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The Journal of Mary Ellen Smith

The Christmas we ate eggs....
07/03/2005 11:43 p.m.
I wrote this about a Christmas I remember and what I didn't remember I just made up...lol...call it creative license.


I say it was a lean year but only come to that realization in retrospect because as a child in the country playing with my sisters, I was quite unaware of any trouble. We would bundle up in the morning and go about making the best snowmen in rural Greene County. When the snow wasn’t deep enough we would forge ahead anyway. We didn’t mind that we were picking up dirt and straw and twigs and such as well.

A few days before Christmas, Dad topped the pine in the front yard. I’ll never forget the cold of the window as I pressed my nose against the glass. The fear as he climbed ever higher and higher. The sight of the saw dangling on the rope hitting his leg with every branch that took him higher. We held our breath as he steadied himself and sawed rhythmically thru the trunk. As the tree top made a silent fall into the gleaming white lawn, a great cascade of powdered snow flew in our direction. We were so relieved to see Dad make his descent and watched as he cut off another ten inches to make the tree fit inside the house. We wrapped it in colorful lights; hung our glass ornaments about its fragrant branches and rounded it out with angel hair, being ever so careful not to cut ourselves.

Cinderella and Walter Boone, our neighbors across the street left us in charge of their chicken coop that year while they went to their daughter’s house in the city and so we didn’t go hungry that Christmas. Mom made everything that she could with what we gathered from the chickens every day. I have a vivid, wonderful yet terrifying memory of the inside of that coop. The criss cross of the chicken wire, the smell of the straw, the way the sun streamed through in slices of dewy like glitter. The startled clucking of the hens horrified me as we reached under them and took their warm eggs. I would make a quick exit out of the little chicken door that had a small ramp.

That year I remember omelets, French toast, pound cake, and deviled eggs. Sitting at the kitchen table while Mom baked, we drew pictures in her Good Housekeeping Cookbook. The plaid red and white cover was splashed with the stains of past bakings. In later years, the treasured pages would be poured over by us girls. “Maybe I drew that one”. “Look, Susie you did that.” Cathy Lynn, the oldest of us three had the best memory of those times and filled in all the empty spaces with fond recollection.

A package came from Florida about a week before Christmas. Dad’s brother and wife always kindly remembered us Anderson kids and Mom hid the brightly wrapped presents away so that Santa would have something to place under the tree.

Too excited to sleep on that Christmas Eve, we listened for the sound of reindeer hooves landing on our roof. We watched for shadows on the snow at the window. Our breath left little wisps of clouds with every whispered word as we worried that the slope of the house was too steep or the fireplace to small. Eventually as all small children do on Christmas Eve, we fell asleep in spite of our resolve and awoke early to all of the wishes and dreams that children have on Christmas morning.

In our flannel nightgowns, running and giggling and bumping into each other to get there first, we raced to the living room to see what Santa Claus had left under the tree for us.

Colored building blocks that fueled our imagination were unwrapped. They became castles, houses, bridges; roads….there were the richly painted Disney figures, two inches tall and wonderfully detailed. Tinkerbelle with her tiny wings, Goofy in his oversized trousers, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and more. But I will never forget the smell of the doll that Uncle John and Aunt Marge sent to me that year. Each one of us girls got one. We hugged them close and just kept putting their heads up to our noses. That plastic sugar sweet like smell has stayed with me all these years. And when I think of Christmas past, that is the smell I remember. Not the pound cake baking, or the eggs halved and sitting with their bright yellow middles. That doll is the smell of Christmas. It is the smell of happy thoughts. It is the wonderful smell of childhood to me now that I revisit every time I pick up one of my Granddaughter’s dolls, give it a hug and smell its little head .

I am currently Reflective

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new grandbaby
06/06/2004 05:19 p.m.
Our little Kiley Elle (really now couldn't they just add an "N" to that to name her after me? lol) is born. After some anxious hours and concerns she came into the world with lots of prayer and love. What a feather to hold! She is only five pounds and 14 ounces...a tiny baby for our family. Such a sweet face. Katie is doing as well as can be expected...teaching her to touch softly is the number one priority. Sweet Katie. My daughter had the baby before the baby shower...so now we will have a baby shower with the baby there! More fun! Grandchildren are such a blessing!
I am currently Lovely
I am listening to Phil Keaggy 'Beyond Nature"

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04/08/2004 12:49 a.m.
Well, my sweet GrandKate is two years old now! The wonderful two's! She is potty trained and today when she came to see me she threw her arms around me and said..."I came back!" For anyone out there not a grandparent yet...you are in for the most wonderful surprise of your life! A little advice...be a fun grandma or grandpa...make up a funny voice, sing a silly song...by all means do NOT act your age and you will forge the most sweetest relationship ever!!!
I am currently Loved

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10 months old
12/17/2002 11:26 a.m.
Katie is 10 months old now...what a doll! She and I are best friends...she is almost walking and waves bye bye..even learning a little sign language from her mom. We like Elmo, Barney, reading books, kisses, snoozes, and our favorite color is red. She gives the best waking up smiles after a nap.
I am currently Happy
I am listening to Elmo's world

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Katie girl
04/28/2002 11:54 p.m.
Well, Katie and I are getting to know each other better and better...she is such a doll...I find that after spending time with her, my face actually hurts from smiling so much. This inspired my poem "Grandma's Muscles". I watch her a few hours every day during the week now. She will be three months old in just a few days...I hadn't written for quite awile...then all of sudden it was back! She inspires me..ok...yes, most of it is children's poetry...but hey, I AM a grandma now! :)
I am currently Blessed
I am listening to Phil Keaggy...the Master and the Musician

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Katie is born
02/01/2002 05:20 p.m.
This morning at 3:00 a.m. I met my first grandchild...Katelyn. She was born with a peaceful sweet look on her face, cooing, not crying. A 7lb. 1oz. little bundle of beauty. I want to be a big part of her life...I plan on spending lots of time in toy stores. I am so blessed and in awe of God's mercy and grace.
I am currently Blessed
I am listening to my heart

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10/17/2001 05:10 p.m.
Well, since I am entering a new blessed time of my life...about to become a Grandmother, perhaps this journal page will be my "Brag Book". My beautiful Grandbaby Katelyn will be born the end of January or the beginning of February. I describe the feeling I had upon learning the news in my poem "the Grandma Suit" as it felt as if a new suit of clothes had come over me that was a perfect fit. Watching my daughters belly grow daily is amazing to me, and I am reminded that she is so close to God as he knits her inside of the womb. Perfectly loved and cared for.
I am currently Blessed
I am listening to a quiet moment of wonderful silence!

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