Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas at Grandma's - December 18, 1960

Fifty years ago today was our first Christmas dinner at Grandma Ridnour's without Grandpa.
Their little house sat on the north side of the Adams-Taylor county line, slightly uphill from the roadway. At one time the front porch was open, but they enclosed it to add more kitchen/dining space. The front door was hardly ever used - only once in awhile during the warm weather months.

We always used the back door on the northeast corner. There was a small entryway porch where everyone took off their boots before journeying inside directly to the spare (north) bedroom to add our coats to the pile already there.
In this picture, Grandma's beloved Penny is shivering beneath the gateway that in a few months would be covered with heavenly blue morning glories.
This particular Sunday, Mom, Betty and Leslie had gone ahead so Mom could help prepare the huge meal. I waited at home for Kenny to come pick me up. It was his first Christmas with my extended family. We were both a little nervous - knowing the questioning and teasing that would be in store.
Kenny had just returned from his six month National Guard training two days before. I knew he was due back around the 18th. Instead of calling me, he drove in at 10 p.m. and surprised me. I was writing in my diary when he got there. Finished it later to record his visit and write, "I was just a nervous wreck and so happy!"

December had already been a rough month for me. I was involved in the senior class play, working on getting an issue of the school paper out, getting ready for Christmas, etc., etc., when I got a bad cold. I was too busy to take time to stay home and try to get better. On December 3 my temperature was 104. The next day, Sunday, Mom & Dad took me out to the hospital to see Dr. Croxdale while he was there making rounds. Verdict: pneumonia. He ordered me to bed - in the hospital! "Isn't that the dumbest thing you ever heard?", I wrote in my diary.

I was in there a full week. Looking back in my diary, I'm amazed at all the visitors I had while there. I had forgotten all except Bill Arbuckle - that is because he brought his chess set and we played chess. My biggest concern was the school paper. I didn't see how they could possibly get an issue out without me!
These two pictures are from our senior year book. Pictures of the journalism class were pasted onto the background of the Smoke Signal. I'm bottom left in the top picture. Kari & Preston's dad, Denny, is second from left in back.
In the bottom picture, he and I are standing next to each other in back.

After I got out of the hospital, I had to stay home another three days. When I went back to school, I had so much make-up work but they gave me a month to do it all. It took awhile for me to get my strength back. The doctor warned me about not taking care of myself and said I would have to be careful because once you had pneumonia, it was easy to get it again. That scared me; especially after losing my Grandpa to pneumonia the previous February.

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