Well, we had a great Xmas, and it helps to pass the winter. People can do things like this if they want to. No use to let everything go because of hard times.
Ina had just finished reading a short Christmas story by Bess Streeter Aldrich. Gently she laid the magazine down and began to reflect on the Christmas celebration just past. The holiday season was fast slipping away, though she would leave the tree up until New Year’s Day. Ina was not sad, though. She felt a great sense of fulfillment in the gifts she had provided to family and friends, all of which were ideas born of ingenuity and many of which she had made herself.
Christmas Day itself was filled with good fellowship and good food. Ina was happy she could invite family and friends into her home. They had a wonderful mid-day meal and then proceeded to munch away on desserts, candy, and nuts. Wasn’t that just as good as any fancy holiday celebration set forth in the sophisticated magazines? Better!
And the day was not without its interesting moments. Mr. Boehm brought Doris and Ruth each a one-dollar box of chocolates and Ralph a one-dollar tie. Ina almost laughed out loud to think that dear foolish Mr. Boehm actually seemed to believe the old age pension of $12.00 per month would really come. Yes, he talked like it.
And she was blessed to have received thoughtful gifts herself. Daughter Pearl, who had said she couldn’t send much, sent a studio portrait of her family. A picture always makes a good gift, thought Ina – and anyway, much wasn’t necessary.
And Shirley had sent the lovely lavender wool shoulderette she was wearing -- very nice and warm and light and so good for evenings before the fireplace.
Well, in the end Ina wasn’t disappointed. There were many gifts, most of them practical things that would come in handy during the winter – gloves and socks and hankies and such. And she had several new books. Ina loved to read and books were always welcome to help pass the long winter evenings.
As Ina’s reverie deepened, she began to reflect on how life was changing. Here in this remote place, she wasn’t quite insulated from change. Dear Mrs. Boehm, who had been with the party in 1932 was now gone, leaving Mr. Boehm a poor lonely soul facing an uncertain future. Shirley was away this year, and though she would be back, her absence was simply a hint of the change that would come. Shirley would get married – and she should – and she might just move away for a better life. A mother could hardly complain about that, but at the same time, if Ina could take hold of the reins of time and slow it down, she would. Her brother Ben had sold out and moved to town. And she might just worry about her own future . . .
“But there’s no use to think of these things,” said Ina out loud. KW