Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Christmas Story

A Christmas greeting to all of you from the Funoldhag!   And a Christmas memory that has stayed with me  since I was a teenager

 Long, long ago when I was in high school - probably 1944 - I worked at the local Ben Franklin store on Saturdays, continuing to work there fulltime during the summer between my sophomore and junior years.  In the picture, I am sitting next to the little girl in my really white shoes!   My domain at Ben's was the hardware counter.   This is the entire efficient staff of the store!  John Lee, the owner, is behind the counter by the cash register.

I can't remember whether it was Christmas Eve, but I was working on the last day the store would have been open before Christmas.  We lived in Rome, about three miles south of Chillicothe, so my dad had taken me to work and had to pick me up afterwards.  In those days,  high school students didn't drive.  The war was on--there was gas rationing and a shortage of tires.  I did not drive until after I got married.  I digress.  It was either snowing or had snowed and it was dark.  Dad parked by the side of the city hall just off Second Street which was Chilli's main thoroughfare.   He walked the short distance to Ben's and then he and I went back to the car and headed for the gas station on Fourth Street.  Dad got his gasoline and reached into his pocket for the money to pay for his purchase.   He had put a twenty dollar bill in his pocket and it was not there.  OMG - back in 1944 $20.00 was a whole lot of money!!  Poor dad was just frantic.  Back to the street by the city hall we drove.    Wonder of wonders, there lying in the snow was the $20.00 bill!  He had pulled it out of his pocket when he reached in to get his keys after picking me up.   That moment is such a vivid memory - I have never forgotten how relieved my poor father was.   My parents had gone through the depression and never did own their own home nor accumulate any wealth, but I look back at my childhood and my memories are ones of being loved, being cared for,  and being carefree.

In looking through my pictures,  I came across this one of a little Christmas room that Ray and I put together back in the 70's.   For a long, long time we worked with miniatures -  Ray made beautiful dollhouse furniture and we had a very simple three story dollhouse that he built, along with one that was in an old stereo cabinet.  There is a gorgeous, big, unfinished real dollhouse in my basement  - it is even wired for electricity-- and  a big box of beautiful furniture he made.   Someday, the girls will have to decide what to do with it.   Back to this little room.  It is just a wooden box he built, put the fireplace in it and some velvet (I think) for the carpeting.  Wallpapered with scrapbook paper, it is a lovely setting for some miniatures - both purchased and made.  Back then, miniatures were wildly popular and you could find wonderful things.  Ray made the little rocker and table.  I covered the table with a piece of lace, crocheted the throw rug and made the red curtains.  The tree was decorated with beads, etc.  Also made the stocking on the mantle.  Chandelier is a ping pong ball cut in half that I painted holly around the edge.   Ray added a frame to a sampler.  The rest of the items were purchased.  Sherry has this at her house now.

Will be off to Kansas tomorrow.   We have been having bad weather for the past couple of days - hope it goes away.  I haven't been out of the house since Thursday  as  it has been icey.

Again, Merry Christmas!!  May your day be warm and filled with those you love.  Hope Santa fills your stockings to overflowing with all kinds of good stuff - including fabric!


Lee Prairie Designs said...

A beautiful post and wonderful memories, thank you! Ben Franklin stores are my favorite!

Christmas Blessings to you dear friend and your family!:)


Jewels said...

Someone was watching over you that night so long ago Carol - I can just imagine how worried your Dad was. Love the little Christmas room - thanks for sharing both. I think we are both good for travelling tomorrow as there will finally be a break in the weather. See you soon. Hugs. J and Mr D

lil red hen said...

This was so interesting to me! I've wished for a doll house for a long time. My middle daughter made one when she was a teenager, using an old TV cabinet. It was two story, with stairs, and had a real rock fireplace. It's in the tool shed; if I had room inside, I'd bring it in. She also made precious pieces of furniture from walnut scraps her grandpa had given to her.

Hope you have a safe and happy trip for Christmas.

annquilts2 said...

Merry Christmas Carol! Safe travels.

marlu said...

That is beautiful! We had a club here for miniature makers and they displayed their lovely work at our library from time to time.
Just amazing detail in your Christmas room!