True confession time: I wrote my weekly post early. Several days early.
So I have something to add.
Yesterday, I put up the tree and Christmas decorations. I have a few items that came from my grandma’s house after she passed: a music box, a bell, and one of the three Christmas books they owned that Grampa used to read to my brother and cousin and I. I do own the other two, but I found them in an antique shop. I only took one ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, giving my brother and cousin the chance to take one each. (I don’t think my cousin did at all.) I regret not taking the set, because I think my own memories of this were the strongest, but I don’t regret trying to be nice.
I arrange these with my most precious decorations in the beautiful hutch my husband picked out, when we needed a new didning room table for Thanksgiving about four years back. (But I digress.) Inside I found a Polaroid photo.
To be honest, I don’t remember that moment specifically, and I can’t say that he’s reading the book that became my favorite. I’m thinking it’s probably Rudolph, though it could be Frosty. I am definitely in kindergarten there, age six. (Shoes, outfit, and weird necklace that was probably some class party giveaway are my clues.)
However, I remember being read to every year (and sometimes you could talk him into the Christmas books at other times of year, but they had other books and Gramma would read sometimes too – I have her favorite and my favorite that she’d read to me). And I remember his voice reading this book in particular. (It became my favorite, I think because of the really fancy old-fashioned pictures, and I was always into that. Plus, although I can hear his voice for the other books, it is much more clear for this one.)
He had a unique Southeastern Iowa accent, so “dash” came out “daysh.” And on the phrase “And what to my wondering eyes should appear…” he’d start with a quiet, low bass rumble and build up. And he’d draw out the word “broad.” I can still hear every pause and nuance in his voice – even when I’m not reading directly from this book.
I hope I never forget.