Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beginnings and Endings by Nancy M Bell

It's that time of year again. Another old year is almost over and a new one set to begin. Christmas is almost upon us and this year I find myself reflecting on years gone by. My own children are grown with children of their own and yet I still feel like a kid myself sometimes. This year is a bit of a milestone. I turn sixty on December 20th. It doesn't seem possible, but there it is, the numbers don't lie. I thought I'd share a bit of Christmas history with you and take a walk down memory lane, full of candy canes and snowmen.

Our Christmas Eve was always a variatiohn of the same theme. My parents would pack up my sister and myself and later my brother and set off in the car to visit my dad's sisters who lived in various parts of Toronto and the outlying area. Aunt Ola and Uncle Bunny lived near Whitevale, Ontario on a farm with the most amazing white farm house. The floors were always polished mirror bright and I loved the huge kitchen. We'd play hand off our gifts and receive the ones to go under our tree when we got home. Then it was off to Aunt Joy and Uncle Norm's and a houseful of cousins in Mississauga. There was always lots to do at Auntie Joy's, games to play and outside fun. The food was always great and my cousins had all the latest games and toys to play with. Presents were exchanged we were off again.
Aunt Gloria and Uncle Tommy used to live in Caladar, near North Bay when we were really young and we visited them on New Year's Day, but later they moved into New Toronto not far from Aunt Loral and Uncle Bob. We added them to our Christmas Eve jaunt. Dad's other sister, Aunt Irma lived near Ottawa so we saw them less frequently.
My grandparents used to winter with Aunt Gloria so we got to see them as well. Grandma and Grandpa Rafter owned a store on a lake near Norland, Ontario and spent the summers there, but when the weather turned they would come to Toronto and stay with my aunt.
Aunt Loral had a small house, but the coolest tree topper. It was multi-coloured and rotated like a disco ball, although this was long before disco balls were the norm. There were a million of those little Wade figurines out of the Red Rose Tea boxes lined up on the slim ledge of the door frames in her kitchen.

Photo taken in Banff Alberta

When we were young we lived in a two bedroom house with my mom's parents. Grandma and Grandpa Pritchard made the dining room into their bedroom, my older sister had one bedroom and my sister and I slept in bunkbeds in my parent's room. One Christmas Eve we were just getting home and as Dad parked the car in the drive who should we see coming down the neighbour's drive? SANTA CLAUS!!! We were both pretty young because my little brother wasn't born yet, so we were maybe 5 and 6 years old. We screamed and raced out of the car, up the step and leaped into bed with our coats and boots still on. Both of us refused to get up or take anything off for fear Santa would show up and not leave us any presents. True story.

Okay enough reminiscing. The faces at the table have changed over the years, as young ones are added older ones pass on. But at Christmas everyone, past and present, are with us as we celebrate the joy of the season.

The third book in A Longview Romance series is now available in paperback and as an added bonus the novella A Longview Christmas in included. Peace, Joy and Happiness be yours.