Home for the holidays? There's no place like home and there's no place on earth like the hills and hollers. If you grew up there you know what I mean. It's a special place filled with special people. Why is it so different and why is it that you never feel like you're home until you come back? Your dad may have gone to Ohio or Michigan to work in the auto factories on the assembly line, or he may have had to go south for the construction work or the furniture factories in North Carolina. The fact is, many a mountaineer had to leave the hills just to survive.
However, some did choose to stay and that was my Dad. He had worked in Niagara Falls on the hydroelectric plant there and worked in Cleveland and Detroit, but finally we came back home. I was born on one of Dad's
out-of-state work trips. So, I'm from Niagara Falls. Well, at least that
was where I was born. Coming home as we did meant that times would be tough in some respects, but for the most, they were always good. We may not have had all the benefits of the cities, but we had the hills to comfort us. We didn't have professional ball teams to watch, but we had our own high school team and of course WVU and Marshall to cheer for. We did cheer for all.
I'm here for good if the Lord is willing. I ain't going anywhere but to
rest high up on that mountain. There is no place like the mountains when it comes to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the holidays. There is deer hunting in Pendleton county, snow, mistletoe, sleigh riding on the steel runner or car hood, standing around a fire of burning tires, snow ball fights and snow men, real Christmas trees, carolers, plays, church dinners, icicles to eat, snow days, warm nights by the fire, lots of homemade candy, gifts, Santa Claus, and Christmas morning. There was the fruit and candy we received from Santa on the fire truck and the church on that Sunday, handed out a brown paper bag filled with goodies to each of us. I got my own bag filled with candy, nuts, oranges, tangerines, apples, Juicy Fruit, and Chocolate Drops. All that pine and those lights would warm up the house with the smell and glow of the Christmas tree. It was an amazing time of the year.
There was no day in the world like Christmas morning. We could hardly sleep that night because we knew Santa was on the way. We didn't really get a lot of gifts and goodies throughout the year, especially since my birthday fell on Christmas Day. It was all or nothing for me on Christmas. But I was blessed abundantly. Actually, one of my uncles was born on Christmas too. His middle name was Christmas. I kind of liked that name because it was different, but I couldn't imagine all the teasing he must've had to endure.
Christmas was the day that Santa came. We got up as early as Mom and Dad would let us. Look! Santa had eaten the cookies and drank all the milk, but he left us some things under the tree, and a note too. I got a steel runner and my sister got a doll baby. One year I got a brand new BB gun and a tabletop pinball machine. I loved that gun. It was the best gift ever.