Christmas Remembered pg.3

In the  early 40’s,  my Dad took me to the  Poultry Store (live birds) and we picked  out the live  Turkey, to be prepared, quickly, for us to pickup on our return  –  we needed to head for  McConnell’s fruit and vegetable store, for some of the other ingredients needed by  my Dad to prepare our Christmas dinner. All these stores we went to  –  to do our shopping were within a block or two. Today: all of these little stores are combined  under one roof and some big  Name Super Store!

After picking up the “Turkey” and everything needed  – we headed home. Immediately  –  my Dad  turned into an Irish elf  –  no cook book needed  –  he had  pots and pans going  – the smells and aroma were  the indication something  “special” is taking place  –  and this is going to be a delicious time for all!

Also, can not forget  the Christmas tree –  we all dressed warm and headed out –  there were several “tree lots” to check out and we all had to give our    “ooh o ‘s   and   ah’s”   and with the “Right Tree” –  we headed for  home  and in a hurry!

My Dad knew where all the  “Christmas Stuff”  would be found – and brought the outside lights  – outside  and all the inside  ornaments and lights  to the living room. The lights for outside were the size of a 25 watt or 40 watt   round bulb  –  in no time at all,  he had the  “Christmas tree and snowball bush all decorated,  and with that size bulb the  decorating was beautiful!    Now, ready to do the inside decorating!

The best memory of all this  “Christmas” prep was that the  “Turkey”  was so big, it was the only thing, you could put in the  “oven”  –  so when the  “Turkey was stuffed”  –   into the “oven ”   it went , and after midnight  it would be cooking slowly,  and as we slept –  you would think you were in “Heaven”   –  the aroma was so heavenly!

Around    –  5 a.m. to 6 a.m.   – you just had to get out of bed and see   if “Santa” came to our house? We all got up –  and in our time   –  back  then  – we went to Perpetual Help Church, which was just a couple of blocks away.   All the way to and from Church   –  wishing friends and relatives  a “Merry Christmas! ”   –  Back home  –  we  celebrated!

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Christmas Remembered pg. 2

One thing I really liked  about  Christmas Time  –  my Dad would take the time to make Fudge candy and Divinity candy  –  for the men and women in the Services!  When I was little, I thought you could only make candy when you had little kids, like us , to test it   –  so that you would know  just exactly from us  – that it was ready! This was a job that each of us sat around the kitchen table , waiting our turn – to taste and give our okay!   We were very important  –  to the process of  “Candy Making”  – without  us   –   how would you  do it?

Kids know so much   –  when they are little?   So many samples have to be done   –  just to get from the “soft ball stage  to the hard ball stage”  and then at the right moment you will finish making up the candy  –  to perfection!  We were the best behaved kids –  just to be a part of this most important job .

Every flat surface in the house   – had sheets  of   “Wax Paper”  – waiting for dollops of  “Divinity Candy.”   Boxes  were filled very carefully  with Fudge candy,  wrapped in wax paper,  and  Divinity Candy  wrapped in wax paper, so that no matter how that box in thrown around at the  Post Office, each and every piece of candy will make it safe and sound to some service person to enjoy!

Lucky  for  us (the tasters) mu Dad would receive more addresses  to send more requested boxes of candy, and for several nights after Dad’s regular work,   our kitchen was a “Candy Making Factory”  for the Service People!

We used to hear, that when my Dad was in the “Army” – he did three (3)  two (2) stints and this is when he did his learning to be a “Chef!”    His Mother thought he was not getting enough food to eat and every so often she would bake a three (3) layer cake and send it to him.  Her intentions were good  –  but her packing a cake to go from “Ohio to the Philippines” – the Post Office  just does not hand carry a boxed cake!

Just think of the trip the cakes would take?   You know that no matter what she wrote on that box   – no one  would read it    – and I know –   having worked at the  Post Office,  small light boxes get thrown from  one area to another!  Every time   –    he would  receive  a box of  “Crumbs!”

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Christmas Remembered

Wait!   Christmas is coming  –  you have to be good  –  If you are not good   –  you’ll get  a lump of “coal” in your stocking!   That’s no idle threat!  Did you hear anything like that when you were a kid?

In the early 40’s,  to heat the house, some people had furnaces the required  someone to shovel coal into the furnace  –  and getting a couple of lumps coal would  tell all your friends   – that you were a very bad kid all year!  And, I never  heard of any of my friends receiving  lumps of  coal?

Those were the days when the Mailman  delivered mail,  two (2) times a day, and sometimes,   someone riding a bike from  Western Union  –  showed up with a Telegram. And, these were not always good news!   Some windows  along our street had a small  oblong  “Flag” hanging with a gold star or two  –  Gold – black – blue  colors.  I’m thinking we had one in our window, when my Dad was working aboard the ships in California.

I used to like to watch out the front window for the  “Mailman”   for we always received mail!   One letter  sent to me,  had sand  from the beaches  –  pasted along the bottom  –  just so I would know what the sand looked like in California.  My Dad said they had so much  –  that they would not care if I had some?

It’s amazing how much mail  we were receiving –   – something each time  –  morning  and afternoon.  Everybody  sent  Christmas Cards with newsy letters inside  –  and they only cost ,   ” three cents!”

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Autograph Memories pg. 7

Sister Emeline (12-26-49)  and (01-16-50) this second  date is from my  second book of autographs.  This is truly a friend  for a lifetime, and I am very glad to have been  her friend!  I always felt like a part of her family, since Sister  told me so much of her life before becoming a Nun.

Sister Alvira (02-04-49) – my 5th and 6th grade Teacher!  Also, she was the youngest  girl of her  family and also became a Nun. Sister Reynold,   Sister  Loyolis  (06-10-50) –   Sister Emeline  and Sister Alvira  all good Nuns –  I sure am glad to have been a part  of their family, while on our journey  in life!  Sister Alvira, a friend for life and  someone I kept in touch with forever!  “Lucky ME” –  to have had  wonderful life-long friends!

Betty Weisenberger wrote  in my book with a   P.S. message – “Remember when we had charge of the –  Rat Hole!”  That was one job very few wanted.  But, one must keep in mind that when  “Friday” came around – you always went to the Normandy Theatre  –  you were never in the general circulation to get into  “Trouble.” Trying to remember our numbers, Betty had a sister   Edna – I was ’91’  and   they were ’92’ and ’93’ – maybe someone will let me know?

Mary Kreitner  (02-13-49) was the rich aunt of  Jeanne Saettle’s family and cousin to our family. She was about the same age and did the same Catholic Society type things that my Aunt Irene Riley did. Here is what Mary Kreitner wrote in my book –  “When you grow old and can not see  –  put on your spectacles and think of me!” Guess what?  I am old  and need my spectacles   – to see  and thinking of you!

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“Safe House”

Yesterday  –  Wash Day Monday  –  Outside  — a dreary type day  –  never expected to see what I saw from the  “Basement Window!” We have windows above the wash machine and dryer  –  usually makes “one” inside feel good to see what is going on,  while confined to the  “Laundry Room Duty.”

The  wash machine buzzer – rang  –  so, I hurried back to take the clothes from the machine  –  when with, a quick look out the  window  –  caught a glimpse of something  on the stairs leading to the deck?  Absolutely amazing  –  a large cat  –  curled up  on the 3rd step down  –  sleeping!  Well, I had to stop what I was doing  with the laundry,  and really check out what I was observing?

This looked like a cat that came to my  “back door” a couple of times before  –  she meows,  but as  soon as I open the door  –   she retracts  –  to the top of the steps  –  looking uncomfortable   –  scurries away  –  toward the park!  I left food and water  out, but I can not be sure she gets this, as she has only been here  4  or  5  times.

I have seen hedge hogs and raccoons here and they probably take care of any food  left for the “cat.”  It is  –  good to see  “she”    feels  “safe here”  –  to take a much needed  nap  –  and found a spot high enough up  off the ground to  watch the birds!


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“Santa” Landed!

Last night  a loud noise was coming from the  Park and River – so I looked out the windows facing  – the Missouri River  –  nothing!   The noise  getting closer, and now sounding  like the  Fire Engine?   So, I looked out  more windows  –  and looking to see if I could see  Fire or Smoke?  Well, the noise is getting too close,  so I go to the  Front Door  –  open enough  to see out   –  slowly a big  Fire Engine is coming down the street  – and right toward our intersection!

Now  I hear  Christmas music  –  some of the words  –  Santa is on his way!  The  Fire Engine   is making a different  kind of noise  –  not  –  the emergency  type of sound you usually hear when they are racing down the street to a fire!

Neighbors are out of their homes  –  all to see and hear what is happening?  “What is the Matter?”  Guess what  – it’s a  “Parade”  –  on the trailer following the  “Firetruck”  is “Santa”  on his sleigh  – calling out to everyone  “Merry Christmas”  and you could hear  “Santa” doing  his  “Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  “Merry Christmas everyone!”

I felt like a little kid   –   this was the same feeling – just as if I won the”Lottery”  just to see  “Santa” in a parade in front of your house.     (Ho!  HO!  from me to Santa!)

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