December 28, 2007


Friday morning, just a few days after Christmas, I was thinking back of what Christmas was like when we were all together. Mom would send out Christmas cards to everyone. There was no such thing as the internet; the mailman was very important. A couple of weeks before Christmas, Mom would help me set up the tree and decorate it. Mom liked decorating the tree; she even made some candy canes following a pattern she got at TG&Y to hang on the tree. Mom liked sewing and enjoyed making things. Mom and I would hang a few decorations around the house. I would put on Christmas music and the house would be filled with the smell of Mom’s and Linda’s cooking. We were living at Sumac and the house was always filled with loud voices of the boys; Tom, Henry, and Dave, running through the house chasing each other. Mom was always after them to stop running through the house. The screen door would slam as they ran out the door. Daddy would come in from work and play his fiddle and drink coffee. I think that was the way Daddy had of relaxing. I remember a few times when Daddy made peanut brittle. He cooked ever now and then. Mom also made peanut brittle and fudge for us. Mom worked hard; she was always on her feet and was very tired at the end of the day. She would always start cooking a few days before the holidays. She would cook her cornbread first so she would have it to make her dressing. She would freeze the cornbread and then start making her pies. She always made a favorite of everyone. Jenk liked pecan pie and the pineapple cake. Tom and David liked banana pudding and Henry liked peach cobbler. Linda liked about everything as well as Daddy and me. Christmas Eve, we would open our presents. We didn’t have a whole lot, but we enjoyed the time we had together. Sometimes Daddy would break into a song “White man smells like a billy goat and a …. man smells like a ……..Keep on ……” and I can’t remember the rest of it but I think I have it on tape. Daddy always went to bed early and got up early. All of us would set up late at night and play Easy Money (like Monopoly). Mom would play until she got sleepy; then whoever could buy her out would get her property, otherwise the property would go back in the pot. Sometimes we would play most of the night and save our game till the next morning to finish. Christmas morning Mom would always get up early to start cooking the turkey.

We would have to clear the game off the table so she could set the pies on it. I would make the pea salad and the ice tea and set the table. That was the extent of my cooking. Mom and Linda did all the cooking. I had no interest in cooking; I just wanted to be outside. It didn’t make Mom happy when I complained about having to do something in the kitchen. But when it came time to eat, that was the best food ever. We would eat on it for several days. Then finally the holiday would be over and everybody would go back to their routine.

Today is very quiet; our time being together is over. Everyone has their own family and being together will be no more. Mom and Daddy and Linda are gone, but I still have my memories.


Carolyn Stephenson