Colonel Curt Dale sent me this Christmas Card today:
I just went out to unplug the Christmas lights for the night. Snowing now, and everything has a light coat of white on it. I'd decorated the park bench out front with garland, lights and a red bow. It's an old fashioned park bench I begged from the Civil Engineer at Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu, old even then, and nearly destroyed by some vehicle running over it, but I straightened it and corrected it's curls. With that snow on it tonight, I was reluctant to turn the lights off. So beautiful! I had on my big heavy robe, so I had to come back in, but it would be a great night for walking in the snow.Colonel Dale is one of our Vietnam War era heroes. He lives in Parker, Colorado, where I work. I had a long drive home last night through horizontal snow to the rolling hills of the high plains east of Parker. As I write this it is 10 degrees, and the ground is covered with white stuff.
It made me think of the earliest recollection I have a Christmas. Probably at about 4 years old as WWII started. Lived 7 miles from town on a dirt road down in the holler called Browns Creek! It was 1/4 mile from our house to the little country church and my one room schoolhouse that was next to it. Snowing on Christmas Eve, and Mother had the key to the church. We walked in the nighttime snow down the winding country road to the Church. Mother played the organ by ear--an old manual pump organ. We went in the Church, and she played as she and Dad--and I--sang Christmas Carols, then walked back home through the gathering snow. A perfect Christmas card etched indelibly into my mind.