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Christmas Eve Yesteryears
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"The Night Before Christmas"

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When out on the lawn
there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed
to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew
like a flash,
tore open the shutter
and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast
of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday
to objects below.

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This Christmas trip to the grand parents began early in the morning. The family was tucked into our horseless carriage, a loaded lumber truck. Snow was piled high along the road , towering above the cab, meeting our eyes as we peered through the windows of the truck.

Our trusty steed labored ever so slowly out of the mountains above Boise. Dad knew the way ...but we traveled through the snow, not "over the snow" as a horse would have pulled the mythical sleigh of yesteryears.

The roads were precarious and my older brother Hubert, on more than one occasion, assisted Dad by pushing the load,
as he placed his shoulder against the dashboard, in his anxiety. "I'm pushing Dad" he would say. " everyone hold up your feet now".

Who were we to convince him that his efforts were in vain. The whole family would cheer when we finally breasted a hill and descended the other side.

Finally the pavement was unrolling before us out of the swirling snow. Yea! We had made the trip out of the mountains. Then disaster struck, our trusty stead began to cough and wheeze. "Oh no", groaned Dad. "Of all nights for this to happen ... I'm afraid we're out of gas.

Dead silence, enveloped us. Our spirits pummeled, the cab of the truck began to cool, without gas to run the heater. Out side the feather size flakes of snow swirled around us. The country side was dark, not a house or Christmas light in sight.

"Well" ...said Dad, "there is just one thing to do". "You'll have to remain here and I'll walk for help". I don't recall how we remained warm or how long he was gone. I do remember after waiting what seemed to be an eternity, that Grandpa's car arrived to pick us up.

Dad had finally arrived at a farm house that had one of those "new fangled talking machines". Modern technology had come to our rescue. Magical ...yes, and then as we opened the door to electric lights on the tree, it was a sight beyond our wildest imagination.

In those days our packages were opened on Christmas Eve. This, to accommodate going to Mom's folks for Christmas dinner the next day. So now, having been delivered from the clutches of Jack Frost and from that cruel winter wonderland, we gathered around the great pot bellied stove and absorbed the friendly heat.

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