Christmas Eve

Yesterday was Zoo Day at the local Dillon's Supermarket. I know that most people were listening to the storm warnings about the blizzard headed our way. A few days ago, I thought it was too dry to snow much. We have had a couple of days of rain and warm wet winds blowing up from the south and bingo, the perfect meeting of a cold front and warmer wet weather. When I went out this AM to get the paper the rain has turned to sleet and there is at least a 20 MPH wind blowing those little ice pellets. Later on today the sleet is to turn to snow and they are saying 8 inches on the level but with a wind up to 45 MPH there won't be level. There will be no snow in the wind blown parts and up to several feet in the backside of wind blocks.

I guess I really started to talk about Christmas Eve. I don't remember any Christmas traditions from growing up that stand out. The one I do remember is Christmas eve 1968. We fired right up to the Midnight cease fire and at midnight we stopped. Instead of the peace on earth I expected, I felt like it was one of the spookiest times. It was dark and quiet. That combination was not a good thing. To really make it feel bad, we couldn't fire illumination rounds when other people felt the same way. I don't recall too many battles breaking out, just a feeling of being unsettled. In our Fire Direction Center, there was always a good game of rook being played. We all hoped that we would get a new version of Jeopardy from home. I don't know how many versions we had at the time, but we had played every game several times.

One special treat I allowed myself there at the start of the cease fire was to dip into my stash of scotch. My sister Myrna sent me a bottle of cleaner for Christmas. I wondered what she was up to until I opened it and smelled the aroma of a good scotch. That went into a 2 quart canteen and mixed with H2O it was a wonderful treat. I'll bet the guys wondered what the hell the LT was up to sitting over there with that silly grin on his face.

I hope you find a Christmas tradition you like and spend your time with family.


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