This is a story of many years ago. It started early one morning when my innocents was a part of my life. I smelled the bacon and the eggs that mom was cooking. I knew that this was the morning that all children look forward too every year. I could here my sisters saying "look at the tree". My body wanted to rise but my eyes had not yet opened so I could walk. My sisters ran to my room and proceeded to wake me up and drag me to the living room at the same time. When my eyes opened, I could see my dad siting in his chair, and my mother with her apron on looking at me with a smile that only parents can have. Then as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and tried to stand. Believe me that the people that invented the one piece footie sleepwear for small kids,have never tried to stand or even walk in them. The clothing just looks good on me, because I am the cutest boy that had to wear them.(haha) Then with a mighty tug from my sister, I was whorled around and there in front of me was what I had hoped and paid Santa for. (my last 2 cookies and a 1/2 glass of milk) MY FIRST BICYCLE. It was everything I wanted, it was red with 2 big lights on the front,2 large wheels, a ringy thing to alert everyone that I was coming, chrome handles. Those last cookies were worth it. I ran and got dressed and took out my new bicycle and exhausted myself and then came in and ate the food that woke me up the the best day of my life. Then we sat down as a family and handed all of the rest of the presents out. The tree was packed with what looked like hundreds of wrapped gifts. Each of my sisters got what they wanted. Did they leave cookies also?? Boy, Santa really scored at this house. Mom,dad,2 sisters and me that is 10 cookies, and a lot of milk. Does this happen at all of the houses on my street? If so, no wonder Santa is so big. I think this is when the innocents of a young boy turns to understand what life is all about. The gifts under the tree all had tags that had were printed in a handwriting that was known to me. (To,David From Mom.) I thought that Santa brought the gifts that were carefully positioned under the tree. Then when we handed the gifts out mom handed me a gift to give dad. the tag said To dad From david and it was in my handwriting. Boy Santa is good, he can write like me. Then as the gifts were given out each of us said thank you to all, for the gifts. I thought to myself did I get all of the gifts that had my name on them. How did I know what my sisters wanted, or even what my parents wanted? These were questions that would be answered later in the day at my Grandparents house.
Later in the day we all knew that the trip to Grandma's house was about to come. The long ride in the back of my dads 51 chev. I could tell when we were about there because the long road off the highway started with a bump on a dirt road the had a long chicken house on the left. then the long downward hill to the bottom where the kudzoo covered the pipe across the creek. Then up the hill, and the long tall pines on both sides of the road could be seen. The road was sand with spots of grass in the middle with pot holes along the way. Then I could here my cousins playing outside there house with the Christmas gifts they received that morning. I knew that we were almost there. I was looking for the little white house with smoke coming out of the chimney, and the porch that Grandpa always stood waiting for us to come. The yard had three large oak trees and the sand. All of the grand kids loved that, because we used the front yard as a playground. The yard was full with as many cars as it could hold. I could here Grandpa say "glad you came come on in". So we unpacked all of the gifts and the food that was left from lunch. We entered the white house where Grandma lived and smelled the wood heater that heated the house and where all would set around and talk. The smell of food that grandma was preparing in the kitchen would let me know that this was the place that i loved to come. When Grandma knew that we were there, I hoped the hug that only Grandma could give was to come. Then it was time to scope out the long table with all of the food on was. This was told to me by my uncle, "we men look at the table and know where the good stuff is". That way when it is time to eat we go straight to what will fill our plate. I listened very closely because his plate was the biggest,tallest,and had all the good stuff on it. What really got me thinking was why every time we started to eat he would say "Man with a Baby coming though" it always worked, all cousins and aunts, uncles, moved to the side. When I looked there was no baby! I think this was a trick that worked, so I just got on his heals and followed him to the table. My innocents came to light, I was the baby!! My uncle used me. I felt that he was trying so teach me, or was he???
After the meal was done and all was stuffed we sat down, and a play was given by all of the cousins, and it was good. All of the uncles, aunts,and cousins got quiet because we knew that we were about to here a poem by my aunt. I would close my eyes and here her lovely voice start the poem,"Twas the night before Christmas". I felt that I in the poem she recited, because we were home, and living what she recited. My innocents was still with me, and I believed that life was like the poem we just listened to. When all was done, the cousins were chosen and the gifts were given out. It seemed strange that Santa knew we would be there. I was confused, and my aunt knew there was a question in my eyes. She asked what was wrong? I asked her how did Santa know we all would be here? See explained that Santa needed help and we all helped Santa by giving presents to the ones we love. At that point in my life, my innocents was gone and my heart was filled with the love of Christmas.
As I looked around the house where my Grandparents lived, and saw Grandma in her chair near the Christmas tree, and Grandpa in the room with the wood heater talking with all of the men. All of the cousins running and playing, and all of the aunts sitting by the table I knew that this was a memory that would be within me till the day I leave this earth, to join the ones I love.
So, as I look down from my house on top of the hill. I can see the place where my Grandparents once lived. Even though the house is gone, The memories of that place on God's earth will never be forgotten.
KEEP THE CAMPFIRES BURNING
Sandra & David