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Monday, December 26, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Linda LaRoque

A Christmas Memory from 1967

I can still hear my mother’s chuckles….

My husband and I married on December 23, 1967. Yes, I know, that’s too close to Christmas. People are busy with the holidays. We heard all sorts of complaints from family and friends, but we were in love and the date suited our time schedule.

Larry was in the Army and I had one month left in college before graduation. Money was tight, almost non-existent, to be more exact. I’d sold my flute to buy my white silk wedding suit. My mother had a nice watch on layaway for my graduation gift, and she let me use what she’d paid down to buy Larry’s ring. He’d sold his TI stock to buy my rings. Alas, if we’d kept the stock, we might be rich today!

The night before the wedding, my brother and his wife delivered a wedding gift, a big box wrapped in Christmas paper, for us before going over to my aunt’s to spend the night. I wasn’t supposed to open it until after the wedding. It sat on top of the piano calling my name...Linda…open me, Linda. You know you want to.

My step-father had gone to bed and Mama, Larry and I sat in the living room talking. I wanted to know what was in the box. Larry said leave it until tomorrow. Mama and I exchanged glances and giggles and set about carefully removing the tape on one end of the box.

Years ago, Mama had been so excited about the doll she bought me for Christmas, that she showed it to me in advance. I’ll never forget her pulling that beautiful baby from the cabinet above the refrigerator. So, I can truthfully say, my Christmas curiosity was inherited, or instilled by my mother. Over the years, I’d been known to un-wrap gifts and carefully reseal them—without getting caught, I might add.

We successfully un-wrapped the entire package to reveal a beautiful set of Teflon cookware with copper colored lids. Not real copper but it was a beautiful set. I was thrilled as we didn’t have cookware. Mama and I, amid ripped paper, groans, and titters of laughter, put it all back together and on top of the piano.

My bother didn’t find out until many years later. Age has lessened my curiosity, just a smidgen, but just in case, Larry doesn’t put my gifts out until almost time to open them. He doesn’t trust me! Can you imagine?

About the Author:Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.

A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.

Please leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a download of A Marshall of Her Own.


shadow_kohler said...

what a great memory. i cant say that im good at unwrapping and rewrapping a gift. thats awesome that you can! i hope you have a wonderful christmas! happy holidays!

terri_dion said...

what a great post!

Jean P said...

What a great memory, enjoyed reading about your Christmas memory.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Mountain Laurel said...

Thank you for sharing this memory! I have always been a curious one Happy Holidays!

AnnaD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnnaD said...

Well, I have to admit, I never knew that you had such a conyving streak in you. Although, I can certainly picture it, and I don't blame Larry for being over cautious.

Debby said...

I can't stand it either. I Have to know what is inside.. I would do the same.
Thanks for sharing.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Frank said...

ROFL, Linda! How awfully clever of you ;) I've admitted to be curious, but I can't recall whether I've snuck into gifts before I was supposed to... I probably wasn't smart enough to figure out how without getting caught!

Happy anniversary! And hope your celebrating this season's been merry and memorable!

--flchen1 using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Patti P said...

I hate hints or to find out before hand what a present is. I don't get many surprises so I savor them.
musicalfrog at

GladysMP said...

I am wondering where in West Texas you live. I attended college at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and still keep in email touch with my former roomate in Hereford and a couple who both went to H-SU and now live in Merkel. I keep in email touch with another friend from my youth who lives in Wichita Falls. I love West Texas. The people there are so friendly.

VampedChik said...

Haha that's great! My brothers and I growing up used to do that. Then my parents started "hiding" our gifts. Somehow we always managed to find them. As we got older we stopped looking so much unless we stumbled upon them but I still remember as a child searching for the presents. Thanks for sharing. Happy Anniversary a little late. :)