Christmas Past

Who remembers when?

These days, I find myself like an aging Dylan Thomas trying to remember those days when…

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

Though I may be confused at times, I do remember those days as happy times.

Peace throw pillow
Peace

College Days

Peace in the 60s takes on a new meaning for aging “flower children”.

Remember the good old days, when a looking for a Christmas tree was a trip with a saw to the forest in a Volkswagen van?:)

Santa Picks a Tree

165PICKSATREE

Childhood

When I was a child, it was grandpa with his white beard and boots, on foot. We parked the truck by the side of the road and walked through the deep snow. The snow rose to mid-thigh, making its way inside my boots, and quickly turning to cold water. The wind and the cold made my nose runny. And though I had mittens my fingers were smitten, nearly frost bitten.

When we came home with our prize tree for all to admire, Grandma was ready with a hot cup of cocoa, but not before she said to me, “Get out of those wet clothes, you’ll catch your death” and gave grandpa a look I took for a scold.

Dragging Home a Tree

163DRAGGING

Oh, what a wonderful time. Dad’s woody wagon, a trip to the hill, sleds loaded in the back with the dogs, and whoosh!

Red Woody
163REDWOODWAGON

 

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The Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Dad parks his battered pick-up truck
By a far and distant field
We two imperfect soldiers
For the perfect cause
Take two axes to do the deed
Clad in work boots,
For the snow is freshly fallen
And the rain the day before
Makes the field as Agincourt

Trees in rows
Shielded from the road
Like the French advance on us
Or we on them.
Stooped with broken boughs,
These will never serve
To grace our home

On we march
We two imperfect soldiers
Trodding ever onward
For the perfect cause
With two trusty axes
Upon our shoulders

Deep within the woods we go
Far from city,
Far from crowds
Far from fields the farmer plows
To find a perfect tree
For our imperfect family

Some too young
Some too old,
Some quite solitary,
Tall and straight
With boughs of evergreen
I pause beneath a lovely one
To say, “This will do”
But dad replies,
“A lovelier one awaits”

Through the hours of the day
We walk and talk
Of this and that
Until our words
Slow to a trickle
Thus our thirst abates
And hunger grows

Reacquainted
With each other
Each knows
The day is done
The time has come
To do the deed
And fell the tree
I look at dad,
He at me
In silence,
We agree

This lovely tree.

Were there
Ten thousand
Christmas trees
To face that day
Not a lovelier one
Could be found
To grace this place
We call home
To celebrate
Our imperfect family