Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Memories from High School (Christmas Club #4)

Here is this week's submission for Christmas Club, an exercise started by Sian of the High in the Sky blog, where she encourages us to post a memory of Christmas past.
At the beginning of A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas writes about recallinig Christmas memories this way: "I plunge my hand in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.  In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen."  Well, today, I plunge my hand into the bank of Christmas memories and out come memories of Jr. High and High School . . .
I'm not sure I knew it then, but I now realize that the Jr. High and High School years are so very fleeting.  I see it now as Henry is half way through his Sophomore year of High School and Clara is poised at the half way mark of middle school.  But I certainly didn't notice it when the picture was taken above.  I was in 8th grade and weighed about 80 pounds.  Because I was so small, I was chosen to be Santa Clause for the Reindeer Race.  We decorated a wagon as a sleigh, I dressed as Santa, my classmates put on reindeer antlers, they tethered themselves together and then they pulled me across the school yard.  Our wagon tipped over halfway through the course, and I came tumbling out, laughing and unhurt.
I plunge my hand back into the bank of memories and recall Christmas caroling with friends in high school, walking along the streets giggling and singing, occasionally being invited inside for cookies and cider.  Unfortunately, my friends asked me to sing more quietly because I am overly enthusiastic for someone who sings off-key.
Once more, I plunge my hand into the snow bank, and I pull out one last memory - visiting my favorite High School teacher and her husband. She was much more than a teacher because she coached our speech and debate team.  We travelled and competed in many tournaments throughout the year, and she always treated us as psuedo adults.  During the Christmas holiday, the team would go to her house for a party.  The highlight for me was when her husband would pull out a book with gorgeous woodcut illustrations and read in his beautiful baritone voice.  Each year, he would begin, "One Christmas was so much like the other, in those years around the sea-town corner, now out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve, or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six. . . "

12 comments:

Amy said...

Don't stop .... I was enjoying that!
A lovely post today Rinda - I have enjoyed this memory of yours .. I had a little giggle about the over enthusiastic singing though!

JO SOWERBY said...

ah school days perhaps we remember them with rose tinted glasses sometimes? i love ur stories and the dylan thomas fits perfectly.
Jo xxxx

scrappyjacky said...

Lovely reminiscing,Rinda....I had the same problem with singing!!!!

laurie b said...

such fun little snippets of memory! these stories we carry through one holiday to the next are the true lights in the season.

Mommy2CVC said...

I love your post today Rinda! I also love that you have a picture of that race. You look so cute!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

What great stories!

Becky said...

What a lovely post - I have really enjoyed reading this one.

Sian said...

Rinda, I have a tear in my eye, thinking about my Welsh Dad as I read. I love this as much as the Pensieve - such a perfect way of presenting your memories today! We're at the same stage with our kids as you know, and I think too all the time about how quickly those last few years of school go and how wonderful they can be. Thank you for Christmas Clubbing with such enthusiasm again today!

debs14 said...

I love the way you have written this story, it made me want to ask for more. Fab stories too. A lovely post.

Karen said...

What lovely memories you have Rinda.

Deb said...

Awesome, Rinda. What a fun post to read. xo

humel said...

Another super, super post, Rinda! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it xx