From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ghosts of Christmas Past (7)

Another Trip Down Memory Lane... Life in The Nebraska Sandhills...



Founders Square  Hopkinsville, KYFounders Square, Hopkinsville, KY, December 2006


The city Christmas tree on Hopkinsville's Founders Square appears to be lighted with a net that encloses the entire tree. I first began seeing these a few years ago.

Decorations weren't so fancy when I was a child, but it was still exciting to see them. Most of the little towns in the Nebraska Sandhills hung a string of colored lights across the town's main intersection and some decorations (candy canes, stars, angels, etc.) -- on the electric poles on Main Street.

On the long drive home from Christmas with my mother's family at Gordon, NE, one of the things that helped break the monotony was the Christmas lights in the little towns along Highway 20. Some of the few ranch homes along the highway had Christmas lights in their windows too.

My father loved to see an outdoor evergreen tree with colored lights and one Christmas he bought a string of colored lights for a tree in our yard. Back then, each bulb in the string was nearly full-sized -- mini-lights hadn't been invented yet -- and there were about a dozen colored lights on the string. He put them on the young blue spruce on the south side of our house, and they did look pretty, shining in the dark cold winter nights.

To enjoy our lighted outdoor tree, we had to go outside or stand at one of our south windows. I don't suppose many people outside our family saw the lights as the nearest neighbor lived about two miles away and there was absolutely no passing traffic at night. (After our house, the small, sandy, two-track road got even smaller and sandier as it branched off into the pastures of our ranch.)

I think the lights were on the outside tree only one Christmas before my dad decided he didn't get to see enough of them out there, so they became part of our indoor decorations. They were made with a good sturdy cord and incredibly long-lasting bulbs, and my mom and dad were still using them several decades later.

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2 comments:

Neurotic Mom said...

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas

Genevieve said...

You too, Mom. Take care!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.