From Pipi’s Pasture: Christmas Day at Deer Creek
From the time I was (probably) an infant until late adolescence, our family often celebrated Christmas Day at our Grandpa and Grandma Osborn’s ranch at Deer Creek, over the hill from our place.
Given a choice, we kids would rather have stayed home on Christmas Day. We had new gifts to enjoy, but after breakfast and after Dad had fed the cattle, we got ready to go. After all, the holiday was about sharing time with Grandpa and Grandma and other relatives. Aunts, uncles and cousins would be there.
Ahead of time, probably Thanksgiving because we didn’t have telephones for many years, the women discussed what they would contribute to the dinner. Grandma cooked the turkey and trimmings and the others baked pies, made salads and vegetables, and mixed up hot rolls. So getting ready to go meant carrying a bunch of covered dishes to the car.
When Dad was a kid he and his brothers rode horseback over the hill from the ranch at Deer Creek to the Morapos School. Little did he know that he would one day own the ranch at Morapos where the school was (and still is) located. He didn’t know that he would marry the teacher of the Morapos School years after he was a student there, either.
Anyway, we couldn’t ride over the hill to Grandpa and Grandma’s ranch so we took the car down the county road to the Deer Creek turnoff. Up the road a way was the ranch. Grandpa and Grandma lived in a two-story house.
We entered the house through an enclosed porch that led to the kitchen. There was a parlor to the right where Grandma often sat in her own chair. Off the parlor was Grandma’s bedroom with the biggest bed. A narrow staircase led to upstairs bedrooms, one of which was Grandpa’s.
Just down from the kitchen was the dining room with a great big table. That’s where the women arranged all of the Christmas dinner dishes. As I recall, we kids filled our plates and ate somewhere else, perhaps in the kitchen where Grandma kept a bunch of magazines and a place to sit and read them. The adults ate at the dining room table.
After dinner, the men went outdoors, weather permitting, to smoke, and the women cleaned up the dishes. The food was left on the table for supper. Later the adults gathered in the parlor and visited. We kids went upstairs to Grandpa’s room that “smelled” of pipe tobacco and visited or perhaps played games.
As evening came, those who didn’t have to do chores stayed and enjoyed leftovers. Finally it was time to go home, and we kids enjoyed our Christmas gifts a little more before we had to go to bed.
‘Memories of Christmas Day at Grandpa and Grandma’s house at Deer Creek!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
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