Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday ramblings

I sit here today thinking back. I am remembering things like the Sears Wish Book, road trips to Grandma's, and being a kid. Just being a kid. Nothing special or exact. Standing at the table listening to all the Aunts and Uncles talking about "things"... You know what I mean. Those things that don't make a bit of sense to a kid but, must be "really important" because the adults are always talking about them.

Riding your bicycle on a crisp morning. Playing in the yard, after dark, when the adults are sitting on the porch "talking". Oh wait, no one does that anymore so some of you might not be familiar with that concept.

Have you noticed that they don't build houses with front porches anymore? Why? Some have back porches, patios, or decks, but no front porches...

The Sears Wish Book. There is something else that has gone away. Oh they still send out a "Holiday Catalog" but I am referring to the toy only, kid only catalog. I am talking about cover to cover HEAVEN. We could entertain ourselves for hours with one of those. Imagining waking up Christmas morning to find everything we wanted under the tree... Of course by Christmas morning, we were so excited we quickly forgot about the catalog itself.

Trips to Grandma's. Now that is something that there is absolutely no replacement for. Funny how thinking about it brings back everything including the smells. It would be COLD outside and you would come in the door and you could smell the coffee in the kitchen. Or the propane heat. Of course the first thing you did was back up to the Dearborn. For those of you that have never experienced it, you have missed out. You back up to the heater, as close as you dare, for as long as you dare. Then you run over and find your spot to sit and instant warm chair... Of course if you got too close or too warm, you had more than a warm spot to sit lol...

Grandma lived in Brownwood and we were in other places but always met up with other family in Fort Worth for the trip. Now to get to Brownwood you travelled down Hwy 377 South for 125 miles. When you're a kid that seems like forever but you passed the time doing other things. Of course you knew how close you were by the landmarks that you would pass or the places you stopped for coffee along the way.

You passed the Pate Museum in Cresson. Unfortunately it is closing as of noon today. What a loss. They had cool airplanes, boats, and cars and it was FREE! Free? Yep, thanks to Mr. A.M. (Aggie) Pate, we had the luxury and privilege of seeing these great things for free. He passed in the late 90's and of course the large land holdings have been sold of little by little and the number of visitors had dwindled over the years. This is a real loss for people. I spent last Saturday out there taking pictures and will post some this next week.

We never seemed to make it past Granbury before we stopped at a roadside diner for coffee. Daddy always said it was because their coffee was too good to pass up. Of course, now that I am an adult and that diner is gone, I realize it is because someone forgot to go potty before we left lol....

After Granbury, you knew you were halfway to Grandma's when you saw the wolf. The wolf was the Wolf Nursery sign in Stephenville and it was huge. You knew you were halfway there and of course we usually made a stop at another diner in Stephenville. Good coffee you know.

Then you knew you were almost there, when you got to Gore Brothers in Comanche. Gore Brothers is a feed company right on the highway and inevitably Farmer Brown on his John Deere tractor was causing a traffic jam. LOL Traffic in Comanche? Three tractors and two pickups? Now Comanche was right up the road from Grandma's. It was the last big town before Brownwood and we were getting antsy...

Ahh there is Aunt Laveda's antique shop... Whew hew we are there... Hurry up daddy... Now in the real world, you still had about 20 minutes before you got there but.... Aunt Laveda's shop was in Early. Early Texas is a suburb of Brownwood. A suburb? Lord I never thought of it that way.. I never realized Brownwood was big enough to justify a suburb.

Oh and Laveda's Antique Shop really did belong to my Aunt Laveda. Damn I miss that place but that is memories for another day.

Ohhh there is Chicken on the Run. Now Chicken on the Run was around the corner from Grandma's. Oh and they served the best damn fried fish you ever ate. I don't know why the hell they named it Chicken on the Run but hey, it worked.

Oh there is Grandma on the porch, wiping her hands on her apron. Yeah, come to think of it, there is another tradition gone by the wayside, aprons. I will cover that tradition another time too. Yep she was waiting for us. I hope that next time I see her, she is waiting for us with her apron. I have one of her aprons, and yes, I wear it.

Merry Christmas Grandma.

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