Saturday, December 22, 2012

~THE MAGIC..

No idea where I got this but it seems it must have been in some antique place.  I remember buying it but not where or when.  It looks like Santa was painted on it..no a decal.  It's one of my favorite things in my kitchen for Christmas.  It reminds me of my childhood.
 
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I was a child at the end of WWII.  I think the war ended when I was about six years old.  The depression was a terrible time.  We even slept on hay once.  My father had to leave my mother and I  picking hops while he went where he heard there was work.  We slept on the floor of a barracks with other families.  We had to climb up a ladder to get into it.  It was dry at least.
A cart pulled by a mule used to drive through the rows of hops.  I remember a terrible day when the cart drove over a little baby that the mother had put under the vines to sleep killing it.  That haunted me for years.  I was so young..just a tiny little girl.
I remember how hard it was.  The stamps we used for everything, for shoes, tires, so many things were rationed....but mostly I remember wearing those little wooden dutch shoes when I started school.   The tops were leather and the bottoms were made of wood.  I was so happy to get them.  We wore them with bobby socks.  I loved them because I could walk on my toes.  The only problem was they made my socks pull down inside my shoes..and I had to constantly pull them up.  Socks  are something I am particular about to this day. 
 
I think one of the hardest Christmas' we had was the one we spent in a motel my parents  were finally able to get for us..  It was Christmas and my mother was expecting my baby brother.    My mother put a pine branch in a coffee can. Until the day they died neither of my parents would eat rice.  That's all they had to eat for a long time.  If they were able to get any food other than rice, I was the one that got it.  I honestly don't know how they did it.  Cardboard in the bottom of my father's shoes that he had worn clear through looking for work. 
The people who ran the motel were kind folks.  They offered to take me to their childrens school Christmas program.  My mother agreed..and off we went.
It was in the school auditorium...and I remember the seats were like seats in a theatre.  The children sang..and there was a Christmas play..and then Santa came on stage.  Everyone cheered..the curtains parted and a lovely big Christmas tree was there all piled with presents.  Santa sat in a big chair and began calling out names of children. 
The pile of gifts got smaller and smaller...and then the program was over.  When I got home..I was crying and told of everyone getting a present but me.  Santa had forgotten me.  I was only four and didn't understand.  Seems the parents had brought the gifts to the school to be handed out to their children.  My mother didn't know this was going to happen..  my parents looked so sad. I remember how bad the people who had taken me to the program felt. 
That Christmas morning  I awoke to a little suitcase sitting on the table near the tree in the coffee can. Santa had remembered me after all!  I got a little Betsy Wetsy in her own suitcase.  Where they got it I never knew.  They would only say Santa brought it.  Even when I grew up they would never tell me. 
The magic and wonder of Christmas.
 
My tiny brother was born and brought to that  motel room.  I remember my mattress on my little bed had a hole in it and one night I fell through it to the floor.  The springs were chain link.  It must have been broken too..all I remember was my bottom hitting the floor..
 
But we were healthy and had love.  I had such wonderful parents.  My mother sang to me all the time.
 Of course I had wonderful memories of picking fruit and traveling..my parent did not!
 
I sometimes wonder if my love of dolls comes from not having any for so long..
and my shoe fettish..I LOVE shoes, does it come from wishing for them so much?  Dreams so real I actually thought when I woke, they were under the bed and peeked to see. 
What a time it all was!
Old folks have total recall ya know..  :):)
 
Sending wishes for all things wonderful.  Keep your eye on that star..
Mona
  

18 comments:

Laurie said...

thankyou so much for sharing this with us, you made my day, Merry Merry Christmas,

bj said...

Good mornin', Mona....
We were blessed thru the depression and the hard times afterwards...my dad was a printer and kept a job most of the time. He worked hard but he also played hard...with cards and whiskey. But, he seemed to take care of us first.
Merry Christmas, Mona
(I still have one of my ration books...

Lynne said...

Mona,
I love when my friends tell stories of their lives . . . although your story has such a truth, it holds such sadness. Resilience is an amazing gracefulness that lives within us all. It makes me wonder about your mom and dad . . . how they pulled themselves up from the depression times, when and where did your dad find work . . . whatever happened to the rest of their story.

One thing I know, in the brief time of knowing you . . . your first beginnings left you with life long gifts of grace, love, kindness and more. A spirit of the true meaning of Christmas lives within you.

Merry Christmas Mona . . . I hope you are surrounded with Love.
Love, Lynne

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Mona, you write so beautifully and kept my attention through many posts! Love how you think you may have gotten your love for shoes and dolls. And the glitter eggs you made....wonderful. I can't bear to throw away our pretty Christmas cards and always try to make something with them....usually tags for the following year. And I adore the candy canes on your tree...so sweet. I never knew my husband liked candy canes until I sat a little silver creamer full of them on the coffee table December 1st and they keep disappearing. :) Merry Merry Christmas. xo

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Those hard times early on in life are definitely what shapes and molds us, Mona. They are what gave you your strength in character to this day and what taught you to be the caring mother that you are to your beautiful children and grandchildren. Your parents had to have loved you so very much to have gotten that doll for you, no matter how they got it. :)

Merry Christmas to you and every one of your dolls.

maddyrose said...

Mona, I have very few memories of growing up. I know that shortly after the war my parents and I lived in an old chicken coop. There were no chickens but there were plenty of mice. You may be on to something when you said that maybe your love for dolls came from not having any for so long. I've often thought that was why I have to have dolls and teddy bears.
Merry Christmas dear friend. Hugs

Theresa said...

What a sweet memory of good times during the hard times! We sure have so much to be thankful for, don't we sweet Mona? Have a really blessed day with all of those sweet memories! HUGS to you!

Celestial Charms said...

Oh Mona, I had tears well up in my eyes upon reading your post. The sad story, the sentiment, everything touched me. The holidays have a way of putting things into perspective. Thank you so much for sharing your personal past. So glad there were many happy times, too. Hope you have a blessed Christmas!
Hugs,
Maureen

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You write so beautifully and tell a story in such a loving way. We lived in a quantsit hut for many years, times were hard for so many, but since everyone was in the same situation, I just thought it was normal. I hope you have the most Blessed and Merriest of Christmases ever. Hugs, Marty

Gail said...

The power of a child's mind to make the worst of times the best of times.

Beautiful story.

Merry Christmas.

Say What? said...

What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing. I could feel, see you though reading it. And your sweet, sweet parents. I'm so thankful for the season of life where we get to see the blessings through the hardships.

Merry Christmas, to you friend. I'm so glad to have gotten to know you through blogging.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love that coffee pot! my father was a depression child. he told me sad story after sad story! i think it is what caused me to cook so much. i am terrified of running out of food!

Lois Evensen said...

How very touching. I was born at the end of WWII so it was all very fresh in the minds of my parents. Their lives were changed forever by their experiences during that time.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from both Kjell and me. :)

Amber Star said...

Merry Christmas, Mona,

I was born at the end of WWII. We didn't have terrible living My conditions, like so many. My dad was in a CCC camp and he, too wouldn't eat rice.

Love the coffee pot and wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.

yaya said...

I truly do believe things that happen when we are little can shape our lives and our decisions. Your parents sound like they were wonderful people and I love that you shared those memories. I often look at the situations of others during those hard times and wonder how I would handle that...if I even could. I hope your Christmas is perfect. Have a great day!

Debby said...

Thanks for sharing your memories. Merry Christmas my friend.

Chatty Crone said...

It is NOT surprising your mother was wonderful - look at her daughter.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!
sandie

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Mona,
These glimpses into your childhood were so touching. What a difficult time that must have been for so many people. My mom used to tell about not having anything in the house to eat but oatmeal. Thank you for sharing some of your memories with us.