Friday, December 15, 2017

Family Memories: The Christmas Tree

Here is a Christmas Tree Memory from my paternal grandmother,
Ivy R. (Mark) Brown, 1908 OH – 2003 NY,
daughter of Thomas K. & N. Regina (Gruissy) Mark.
In 1994 she talked to me about Christmas in Ohio when she was a little girl.

Some years it was kind of spare. Some years we had a tree and we had candles, wax candles. The night before we took the tree down Dad would get a couple buckets of water and put it by his chair and light all the candles. We would all sit around and sing Christmas Carols and look and watch the candles burn, Dad keeping a sharp eye on the tree.

Here I am, many years ago, in a new blue dress, in front of the Christmas tree.

Here is a Christmas Tree Memory of my own about my brothers and our mother, 
Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, 1928 – 1992,
daughter of Nathaniel & Helen (Coyle) Gardner.

Our mother made Christmas a magical time for us. The tree, the presents, the candles in the windows, the cookies. Our mother did it all. The  tree. We’d usually buy a tree from a local farm. My brothers would slide it in back of the station wagon and we’d take it home to decorate. One year, my oldest brother, Lance, had a friend who told him about a place where we could cut down our own tree. It was south of us, in Rock City.  We decided to try it. We bundled up in warm clothes, my brothers got the saw and we piled into the big old station wagon. The tree nursery was on the side of a steep hill, covered in snow, ice and pine trees. Lance’s friend assured our mother it was safe to drive up the hill on the rustic ‘road’ which was nothing but a dirt path. She did. As we were selecting a tree, it began to snow, adding a new, thick layer to the snow already on the ground. My brothers, Lance and Del, laid in the snow and carefully cut down the tree. Our youngest brother, Mark, helped them to load it in the car. It was time to leave when we realized there was no place for Mom to turn the car around. Lance’s friend admitted that his parents had walked up the hill. He had never seen anyone drive up. Very slowly and cautiously Mom backed down that hill.  By then it seemed more like a mountain to all of us. The snow was coming down heavily. The tree blocked Mom’s rear view. She rolled down her window and put her head out to see where she was going. We children were all very quiet so she could concentrate. On the way down she backed over more than one small pine tree, which helped to slow our decent. When we were safely down we were all very happy!

I hope you make many new family memories this Christmas! 

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