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Christmas Past

I may have this all wrong, but I don't think so. Those of you who really know me, and you know who you are, have an inkling that growing up in the Price household was far from rosy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the statute of limitations on my parent's crimes has run out--I can't begin to understand their relationship, so I no longer try. That's not to say that some scars do not remain from my childhood, I just prefer not to dwell on them.

Props again to the weather forecasters. They got it right, or at least I think they did. Check this out:
 The above picture shows the front porch thermometer Tuesday morning at sunrise
This is the back one taken moments earlier. I've tried to make it as big as I can to show the 27 degree reading, which, by the way, remained stuck there until around 9. Hopefully it was somewhere between the two readings because, try as I might, this did not stay like this overnight:
Sadly, a few hours later, I discovered that the pink and blue quilt managed to come undone, leaving half the stag horn uncovered. Wrapping this baby took not only myself, perched precariously on the top of the ladder, but Angela to steady me, and in a God send,  Dodie arrived unexpectedly to help by standing on the bench holding the quilts up as I pinned them together on my high perch. After all our efforts it came apart after dark! The good news is that the side nearest the rising sun is the one uncovered, so hopefully, the warming effects will save our 36 year old treasure.

Between writing Christmas cards, and covering plants, I managed to start a fire all by myself with REAL wood.
The wind was blowing so furiously some of the smoke blew back down the flue, but not enough to impair my enjoyment of the blazing fire, or at least my version of a blazing fire!
Cozy, cozy, cozy!

Completing the winter trifecta, I made some vegetable beef soup, a really big pot that will keep me going through these cold days without Bruce. With the fire dying down and dinner eaten, I thought to myself, what I really need is a good book to read in bed. Because I've not been to the library I have nothing new. Don't ask me how this happened, but as I was leaving the kitchen, the little foyer bookcase called out to me. Well, it didn't really call out, but you know what I mean. My hand went to a small red hardback with an etching of a wolf on the cover. That's it, I'll reread this one.

As I remember that Christmas Eve from long ago, the Price children were sent to bed, Pat in his bedroom, Maureen and I in ours, and Carol, Nancy, and Lisa in theirs. The house would be considered small these days, maybe 1,500 square feet for eight people, so even behind closed doors we could hear our parents shouting at one another in the living room. What they were yelling about, I've no idea, however, it was nothing new; we'd heard it all before. What we weren't prepared for was waking up on Christmas morning to no gifts under the tree. None. Once again, these are childhood memories from an memory-impaired 56 year old, so don't quote me on this, but I think my father scooped up all the presents taking them somewhere. 3216 Montclair Road was a pretty grim place that morning. I've no recollection how we spent that morning, but later on in the day, we did receive our gifts, one of which I've kept all these years, a book I loved very much, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Opening that book for the first time in years and years, I discovered that I'd written in cursive,
Gail Price
from Mother
1963
I don't know why I wrote that except to imagine that my mother, still in a rage about whatever happened between them, insisted my father had nothing to do with giving me that book. That's where my memory stops, nothing more to tell you except that a 10 year old girl treasured that book, keeping it all these years. What's more the book was passed on to my first born, also 10 at the time,  who loved to read. One thing I'm VERY sure of is that he didn't copy what I wrote because of parental discord!
To be fair, all of my childhood Christmases were not so tragic. In fact, I wouldn't have Fred Waring without my parent's influence, as well as a host of other good things. It's so easy to judge, not so easy to forgive and forget, however, isn't that what Christmas is all about?

One last thing--that book was just as compelling as I remembered it!
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