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Friday, December 10, 2010

Genea Bloggers Advent - A Memorable Christmas Gifts

The Most Thoughtful and Memorable Christmas Gift that Sissy didn't get.

Does the title even make sense to you? Probably not. So I will explain.
Do you remember in a post or two back, I told you that Sissy went to the Town Hall in Lewisville a few times before Christmas. At every visit she saw Santa and told him what she wanted and later if she went she was in charge of her little brother, Steve who was to be sure to see and tell Santa what he wanted. I also told you that she had asked for roller skates that attached to her shoes and came with a Key. She had gotten those roller skates too. It's not remembered, if she got them from Santa or as a gift from someone else. But it was remembered that it was not a gift idea well received by her mother, so I suspect it was a gift from someone else she coerced to give it to her.

One thing the children did during school recess was ice skate at the Rink. Her brothers managed to get Ice skates and do this too. Sissy had no skates and she wanted to do what everyone else wanted to do. And everyone elses skates that she might have worn were either too big or too little.
[She had no grandparents to get on her side, like some children had. Her grandfather Herman didn't get involved too much, he was rather a silent resident.]

So Sissy started asking Santa for Skates. I'm not sure why she didn't get skates at some stores that had used ones, but she didn't have the opportunity to get some there. I think her mother had said no. So with out fail every year she put it on her short little list. She would check under the tree, and even between the limbs, because sometimes Santa hid extra special gifts there. No Ice Skates. She was losing faith in Santa. After all even used skates didn't cost that much money. Though her other gifts were just as good.

A few years later she tried to use some skates that were too large for her, with big socks and a roll of stuffing, but it didn't work that well. Partly cause she didn't know how to properly tie a skate. Some kind friends, Tom and Pat, let her borrow theirs for a little while at school.

Sissy wasn't an outdoor person all that much, and well skates were only used during one season of the year, so she didn't mind tremendously. But I think it became a 'thing' with Sissy. She'd mention it and hoped she would 'win' this coming Christmas. At times she wondered did Santa [ her parents] know her heart wasn't completely into using the skates like a real outdoor person?

She kept on asking for it, Even when the others and herself was wise to the Santa Claus myth, she still kept it on her list. You know a lot of parents keep on acting that there is truth to it, even though they know you know. And that is the way it was at the Meyer home.

Are you wondering if they were heartless. You know if Santa and her parents ignored her request, and if it meant that much to her, you wonder?
I would wonder too, but I know that there is more to this story, than what I have told you. After all Sissy got her roller skates, that, she wanted so much and probably other gifts too.

After Sissy got her roller skates, she hardly ever got to use them. At first there was no place to skate other than a small space in the basement. At the time after Sissy had received them, a cousin or neighbor, or brother wanted to skate with them, and maybe Sissy didn't want to share them for that reason. She put up a fuss and so her mother took them away. Her mother kept them for a long time it seemed.Then she got them back. She fell or did something wrong, and her mother took away the key.

This time the key was not coming back. Sissy would go to play and see those skates laying there and no key, it seemed to taunt her, new skates and no chance to skate. She tried several methods to manage without a key with a screw driver or a knife, and then her mother took the skates away. Never to be seen again. [Kind of like I forgot where I put the Beebe gun or paintball gun after I took it away from my son.

There is many a time, I have thought that Sylvie to be kind of mean. Poor Sissy. My foot. She was a handful, spunky stubborn as a mule child. Maybe it was poor Sylvia. Still though according to Sissy she only got the strap a few times. [ Most Peters relatives got the strap]

Perhaps, if they had talked it over sooner, Sissy wouldn't have felt as let down about her skates as she felt over the years. And even more the Ice skates. One day it did come up in conversation with her mother. Sissy had confessed that she never got the that one gift that she had asked for and that she was going to buy herself a pair of skates. Her mom told her she could not have any. She was Not allowed to have skates. Sissy carried on about it for a good while, she thought about sneaking, but her mom was pretty wise and though her mother could put one over on her, she found it nearly impossible to get things by her mother. Hadn't she tried to wear the forbidden hoop underskirt, or the knee highs. [ Another gift gone wrong, I told you sissy tried to be sneaky to get things she wanted that the other children had.Sissy would talk Mary Linda into giving her those forbidden items for birthdays or Christmas]

And then the conversation finally came about one dayas to why no skates. She did not want Sissy hurt again by falling on the ice. After all when Sissy had fallen that time, it had scared her and Sissy, how it had hurt for nearly a week afterwards. Now Sissy knew why the skates never came. Just as her mom did not encourage rides on the tractors or being around the barn and farm chores by the men. because she could get hurt. Hadn't her mom been fiercely mad when her father had reluctantly consented to let her pull the gears on the spreader and then she had pinched her big toe. [Sissy says she should never have told and whined it hurt. Cause it had hurt her father more by the scorn her mother gave her father cause he had let her do it, because she had asked him not to let her do such stuff like that on the farm.]

Well okay, so Sissy understood that it was a mothers love that kept the skates from her. So the story is done, right?.

No. There is one more minor detail, which adds length to the story, but you should know this last detail. Sylvia was handicapped from an accident on the farm in only a slight way, but life altering all the same. When she was about seventeen, she was in the barn milking cows, while her other sisters and brothers were having a good time. And I am not sure how experienced she was at milking, but for some reason the cow sat or layed down on her leg. After her marriage, from then on Sylvia had many operations on her knee cap. Eventually she had it stiffened. She was always a hard worker no matter the handicapp of her knee and maybe the woman knew a lot of pain for it or she may have had the pain anyway.

But see now it makes sense,. Maybe someone had told her a horrible ice skating tale. So Sylvia had been convinced the falls on the ice or cement could really be hurtful for her daughter.... so she protected her by taking away the roller skates. She gave them to her when her daughter was forty years old. Sissy was stunned, and speechless.

The end of story.
After Graduation from High School, Sissy worked hard nights at a factory that summer saving nearly every nickle of her money for college. In the fall she found a position at a school for handicapped part time with her friend Joanne. . Her first paycheck came and she knew she had to use it for school, but she also had just gotten a school loan. She was in the hardware store, and decided why not buy some skates. Why not go Ice skating. Later, she had on a good thick coat. and was bundled up good, [She almost wore a pillow] She went down to the lake shore and put on her skates and went out to learn to skate.

The details are a little fuzzy in the story. As a story teller I have wondered if I should embellish to make the story better? Would you? As a Genealogist? Note:the Melanie song that I loved sang: I've got a brand new roller skates,you'vegot a brandnew key.


1 comment:

  1. Sissy told me that she received the key when she was in her forties. Maybe the skates too. It was at the time her mother had colon cancer and didn't know it. She was packing up all her stuff and her kids stuff and label it for who was to get what item. She gave those boxes to her kids. It was with those. In fact her mother made a point to tell her about the key in there.