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December 21, 2010

A Christmas Story

With this Christmas story I share with you some my ornaments and Christmas decorations at my home.  The story I received from by E-mail.  Ok don't laugh at my nativity scene... I made that myself years ago.  There are antique bottles under all the characters.
 A Christmas Story 
September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.  Their father was gone.
The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.
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Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.  Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they
would scramble to hide under their beds.  He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
PC130002 (2) Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.  If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. PC120009 I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town..
No luck. 
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The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.  Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop..  It was called the Big Wheel.
PC120027 An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.  She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.
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She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.  I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.  She could arrive with her pyjamas on and the kids would already be asleep.  This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
PC120018 That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.  When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.
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As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.  The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak.  I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.
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One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and
found four tires in the back seat. New tires!
There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. 
Had angels taken up residence in Indiana?   I wondered.
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I made a deal with the local service station.  In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.  I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.  I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.  Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.
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I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.  Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.
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On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
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A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.
The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
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When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.
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I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.  Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.
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Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!
I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.
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Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.  There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.
 PC050005 And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. 
And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
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Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December.  And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
 The End
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So let the warm glow of ways of Christ illuminate thru out the year......
Wishing everyone a safe and warm Christmas and remember to keep our Creator in your heart always
and have a
Good Morning…   Good Afternoon…  Good Night…
Whatever it is to you.
Photos by
Here I Am/Carrie
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13 comments:

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Merry Christmas everyone, Sorry I haven't been around. Had my Christmas party and over did it in work preparations. I did something to my sciatic nerve. I can't even sit for long with the pain in my foot, leg and hip. Haven't been able to sleep. If it's not better by morning I am going to the doctors. So it's been hard sit here at the computer. I had this blog prepared already. But as the stabbing pain hits my hip I know I can't stay here long. But got most my work all done for Christmas so can take it easy for a few days and hope it gets better. Missing all of you.. Hugs Carrie

Mei said...

Wow... I'll read more later, got to get ready to work in the nursery. Hope you don't need to see the doctor tomorrow. Take care, Merry Christmas to you and all your love one. Mei

nita said...

Hi Carrie,
Thanks for sharing this lovely and touching story and the awesome pictures. Sorry you are unwell and in pain, get well soon. Happy Blessed Christmas and New Year - Hugs - Nita

john bord said...

Thanks for the story.
Hope the nerve is not major fix up.

Merry Christmas

Mei said...

Here I am again... :-) it's a fairytale! Wish I can find a job... will it like a dream come truth?

JennyD said...

Carrie, I loved the story, but I love your home more. It is completely entrancing! Like a fantasy wonderland. BEAUTIFUL! I think it's what everyone envisions when they conjure up the perfect Christmas house in their minds, and here you are living the dream. WOW, that is just the greatest. The last photo with the refection of you in the mirror shows just how much joy is in your home. LOVE IT. XOXOXO

michiko said...

The story about you that you works so hard but in end was happy end:-)
I rearly enjoy to read the story and pictures.

Sorry to hear you having in pain that's a bad news on the Christmas season Carrie,
Have a good rest and keeps your back warm and hope you don't need to see the doctor.

Wishs A Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and your family.

Leovi said...

Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful compositions on his blog. Wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Best wishes. Leovi.

Eddie Two Hawks said...

Christmas is about sharing all that life has to offer. Thank you for sharing; Merry Christmas

p.s. your photos are always a treat!

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Hi Everyone, Just to let you know I went to the Doctors and have very likely have a slipped disc in my lower back. L5 to be exact. I did get some pills for the pain at night so I can sleep. I am taking it easy hopeing it improves if not I will have to see a neuroligist. So as it is very painful for me sitting here at the computer I won't be around for a few days. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Hugs Carrie

Connie said...

Carrie, I'm sorry to hear about your pain. The sciatic pain I have experienced, not a slipped disc. I went to a chiropractor for the sciatic nerve. It took a while, including me being diligent with the exercises he gave me to do. I sure hope this is soon better for you.
That is a heart warming story of giving. Something we all need to do willingly.
Take care.

Janie2 said...

OH MY, so sorry you are in pain with slipped disc. No doubt you do a lot of hard work around your property and perhaps this is how it happened to you? I feel for you, any back pain is not acceptable. Take care, and hope you get on the road to recovery soon.

arcticwl said...

Carry, i have enjoyed this beautiful story and awesome ornaments and Christmas decorations while worrying about your suffering with the pains. Christmas is not only a holiday, it is a sprint show how ppl care each other.