Welcome to our continuing series, Voices of Heritage. Sharing the stories of my heritage to encourage and enliven you to consider your own heritage and the heritage you are leaving behind.
This is a resharing of one of your favorite posts. For all those new to the series, enjoy!
Each life fades into the mists of time. This is the way of all men. The memories and traces of ourselves we leave behind in others is all that remains. These are Voices of Heritage.
I won’t try to recap the first installment in this series, but I will share a little bit for those who did not see it. My maternal grandparents are the most influential people in my development as a person. The lives they lived, the lessons they taught, and the legacy they shared are alive in me and now in my own children.
Every life has merit. It has meaning. So often lives are lived with no consideration of the past. Seldom do we consider the affects on future generations our daily decisions carry. I want to live a life and leave a legacy of love, laughter, and lingering influence for the betterment of my children and their children and….
As Christmas fast approaches, two stories my grandparents shared are on my heart. I will share one this week and the other soon. Hearing them tell these stories fills my heart, my eyes, my very soul with warmth, a sense of belonging, and gratitude.
In listening to them, I become keenly aware of how much we take for granted. We so easily forget the love and sacrifices our loved ones make for us. As children, we aren’t even aware of them, are we?
How much more could I have learned from them? How much more could I have appreciated and listened to them? But time marches on and so we must accept and make peace with what was and what is while striving to make better use of our time now.
This Christmas story is an example of just that, the sacrifices parents and even grandparents make that go unnoticed by the ones they are made for. Often they are never known. I love hearing them tell the stories, not in an “I did this and they don’t know way,” but in a spirit of joy and fondness as they recall the joy they experienced in the giving.
I hope they bless your heart, stir your memory, and lead you to consider the true spirit of giving and love of this season.
Papa: “We lived way out in the country on a farm and the onliest way we had to go in to town was riding a horse, or walking, or riding in a wagon. It was snowing and the children didn’t have anything for Christmas. We hadn’t been to town and got anything for Christmas. Fact of the business, I hadn’t got my pay day. That’s what I was a waitin’ on. I hadn’t got my pay day for hauling logs.
I went to the man’s house. I walked to Florien about 5 miles and made him give me my pay day. He didn’t want to give me my pay day because he wanted to spend it himself. I caught me a ride and made it to Many which was about 12 more miles further off from home. I bought ’em some stuff for Christmas. Apples and oranges, just bought ’em something for Christmas, bought ’em a gift or two.
I started back home and it was still sleeting and snowing. It got so hard. I had to walk that 5 miles from Florien back out home and I had that sack of stuff on my back and it was a snowin’. It was a gettin’ late by then and done got dark. I got down to where we went through the woods, just an old wagon road through the woods. The timber had done froze and got so much ice on it till it was bent over the road and some of it had broke over the road.
It got where you couldn’t tell where the road was at. I got lost and got off up there in the woods about a mile from home and didn’t know where I was at. It was snowin’ I mean it was a snowin’. I began to holler. The family hollered back. I’d holler and they’d holler and that’s the way I found my way out, by them hollering, then I’d holler and they’d holler. I’d done got way up in the woods a fixin’ to pass where we live. I turned and went back to where they was a hollerin’. They was at the house hollerin’, standin’ on the porch.
I made it home, bout froze to death nearly. They had a big fire and man it was fine to get in there by that fire and warm. I’ll tell you.
I believe, before I got home, my dogs came to meet me. They came back to the house with me. They heared me.”
One thing I should probably share here is the fact west central Louisiana doesn’t get a great deal of this kind of weather. The fact that he ventured out in unusual circumstances, without experience in coping and getting around in it made the effort all the more beautiful.
Look for the next installment in our Voices of Heritage series coming soon. If you liked this post, please share it with your family and friends.
Share your own stories and your comments with us.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack