A Christmas Memory

Posted in The Widow's Blog | 6 comments

Thinking we all have memories that flood our minds this time of the year.

Christmas has always been a wonderful time for my family and me.

Tonight after supper, I sat down in my living room, thinking how quiet the house had become again. Even though I am used to living alone and the quietness, it is always a shock when it returns. For a few days, my home was so full of laughter, excitement, and love while my family visited. While glancing around the room, my mind recalled the different scenes that had played out in my home. It was like I was trying to record a CD in my head for future recall when my mind wandered to a memory from a long time ago.

My Grandmother, who we called Ninnie, lived in Hico, Texas, which is where I was born. My parents, brothers, and I lived in Levelland, Texas. This particular Christmas, we had driven to Hico to stay with my Ninnie for Christmas.

About three blocks down and across the road from Ninnie’s house was a feedlot. There were all kinds of animals in the feedlot. Bundled up in jackets and hats to keep out the cold, my brothers and I went to the feedlot. With great anticipation, we would stand on the wooden rails of the fence to see the animals, hoping we would get to help feed them.  I am not sure what year this was, but since I do not remember my two youngest brothers being around, I would say probably 1954 or 1955, which would make my age around five or six years old, my oldest brother seven or eight years old, and my youngest brother three or four years old.

It was frigid that day, and there was snow on the ground, but we were too excited to be cold or want to play in the snow.  What we did notice was a baby lamb that was lying on the ground looking lifeless.  The manager of the feedlot picked the lamb up and told us that his Momma would not feed him.  We said to him that our Ninnie would let us have the baby lamb, and we would feed it.  Well, he wasn’t so sure about that but told us to run back to her house and ask her.

We ran as fast as our little legs could run then ran into the house, shouting for Ninnie.  Ninnie came out of the kitchen wearing her apron, asking us what all of the excitement was.  When we all started talking at once, she started laughing as she sat down on a dining room chair, then asked my oldest brother, Jimmy, what was going on.  Ninnie agreed to let us get the lamb from the feedlot, feed him with a bottle, and keep him inside by the fireplace for the night, but she would have to return him to his mother in the morning.

The picture that I see the clearest today is that of the three of us lying on a bed made of quilts with blankets for cover in front of the fireplace feeding and cuddling with the baby lamb.  The smells of wonderful food cooked during the day, along with the scent of the freshly cut Christmas tree, filled the air.  As I drifted off to sleep, I remember hearing soft Christmas music playing and the wood crackling as it burned in the fireplace.

When we awoke in the morning, Ninnie told us that she had taken the baby lamb back to it’s Momma, then she hugged us tightly and fed us an excellent breakfast of eggs, ham, and homemade biscuits with gravy or churned butter with freshly made preserves.  We never asked about the lamb, and Ninnie never mentioned him to us, but in my heart, I like to picture him playing with his Momma.

 

6 Comments

  1. On this cold winter night, reading this memory warmed my body and soul. Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas to you, our dear friend

    • Thank you, Chuck. It is a Beautiful Memory for me. Time passes us by so quickly. It’s hard to believe this memory was from so long ago.
      Merry Christmas to you and Shirley. You two are very Special to me.
      God Bless You two.
      Nancy

  2. It is too bad we learn to lose the wonder of childhood – to wonder at a new birth of an animal, to wonder at life itself. We become so used to things being commonplace that we need a reminder. Thank you for being able to remember and to share that wonder with us. You are a blessing.

    A merry Christmas to you and to your departed family. Looking forward to sharing the new year with you.

    • Thank you so much, Jerry. Praying you and your family have a Beautiful Christmas.
      My life has been Blessed to have you in it.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy

  3. What a beautiful memory, Nancy. I’m glad I found your post on LinkedIn so I could read it. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was quiet but good.

    • Diane, I had a Beautiful Christmas. It was quiet here too, but had all but three of my Grands and Great Grands on the 20th. My son and Daughter-in-law came in too.
      God Bless You and so happy you are up and running again.
      Love,
      Nancy

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