The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES


| March/April 1971



As I sit down to write the column for March and April, I find it hard to project myself this far ahead. You see, it is five days before Christmas, and Christmas seems to be a season that somehow claims all of you. A greeting came from a reader of the Iron Men Album from Granton, Wisconsin. He is a Mr. Free McHone. This gentleman has sawed lumber and threshed for sixty-one years. He has a portable saw mill, and a stationery mill run by steam. Thank you, Mr. McHone! He also affirms the fact that the corn chopping machine I mentioned in the Jan.-Feb. issue of 1970 was, indeed, a Hexel Machine. So, here, you see, is another man who reads the I.M.A. thoroughly.

I suppose Christmas is so special this year because it is our first one in our new home. After thirty-seven years of having the piney mess of a Christmas tree in the house, we put ours outside this year. We didn't have to ask any of the children what they thought about it. There weren't any here to ask!

Another thing, I never heard, once, while I was doing the trimming: 'O Mother! That looks stupid there! It would look so much better on that other wall.' And, 'You have too many blue lights together on the tree.' And, sometimes, 'Do you mean you are going to put that old thing up again?' 'That old thing' was, of course, some relic from my childhood!

But this year I have had a gloriously free hand! And I think the results are rather good. The tree is right outside of our big front windows. The snow obligingly fell on it right soon. It is flocked with white, and I had none of the work. I used some brown shoe polish on Joseph's head, where the paint was chipped off a bit, and he looks ten years younger.

Now don't get me wrong. I love all of our children! I love them very much! But just in case there are some of you who are dreading your first Christmas by yourselves, I want to point out some advantages. We will have three of them home for the day, with their mates and three grandchildren, but, to be honest with you, I haven't ever had this much fun getting ready for Christmas. I can fully savor it this year.

The adult Sunday School Class, which I teach, were out here for a party one evening last week. They presented me with a seven blossom poinsettia. It is so beautiful! It lights the whole room! There were forty-one of us and we had a wonderful time playing games and singing carols. They brought a sumptuous lunch, and we furnished coffee, tea, and punch. We did have a moment or two of doubt when we began to count noses of our members and their partners. It could have run over seventy. That was one time it was good that everybody didn't come! We ended the evening by burning all the paper plates and cups in the fireplace. It was a real blaze!