Christmas was always a special time for us. We never knew, as children, how poor we were. Granny made some of our clothes from flour sacks, they pretty much raised all the food we ate, and we always had fun. Papa was so much fun. He dressed up as Santa for us most of my childhood. It’s hard to say who had more fun, us or him!
We lived way out in the country on a farm and the onliest way we had to go into town was riding a horse, or walking, or riding in a wagon. It was snowing and the children didn’t have anything for Christmas. We hadn’t been to town and got anything for Christmas. Fact of the business, I hadn’t got my payday. That’s What I was a waitin’ on. I hadn’t got my payday for hauling logs.
I went to the man’s house. I walked to Florien about 5 miles and made him give me my payday. He didn’t want to give me my payday because he wanted to spend it himself. I caught me a ride and made it to Many which was about 12 more miles further off from home. I bought ’em some stuff for Christmas. Apples and oranges just bought ’em something for Christmas, bought ’em a gift or two.
I started back home and it was still sleeting and snowing. It got so hard. I had to walk that 5 miles from Florien back out home and I had that sack of stuff on my back and it was a snowin’. Gettin’ late by then and done got dark. I got down to where we went through the woods, just an old wagon road through the woods. The timber had done froze and got so much ice on it till it was bent over the road and some of it had broke over the road.
It got where you couldn’t tell where the road was at. I got lost and got off up there in the woods about a mile from home and didn’t know where I was at. It was snowin’ I mean it was snowin’. I began to holler. The family hollered back. I’d holler and they’d holler and that’s the way I found my way out, by them hollering, then I’d holler and they’d holler. I’d done got way up in the woods a fixin’ to pass where we live. I turned and went back to where they was a hollerin’. They was at the house hollerin’, standin’ on the porch.
I made it home, bout froze to death nearly. They had a big fire and man it was fine to get in there by that fire and warm. I’ll tell you.
I believe, before I got home, my dogs came to meet me. They came back to the house with me. They heared me.
Voices of Heritage Series