me to a frozen pond at the same golf course and held my hand as he turned in circles and then let me go!  Off I went on legs like Bambi.  I don't recall if I fell or not, but I loved to ice skate!  Peggy Fleming was my heroine.  Dad took us to the Ice Follies and the Ice Capades at Madison Square Garden and it was the most amazing, colorful, fun time!  Oh, how I wanted to be an ice skater and wear those beautiful sequenced outfits!

I remember that the signal to let us know if school was closed for the snow was that the fire whistle would blow.  We would wake up, look out the window, and if it was snowing out we would lay back and wait to hear the whistle.  If it didn't blow, it was time to check with the radio.  If school wasn't cancelled, we'd better beat feet as they said back then and get ready or we'd be late.  I remember how disappointed we'd be if we had school.

The trees where I lived were 80-100 feet tall.  Just beautiful oak and maple trees.  I remember Christmases when there was so much snow, the branches were covered, the streets were like tunnels, and the beauty of the star-filled night was magnificent.  God in His glory!  I remember making the first footprints in the snow.  I remember getting so cold, our gloves soaking wet from playing and having snowball fights that our hands were bright red and just plain hurt.  But we didn't want to risk going home for a dry pair and being told we couldn't go out anymore that it was getting late and we had had enough for the day.  Had enough?!  Oh no, not this kid! So I learned to keep an extra pair of gloves or mittens in my pocket.

I would go Christmas caroling with my friends and hope that someone would give us a quarter.  It would make it all worth while!  Climbing over the piles where the plow had just been and getting snow in my boots, ugh, it was so darn cold!  But we kept going.  Christmas would be over soon enough. 

Christmas will always be memories of snowball fights, sleigh riding, caroling, and ice skating to me.  Beautiful nights, blindingly bright days.  We don't have that in Central Texas on Christmas Eve, but I always think about how nice it would be.  Just for that one night.  Just for fun. 

Thank You, Lord, that you gave me memories.  Thank You that I can still 'go back' to those more innocent times, relive them in my heart, and smile.  I can see my Mother young, my older brother's smile, and almost feel the cold wind freezing the water in my eyes! 

I don't know if you have snow where you live, dear Reader, but if you do, I understand all the work involved with clearing the driveway (boy DO I, we had to shovel, no snow blowers) but I still wish I had it here.  I'd just walk and take pictures and slide down the hill in my backyard.  This is a picture of snow at our home last February. It lasted about 8 hours.  It wasn't Christmas, but it was beautiful!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_90Q91RAfIU



Merry Christmas, and God bless you. Remember a Christmas that makes you smile and thank God for it!  I can still dream, can't I?  God bless you everyone!
Deirdre

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