We've had snow on the ground since before last Friday and it's been cold. Yesterday it was above freezing things were starting to melt. This morning it's warmer and we're even getting some rain. However, there's another chance of rain, snow and ice tonight. We'll see what happens. It's been fun to have snow before Christmas.
I don't know about you, but my week has been busy. We got the last of our decorating done and we made cookies with the kiddos on Wednesday evening. It was pretty fun. Doodle Bug is in love with hippopotamuses for some reason and pretends there is one outside. He'll say, "Oh, I see a hippopotamus out dere." So I created a hippopotamus cookie for him. That's the first one he wanted to decorate and eat. Then he told Daddy he ate a hippopotamus. And he's only 2 1/2.
I had every intention of getting a lot of writing done this week. Ha. It didn't happen. I worked a little on the Graham Quartet and a little on a new Christmas story. That's it.
Tonight Dad and I have our Sheriff's Citizens' Academy Graduation at the Sheriff's Department Christmas party. Should be interesting.
And now I'll let you get on to your story. I hope you've been enjoying all the other posts.
Christmas Eve at the Backdoor
“Think we’ll get snow, Mom?” Roger asked eagerly.
Looking up, Mrs. Kabrick shook her head. “I don’t know, Roger. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. But see here, two more Christmas cards.” She held up the envelopes and eager hands reached for them. “Whose turn is it to open them?” she asked.
“Ceddy’s and mine,” Cindy squealed, jumping up and down making her brown braids bounce.
Before anyone could say anything else, a soft meow was heard and the children hurried over to the box where Jingle Bell, roused by the commotion, was crying for attention.
“Here, Jody,” Mrs. Kabrick directed, “warm up some milk for her dinner. Cindy, Ceddy, you may open the cards, but be careful to save the stamps for Mr. Findley. Roger, set the table please, and I’ll get started on our own dinner. The morning has gone by so quickly that I didn’t realize it was so late.”
Just then another knock was heard on the door and it was opened and one of their neighbors, Elsa Birks stepped in. “Oh, Nancy, I am so glad you are home. I already tried the Perry’s but they left earlier this morning to drive over to his parent’s house for Christmas. And the Smith’s weren’t home either and I’ve already been away from the house so long that who knows what dire things might have happened.”
“What is it that you need, Elsa?” Mrs. Kabrick asked, pushing the package which had arrived in the mail farther back on the counter and setting down a bowl of stock she had taken from the icebox.
“Salt. Do you have a little to spare? I didn’t know I was out, and I’m sure the grocery is already closed, it being Christmas Eve and all, and me with not even a pinch of salt in the house! I only need a teaspoon. Oh, thank you so much, Nancy,” she exclaimed as Mrs. Kabrick pulled down her tin of salt and held it out. “I brought my own tin to put it in.” And Elsa pulled from her coat pocket a salt canister. “Can you spare a teaspoon, Nancy?” she asked.
“Of course,” was the hearty reply. “Roger just brought some home with him yesterday. Will a teaspoon be enough? You are welcome to more if you need it.”
“Well . . .” The neighbor hesitated. “Perhaps I should take just a little more to last me until the store opens again the day after Christmas.”
“You go right ahead,” Mrs. Kabrick urged with a smile. “No one should be without salt for Christmas Day.”
Mrs. Birks soon departed with the salt, wondering aloud if her house would still be standing when she arrived.
“What a morning!” Mrs. Kabrick fairly flew about her kitchen preparing dinner and trying not to step on her children who seemed to be everywhere at once. Before long steaming bowls of soup were set on the table and the family gathered around.
Roger asked the blessing and then for several minutes the only sound was the clink of spoons against bowls. The hot soup tasted good, the kitchen was pleasant, and tomorrow was Christmas.
“It’s less than twelve hours until Christmas,” Roger exclaimed after looking at the clock.
“You are not getting up at midnight this year , Roger Kabrick!” Mrs. Kabrick decreed firmly though her eyes twinkled.
Roger grinned and quickly finished the last of his soup.
A sudden shout, voices calling and a few squeals alerted the Kabrick family that something was up. When a loud, quick knock came, Jody and Roger sprang to their feet to answer it, but Jody reached the door first. Flinging it open, a swirl of cold winter wind swept into the kitchen and a breathless voice exclaimed, “The pond’s frozen! We’re all going skating. Want to come?”
Jody turned at once. “Please Mama, can’t we go?” And the other children added their pleadings.
Looking past her children’s eager faces to the boyish one in the doorway, Mrs. Kabrick asked, “Paul, who tested the ice?”
“Dad did,” Paul Stone replied. “He said it was frozen solid this morning and it’s only gettin’ colder now.”
“All right. You may go.” Mrs. Kabrick was nearly smothered with hugs and kisses for a moment, as the two youngest hurled themselves at her in delight.
“We’ll be right out,” Jody assured Paul before quickly shutting the backdoor. “Come on, let’s get ready!”
In less than ten minutes the four Kabrick children, warmly dressed and with skates slung over their shoulders, stood in the kitchen.
“Watch out for each other,” Mrs. Kabrick cautioned, tying Cindy’s scarf and pulling Ceddy’s hat farther down over his ears. “Don’t stay out too late, and if you get cold, come home. We don’t want any sick children on Christmas Day. All right now, run along and enjoy your skating.”
Assuring her that they would, Roger opened the door. Their merry voices, mixing with those of many other children, came floating into the kitchen making Mrs. Kabrick smile. “If I weren’t tired, I’d be tempted to go join them,” she thought, slowly beginning to clear off the table. “It’s been a long time since I’ve gone skating.
Silently she washed the dishes, wiped off the table and swept the floor. “I’ll just make some apple cider,” she decided. “It can simmer until the children are home. There’s nothing quite like a cup of something hot to drink to warm a person right up. And no doubt they’ll be frozen through.”
It wasn’t until the cider was slowing heating up on the stove that Mrs. Kabrick noticed the package. Picking it up she looked closely at the postmark and then smiled. Her brother never forgot special days. Opening the parcel, she discovered a few smaller packages wrapped in bright paper inside. Each one bore a name and the words: Do Not Open Until Christmas.
With a light step, Mrs. Kabrick carried the packages and tucked them among the branches of the Christmas tree. For several minutes she stood and looked at the tree, thinking of how kind Mr. Ditty had been to let them have such a lovely one.
A frantic sounding knock caused Mrs. Kabrick to hurry back to the kitchen and open the door.
Who do you think is at the door now?
Have any of you gone ice skating on Christmas Eve?
Questions or comments?