After our bellies were full, our cheeks sore from laughing and everyone thankful for yet another blessed Christmas celebration we returned home so mom and dad could nap. Heidi and I were told to “rest” but we were kids so of course we played ever so quietly. I remember the year we each were given sleeping bags. Heidi wanted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one and I was torn between Snoopy and Barbie. On Christmas morning we were so excited to open those sleeping bags – must be Santa was confused on which to choose too since both were under the tree for me. Or maybe one of my wonderful aunts picked it up – I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember. I do know this was probably the only year when we “rested” we actually fell asleep with our sleeping bags side by side on the livingroom floor.
After napping, dressing in one of our new outfits from under the tree we loaded back into the car and headed to Fulton to join the Hogan clan for our evening Christmas celebration. This was my favorite – we were surrounded not only by the same aunts, uncles and cousins from our typical Sunday dinners and earlier that same day but our great aunts, great uncles and 2nd and 3rd cousins were there. It was GREAT! Aunt Kit and Uncle Buss had the house decorated top to bottom with the aroma of homemade foods seeping from the cracks in the door as we climbed the cement steps to the top. Laughter and loud “discussions” could be heard with the cheers from the livingroom aroused the boys curiosity.
The younger kids were allowed to jump on Mark’s bed (shh…don’t tell him, lol) One night we were jumping and it broke. We all jumped off the bed and laid ourselves across his bean bag chair and the pillows before an adult came in – no one came. Hmm…didn’t they hear the bang? We all laughed and laughed, made the bed back up before leaving the room and left. During the next week when Aunt Kay arrived at my Gram’s she said “Oh girls…did Mark’s bed happen to break on Christmas eve?” We just laughed and so did Aunt Kay…she said Uncle Buss didn’t find it nearly as funny as we were. Which of course made us laugh all the more. The next time we went in Mark’s room we were told “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” by Uncle Buss and he winked at us. What a teddy bear!
On this last day of March it isn’t important who broke the bed or who caught us. I believe it is important to have memories of being together to carry us through when the ones we love so dear…are gone. Heidi and I were always together as children, usually dressed alike until those teen years. I had a unique style and Heidi, sporty. The Lord blessed me with a sister for eighteen years…I cherish every moment I remember. I pray you have the same…
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
The orange lit cross was the wreath we hung on the Heidi Allen Command Center that first Christmas, along with a community tree lighting. Thank you New Haven!