Monday, December 25, 2017

A great Birthday / Christmas present, 1971

During my sophomore year in high school, My mom bought us a trip to Spokane from Pullman on the Greyhound Bus. Just her and me. Primary objective was to buy the multi band radio I had been dreaming about in the Radio Shack catalog. No Radio Shack store in Pullman, back then.

While in the "city" she wanted me to see some sights.

The Crescent Department Store was all decked out in holiday trimmings. A must see; the animated window with moving Santa mannequin. We walked around to the front of the block and entered through the main door where said window would be. When we got there, my mom just kept walking while I stopped. I wondered why she suddenly lost interest. With some disgust in her voice she said, "it's Christmas on the moon." Santa was in a space suit. No warm fire, snowy fields, or chestnuts roasting. It was moon rocks and grey dust. Santa picking up rocks and placing them in specimen pouches.

Moving on, we did had a nice meal on the Crescent's top floor cafe named The Tea Room. Then did a bit more window shopping in downtown Spokane before heading to pick up my prized radio.

I still have that radio. It served me well for many years, but today the only thing that works is the dial light. I taped what I thought was a better AM dial onto the radio. Used another Christmas gift; a label maker, to put my address on this prized possession.

Some other memories below.

Baked goods that we exchanged with neighbors. To increase variety of goods in everyone's home, folks would bring around what they baked to share with the neighborhood. The doorbell would ring and it was the Stevens. Then the Swansons and so forth. Often carols were sung. Each year, we had the chore of passing out our goodies as well. One year, while I was back home from college, I noted that most of the neighbors were at a party next door. I thought we should pass out our plate at that house to save having to go to each house. My brother Jack nixed the idea thinking it would be awkward picking out just the neighbors at that party where others would be also. He thought we would have to say, "okay, here's one for you up the street and you from across town don't get one."

A climax of our family Christmas was opening presents on Christmas morning. All excited, I would get up early. The house was filled with the sweet smell of my mom's holiday bread. It had very sugary frosting with a strong ting of orange. My sister Judith Ashworth and I would stake out our heat vents on both sides of the tree where warm air from the furnace would blow into the living room. Warmth would flow up into my shirt. We would wait, somewhat impatiently, as my older sister, Lillian, would remain in bed. After traveling to Pullman, from Seattle, she would be getting more sleep. Sometimes we would be waiting for my brother, Bill Ashworth also. When everyone was up and around the tree, we would start opening packages. A big pile of spent wrapping paper would accumulate in the laundry basket that my mom would set up. We reused much of the wrapping paper year after year. We would reuse paper, ribbons and bows that were still in fairly good shape and weren't torn up by the cat jumping into the basket.

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