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Kathleen - I loved your story. Kinda makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over!! Even though cookie night sometimes got interupted, I think the warmth and cheer you extended to others in a time of emergency and to your daughters' friends, brought even more joy to your hearts!! My daughters and I used to make Christmas cookies and they have also grown up and moved out of the house. My oldest and I still do some occasionally and it is such a lot of fun!!
Eleanor (I grew up on a farm in Central New York and moved to Glens Falls 36 years ago to begin my first and only job as a music teacher)
p.s. - It was wonderful to meet you and your family through this story!!
I'm not sure I did this the right way!! Not the first time and certainly won't be the last. My intention was to comment on the article about "cookie night" and not to start a new thread. Hmmmm! Eleanor
My family also did a version of cookie night for a long time. Like you, as our family grew, things changed. Those times that we all gathered to prepare for and look forward to Christmas gatherings are among my fondest memories. Thanks for sharing your memories with us and for bringing back some of my very own memories of days gone by. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Carrie - the rest of my post was in response to Kathleen's biography - she lives on a farm in western NY. I thought I was responding directly to her and not starting a new thread. I could edit that part and take it out if it's really confusing!! Eleanor
Eleanor, when you comment about an article, it automatically starts a new thread. Whether or not anyone replies to your thread is not a certainty...but if anyone does that means they agree with you!
If you ever wanted to comment privately to a writer, just click on their dg name at the top of the article and you will find a link to send them an email.
Love your article Kathleen, such a wonderful story. I like your cyclical style in it. Very touching. Susanne
art_n_garden - I get it now art and garden! I was thinking of Art as in the name. Very appropriate screen name! I taught music mostly in first and second grade with a few kindergartens. It was a large school system with about 12 sections of each grade level. I am in my third year of retirement and loving it! Eleanor
Lol- lots of people think I'm a man named Art, it's ok! Wish I could change it, but too late for that. Wow, that must be a large school system! We only have 4 classes at each grade level, so I do all the grades. I wish I could specialize in high or low like you did though. Congratulations on retirement! I have a while to go...this is my first year teaching full time :) Nice to meet you! Susanne
Hello, Susanne! Glad to meet you and I guess you're not an Art!! I really enjoyed specializing in lower elementary music ed. I was better with the younger children cause I'm a child at heart. I acted just like them in my younger days - running and skipping around the room to music and crawling on the floor like turtles!! I felt it was time to retire at 55 cause I couldn't do the things any more with the children and that's the fun part!! I always tell younger teachers who have a long way to go to retire - I may be retired and don't have to work, but you still have your youth and your body is still in good working condition!! LOL Enjoy teaching, it is a very rewarding profession and you get to influence and bring joy to a lot of children. Eleanor
I'm glad I could stir up some warm fuzzies for you all.
Jeremy, I agree, although my family often accuses me of embroidering my nonfiction with wandering into fiction. My youngest told me that this was the closest I've ever gotten what really happened! Perhaps I belong in the Creative Nonfiction genre.
grammyphoeb, was your farm in the Finger Lakes region? We have friends who live and farm in Alpine.
Kathleen- the farm was in Camillus, just west of Syracuse. The farm was sold a few years ago and it is still difficult to drive by and realize that era is gone. My father and 3 of his brothers owned the farm. There were some hard years for farming and the next generation was not able to take over the farm. It needed to be sold to pay off their debts. I have two brothers who have farming in their blood and have been known to go help out area farmers after their day jobs were done, just to get on a tractor and plow or combine until the wee hours of the morning!! Where is Alpine? Camillus is east of Skanateles. Eleanor
Alpine is down near Ithaca, at the bottom of the lakes. We've through Camillus at one time or another.
You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy! We rent pasture and meadow land from a man who works as an engineer at Cummins Engine. He's always tinkering with his antique equipment and will go out and mow pasture or plow up a chunk just for the fun of it.
I haven't been in Alpine, but I've been to Ithaca. Spent four years of my life there. I graduated from Ithaca college with a degree in Music ed. in 1971. That was a few years ago. I agree with you - can't take the farm out of the boy!! When the machinery and equipment were auctioned off - Dad told the local farmer who bought his special Steigert (not sure about the spelling) tractor that he had made handicapp accessible, that he came with the tractor. So he worked for free for several years before his death for the farmer who bought his tractor. Growing up on a farm has influenced me to grow things - I need to keep my farming roots alive and gardening is one way to do it. Eleanor
I love this idea for a tradition. It makes me wish our children weren't all grown! We did something similar a few years ago though. Our gd's lived with us at the time and on Christmas Eve their mom & boyfriend at the time ( Shawn,he was the oldest gd's dad) and our son came over. We had dinner, finished wrapping a few things etc.
Shawn mentioned he had never baked christmas cookies. So we were all in shock at that soooo we decided to make cookies!! It was the best Christmas Eve I think we ever had.
Unfortunately, Shawn ended up in jail and then left and dissappeared out of his daughter's life. But that night was truely magical.
Kathleen, I just had the opportunity of reading this wonderful article, and it really made me feel like Christmas was here. We made cookies when my girls were little, on the second weekend in December. We made a LOT! Then we would package them all up real pretty, and deliver them to the local police station, fire station and hospital emergency room. I have continued that even now that my girls are grown with kids of their own. One of my SILs is a Denver cop, and he happened to work in my district...it was so much fun delivering the cookies to his station! They got to know me, and looked forward to our cookies every year.
Thanks for getting Christmas started for me!