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A Christmas carol come to life

Welcome back to the bark side of life here in Ottertail where crystalline portraits are painted upon icy windows and drifts of unfettered snow grace the magnificent oak trees here at Rosswood.

As you read this, Christmas has come and gone and for many of you all that remains is piles of wrapping paper, empty boxes, and a warm memory of the day.

Speaking of memories (here comes the segue), I have a tale from Ed Krause of Ottertail that harkens back to the early 1930s, where a Christmas carol comes alive. Here's Ed's tale.

Our family lived on a farm about two miles from town, where our church was located. I was 5 or 6 years old at the time. On Christmas Eve, my mother and dad decided that it would be a good experience for all of us to go to the church service by horse and sleigh.

My dad had the grain box on the sled. He had put lots of nice soft hay in the box so that we would be comfortable. When we got settled in the hay, we were covered with a heavy robe made from the hide of a steer. There were five of us kids, so we were pretty well packed in. When we were all settled in, we took off.

When we arrived at the church, I'm sure mother checked us out to see that we wouldn't carry any hay into the church. My dad had a place to take the horses while we attended the Christmas program. While we were in church, we heard an airplane fly over. My mother told us that she thought maybe Santa had come by airplane!!! We didn't think any more about it. I think she was hinting about something, but we kids didn't catch on.

After the service, we waited outside for my dad to come and pick us up to go home. It was such a beautiful night. The moon and the stars were shining so bright and snow crystals were floating down the sky. It didn't take us long to get home, as the horses were frisky and they were anxious to get back to the barn. When we got home, we hurried to get our heavy clothes off and get close to the stove and get warm.

Our mother lighted the lamps and called us to come to the living room. And behold, there was the Christmas tree; all trimmed, complete with presents underneath! Santa had come when we were gone. Maybe he came by airplane? The decorated tree had small candleholders attached to the branches. After the horses were put in the barn, my dad came to the house, my mother lit the candles and we all stood around the decorated tree and sang, "Silent Night." What a beautiful memory!

Footnote: After I was older, I asked my mother how it happened that the Christmas tree was all trimmed and sitting in the living room that Christmas Eve after we got home from church. She said she decorated the tree in a small room that was used as a closet. Since she was the last one out of the house, she quickly took the tree from the closet and set it up and put the presents under the tree.

A Christmas to remember...miracles do happen.

Thank you Ed Krause for a trip back to a time when life was simple and pure. The love and warmth from these memories will last a generation or two. During these days of economic upheaval and monetary stress, there is one constant in the universe; God so loved us that he sent his Son for our salvation. Let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us here at Rosswood. I could almost make out the 12 days of Christmas being sung by the Rosswood Choir, and they too want to wish you the very best in the new year to come. Until next time...