Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas on Neff Road

Hot dogs roasting on an open fire. Cinders warming up your toes. Yuletide carols being sung by the piano and folks dressed up like everyone else in the 1950's. A basket of nuts sat in the living room usually in Dad's lap. An angel-haired angel sat atop  the tree. A stocking held an orange and a small wooden doll that walked when a tiny ball on the end of a string was dropped over the side of the table.Christmas on the farm.

Geneva and Marilyn pulled Merrill and Don over to sled down the hill. Bill pulled Brenda over on their sled. It wouldn't be long until Dad was off on the tractor pulling car out of the ditch. Mom sat with Margaret or Doris or Betty in the kitchen laughing and talking about the weather and the health of everyone on Neff Road. Christmas on Neff Road.

Many people go through their lives never looking back. I find that in looking back, I can make the journey forward even more memorable. God knew what He was doing in placing me back that lane on Neff Road. He knew that I would carry on the stories of the past. He knew that I would learn from the life I was given and put it to paper, er, computer. Most history books give the facts. I hope that I pass on to you the heart of the people of Darke County. A farm community is like no other. We all knew what it is to share the burden of years when the weather failed the crops. We knew what it was to put the farm and the farm animals first. We knew the importance of our neighbors and our church. We shared Christmas joy together from year to year. This is the legacy I pass on.

Neff Road continues to be in my life. Janet Rhoades keeps me in the Neff Road loop. Last week she sent two lovely pictures of the snow and my grandfather's farm. We are the few who still remember the old neighborhood. We have developed a bond of friendship because of our tie to that lovely neighborhood.

I send you all seasons greetings from a girl from Neff Road. Special Christmas hugs to three of my favorite ladies from Neff Road. Margaret Stager, Doris Lavy and Dolores Bucholtz. With you, I still remember. May your Christmas be blessed with love and memories to keep you warm on other winter days.

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