Photo By: Mel Fechter

Mentoring Mankind with Memories and Musings

Jun 23,   Spring and Summer in Shangri La
Mar 20,   Adventures in Cyber Dating
Mar 13,   Stories of WWII are Fading Fast
Feb 22,   Canst Thou Protest Too Much?
Jan 26,   New Medical Paradigm On Horizon
Jan 16,   COLLEGE DAZE Is On the Horizon
Jan 10,   My Book Is On Its Way to Publication
Dec 18,   Red Letter Days Mark Milestones
Dec 17,   Today Was a Red Letter Day
Dec 1,   the 2nd Year of My Voyage is Over
Nov 20,   I Find Family and Friends at Hallmark
Nov 5,   My Book From the Male Viewpoint
Oct 12,   Music & Movies Mark My Milestones
Sep 18,   My New Life Appears on the Horizon
Aug 23,   Life is a Pathway with Many Forks
Aug 21,   The Importance of Doing My Best
Aug 4,   Life Imitates Hello Myrmidon
Aug 1,   Writing a Book Has Changed My Life
Jun 13,   Plants are Amazing Creatures
May 25,   Will You Accept My Apology?
May 1,   A Journal is a Window on Your Life
Apr 30,   A Road Trip to Shangri La
Apr 25,   Movies as Matchmakers
Apr 23,   Me at Seventy-Three!!!
Apr 19,   Make Time for Your Friends
Apr 14,   Can One Make a Difference?
Apr 9,   a snipit from HELLO MYRMIDON
Apr 1,   What Price Glory, Sweat, Tears
Mar 30,   To Retrieve or Not Retrieve
Mar 29,   Discourse on Decisions
Mar 25,   Memory Retrieval
Mar 24,   I Join the World Community
Mar 22,   Website Lessons
Mar 3,   My Miracles, Part 2
Mar 2,   My Miracles, Part 1
Feb 9,   Phones of Old, Part 2
Feb 8,   Phones of Old, Part 1
Feb 7,   Twitterpated!!!
Jan 25,   Jacob and Esau, Part 2
Jan 24,   Jacob and Esau, Part 1
Jan 10,   A New Goal?
Jan 9,   My Earliest Memories
Dec 31,   2016: Successes and Failures
Dec 30,   2016: My Self-Discovery
Dec 28,   I Finally Hear My Angels
Dec 27,   Angels and Me
Dec 26,   Angels Inspire Me
Dec 24,   the Littlest Angel
Dec 23,   Story of My Name Part 3
Dec 22,   Story of My Name Part 2
Dec 21,   Story of My Name Part 1
Dec 19,   Prior Challenges Part 2
Dec 17,   Prior Challenges Part 1
Dec 16,   My Website Challenge
Dec 15,   Astrological Review of 2016
Dec 14,   North Coast Winter
Dec 13,   an Angelic Intervention
Dec 12,   Birth of HELLO MYRMIDON
Dec 11,   Christmas Lights Fade
Dec 10,   Christmas Art Project
Dec 9,   Finding a Perfect Tree
Dec 7,   Christmas with KW
Dec 6,   Christmas around the World
Dec 4,   Mom’s Story Part 2
Dec 2,   Ghosts of Christmas Past
Dec 1,   My First Blog

Guest Blogs

Mar 24,   SusanDay on Being a Grandparent

3rd Dec Mom’s Christmas Story Part 1

As I said yesterday, my mom was born in 1907. Her father was one of the youngest of many, and was a sickly child, so he was very favored by his mom. Her mother was the youngest of 12, and as such was destined to be a pampered, spoiled child as well. My mom was one of 4 kids, and as the oldest girl she was expected to take on as many household responsibilities as her age allowed, whereas her younger sister was favored and babied. Both girls carried this scenario into adulthood, so we all knew about this early on. But mom never talked specifically about Christmas, or what it was like for her. As she approached the end of her almost 99 years I decided to ask her to tell me about it. She balked at first, so I began to ask specific questions to give her something to begin the conversation.

She told me how she, beginning at an early age, was responsible for seeing that all the candles on the tree were blown out before going to bed, so that the tree did not start a fire in the house. She said the candles were lit every evening after dinner, and burned for a couple of hours until everyone went to bed. My grandpa was the manager of the A&P grocery store, so he needed to go to bed early. She said they would decorate the tree with all kinds of little things that they had around the house.

I asked her about stockings, and she said they would each take one of their long black stockings that they wore every day and lay it over the back of a chair on Christmas Eve. In the morning there were candies and sometimes small toys in the toes. She said it wasn’t really a big deal. But she made it a big deal for us when she knitted everybody in the family their own decorated and personalized socks to hang by the hearth. She continued to do that for each grandchild as well.

Then she admitted that the thing that she remembered the most about Christmas was a “bad thing”. And as her story unfolded, so did my understanding of why Christmas was the way it was while my sis and I grew up. As she recalled the events, I could see immediately that she still carried immense pain from them after more than 90 years. I bet today she would be diagnosed with PTSD. Here is her story:

Little girls in those days at the turn of the 20th century were expected to keep their legs covered. They wore long black stockings during the summer, and then as the days got colder they wore full length tights. My mom had recently turned six when she got a new pair of tights not long before Christmas one year. As she tried them on for the first time in the bathroom one day she noticed that they were stretchy enough to reach over her head if she hooked her thumbs on each side and raised them as high as she could. She thought this was really a cute funny thing to do, so she put her dress back on and went to get her brothers to show them what she could do. She took them into the bathroom and took off her dress to show them. Of course, she was completely covered by her undergarments so she didn’t think it was improper to do that. But before she could show the boys her neat new trick they went running to their father to report that she had “undressed” in front of them. This set off a trail of events that left an indelible mark on her psyche. This is enough to think about for today, so I will stop here, and say the next installment of the story is “to be continued….”

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