Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Who among us remember those brown cotton stockings attached to a garter belt that were worn in the winter? There are no pictures of groups of school children taken at the local grade schools early enough to have girls wearing brown or white stockings. By then, knee high stockings had taken over.

I remember those brown socks. I remember that by the end of the day, the knees bagged horridly and the white ones, which I wore before and after mother came home from the San, did the same thing.

One of the years my grandparents lived with us and mother was in the San with TB, the stockings were hung on the birch mantle of the fireplace. It was the same Christmas that Judy, my cousin, got a doll that had permanent measles. The doll came in a box and was carefully packed in mini slivers of long wood strips. It had a special name, at this writing, I can't remember what those wood shavings were called. Do you know?

Anyway, Grandpa Benhard tossed the box and shavings into the burning fireplace and the tinder shot up and out and Daddy said, "Everybody OUT". It was cold in the snow and dark but we were not allowed to go back in until he was certain it was safe. When we did, the mantle and the fronting on it, which of course was highly varnished, was blackened from the fire.

That year, the stockings were hung by the fired fireplace. I remember my brother being not very happy because I had a long brown stock, (Fully stretched out), and he had a short stocking and I would get more. But I didn't get more. We each got an orange, which was so heavy it made my stocking very long, a few peanuts, unwrapped chocolate mounds, and ribbon candy which, of course, had sock fuzz on it.

Fast forward to Fargo. Our stockings are tied to the dining room chairs here. Ryen, who normally comes for Christmas, will not be here. He plans to come in January. What to do with the sock grandma gave so long ago? Shall I send it? No, he wanted to leave it here, so his sock with the teddy bear is tied to the chair.

I am wondering if Bud still uses his baseball shoe/sock stocking. I wondering Rachel still has her ballerina. I still have my tree sock, although it was retired last year. Tom bought me a sock and Ryen made me one. Sock it to me!

Are you a stocking family? What did you use? What did you get?

I think there are a few peanuts left up stairs. No, they are NOT left over from Christmas of 1949.



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