If I only knew then what I know now…

Oddly enough, the crappiness of this year is making me remember some Christmases I thought long forgotten…

Before I met my girls father, I was madly in love (and living) with another gentleman that was truly a back to nature live off the land type. We had a few good Christmases together~

We were living in this one room log cabin, in the middle of most beautiful country you can imagine ~ pristine wilderness right at the doorstep, horses and cows in the barn, chickens, and then wildlife everywhere. There had been a new snowfall on Christmas Eve, making the cabin poster perfect…

Life was rustic then…I did not mind, for I was young~

I loved pumping water from a hand pump at the sink, lighting the gas lamps when it got dark, and going to bed early ~ I loved storing my perishables in the snow out on the back screen porch, I didn’t even mind having to put my boots on when ever I needed to go to the bathroom!

It was a wonderful place really ~ we’d canned all the fruit in the jars on the pantry shelves, we’d grown all the potatoes, squash and carrots stored in the root cellar (which I helped dig) and we’d built a smoker to dry the deer meat into jerky, I’d done the fruit leathers on homemade screens in the hot August sun…

Christmas morning, “joe” had opened his gifts from me ~ I’d made him moccasins from the deer hides, and a necklace out of the antlers, and knitted wool socks, and flannel shirts, and… (wow, I was NUTS then, wasn’t I???)

I didn’t have any gifts under the tree that morning, and “joe” was all excited about something. My gift was so big that it would not fit in the house ~I began to get excited too ~ waiting until it was light to “see” my gift… I could think great things as we sat and drank our peppermint tea (Homegrown) with our wood cookstove baked bread and homemade jam…

The sun finally came over the ridge behind the cabin, and it was time to see “my” gift. We got ourselves dressed for the outdoors, and we started out.

We headed toward the barn… I held my breath. Surely it was the Belgian gelding I’d wanted at the Auction in the fall, Or better yet, the Dexter cow I wanted to go with the bull that was mooing at us as we walked a new path through fresh snow…

Entering the barn, there was nothing new that I could see, no horse, no cow, nothing.

We continued through the barn, and WAAAY toward the back was this funny lump, buried beneath a dirty old canvas tarp.

A funny HUGE lump.

“joe” whipped the tarp off the lump, and underneath…

Was a gas powered farm tractor.

Not a brand spankin’ NEW farm tractor, but a “repairable” farm tractor…

At the time, it seemed like the worst thing in the world ~ but I soon learnt that it was for “us”.

Sadly, we did not make another Christmas.

**sigh** how I miss that man, and what we had…

If I only knew then what I know now, eh?

~:-)

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