Christmas is for remembering.
I remember Christmas morning when I was a kid, with a stack of presents under the tree that couldn’t be opened until the morning milking was done. Of receiving new wool socks and mittens that Grandmother Witt had knitted, and a new pair of skates, the type that clamped onto the bottoms of your shoes and were tightened with a key.
I remember Christmas dinner with aunts and uncles and cousins all gathered around the big dining room table in our farm house, enjoying a meal comparable to what we saw when the threshing crews came. Roast turkey or duck. A heaping bowl of mashed potatoes. Home-made dill pickles. Apple and mincemeat pie. Christmas cookies of many shapes and flavors.
I remember walking a mile with my brothers to the neighbor’s farm with a small present and a freshly baked pie, because we knew that the neighbor’s wife had recently died and his grown children had left home and moved to the cities, and he was there alone on Christmas day.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take time in your busy life to remember.
CHECK THIS OUT: My newest book, Garden Wisdom (Wisconsin Historical Society Press) is out. It’s all about vegetable gardening from seed selection to keeping away the critters. Included are a number of Ruth’s favorite fruit and vegetable recipes. Check at your local bookstore.
January 11 and 12. 12:30 each day. Midwest Farm Show, LaCrosse Center, LaCrosse, WI. Stories from the land.
February 11. Janesville, noon luncheon speaker, FFA Alumni meeting.
March 9-11. Canoecopia, Madison. (Trade show for all things canoeing) Scheduled speaking time not yet determined.
March 24. Six p.m. Launch of Garden Wisdom book at Patterson Memorial Library Wild Rose. Details coming.
March 31-April 1. Morton Arboretum, Chicago area. Talk and workshop. Details coming.