It's two weeks
before Christmas and this time of year always
brings back memories of spending Christmas in
Alderson. The things that made it so special has
been adequately documented on this site by many
people, so I won't repeat them here.
Most of the
Christmases of my childhood and adult life were spent in
Alderson, as I'm sure many of you can say the
same. When I left Alderson in 1960, we traveled
back home about every two weeks to visit the
folks and always at Christmastime. The trips from D.C. were mostly filled with adventure
great anticipation. With the
snow storms we sometimes endured we
weren't sure we would make it home. It was
stuck on one of those hairpin curves on Peter's
Mountain or driving with one side of car on the
brim, hoping to get traction from the gravel. At
certain spots we would have to back up and try
it several times to continue our journey.
Somehow we made
every one of those trips that we started, and it
meant a lot to have Christmas in Alderson.
Linda and me, both our parents lived within
three miles of each other. The kids also liked it
for it presented an "openings of presents
in two different houses"
and we were blessed to have
Christmas with both sets of parents.
As the years went by, we established our own Christmas traditions,
which were built
on the ones of our families. For a while we would alternate
between Alderson and D.C., until our parents were unable to
travel. With their passing, the trips stopped.
For a lot of us,
age, distance and the economy has put those Christmases
we use to spend in Alderson in the past. We
have no parents to visit and no homes to stay in
while we're there. We, like our parents, now
stay home and look to those who visit us. We'll have to
leave it to the folks that live in Alderson now, and
the ones who
still travel back home. I hope their memories are as
special as ours were for us.
Christmas, I'm reminded of the song, "I'll Be
Home For Christmas." Bing Crosby released the
original recording of this in 1943 and the song
reportedly came from a soldier's letter to his
family knowing the possibility of never making
it home again.
As a friend
reminded me, we can't go back, so keep our
memories close and concentrate on the real
meaning of Christmas, and that's celebrating
of the birth of Christ. That can be done
regardless of where you are.
I'll take that
advice, but also, I'll be home
for Christmas...... if only in my dreams.