My family has always been important to me. As a child, my paternal grandparents lived on the second floor of our fourteen room farm house. Grandma always made sure my homemade dresses had an extra touch, whether it was tiny flowers embroidered in tiny stitches on the collar, bits of lace on ruffles, or a smocked bodice. Grandpa taught me to play dominoes, which greatly improved my ability to add my scores.

I have always loved Christmas trees. One year as a child, I persuaded Dad to go to the woods for a tree in early December. It was a hemlock which loses its needles more quickly than spruce or pine, which didn’t grow on our farm. Before Christmas the tree had shed. Mom removed all the decorations and Dad went back to the woods for another tree.

One Christmas my maternal grandparents gave me a large Flexible Flyer, which traveled to and from my one-room school daily during the winter. It now belongs to my grandchildren.

This was the first Christmas in sixty years, Richard hasn’t been with me. My family, my son and daughter-in-law and two grandsons, my daughter and daughter-in-law have done all they could to ease the days. Without their support, the days would have been lonely, but they weren’t. Tears still fell, but they were not of regret. We remembered, but they were happy memories that made us laugh through our tears

Together my family celebrates!.

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