Friday, December 17, 2010

A Yearly Gathering

Christmas on Neff Road. Family gathered for the holidays. Well, not always. With all of the Loxley girls living away from Darke County, Christmas together was always iffy. Winter weather was definitely a problem.

I remember packing up the kids in our station wagon along with Christmas presents. Determination and maybe a little stupidity put our car on the road heading south from Appleton, Wisconsin, to the house back the lane. Did we turn around? Of course, not. It was Christmas!

Sometimes we ended up with ill children. A child with a fever, a runny nose, a barfy stomach was not unusual. Still Christmas took place with the family gathered around the tree. For sisters who rarely saw one another, this was a precious time. For parents who rarely had their children together all at once, it must have be a treasure. The Loxley's were home.

Jobi, the oldest of the grandchildren tended the smaller children giving the adults time once more to gather around the kitchen table. As the children grew, they would play with the Sparks kids and start to understand the importance of the visits. Before we knew it, they, too, were sitting around the table with the adults.

One year we all pitched in and got Mom and Dad a slide projector and screen. A history would be recorded. For my parents, a family could be shared with friends and neighbors. The old projector is a marvel to my grandchildren. They don't know many of the faces on the old slides; they weren't part of this history.

Oh, how dear those trips are to me all these years later. I just turn on the old memory and once more I am back in the warm embrace of the farm back the lane. I am richer for my history. I am rich for the life we lived on Neff Road.

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