December 9, 2010

Christmas at Triangle Ranch

As I stood today for a "breather" from Open House preparations and gazed from the third stair above Grandma's elegant "landing" the Christmas memories from half a century came flooding back. 

Christmas eve, in this exact spot,was my first conscious memory. My little sister and I, holding hands, stared in awe at the crackling fireplace, the sparkling chandelier and fa-a-ar across the old oak floor to the solarium where Grandma's magical Christmas tree stood all ringed about with presents. 

 And so it was a few years later on Christmas eve while eating our oyster stew, that my all too-grown-up cousin informed me there "really was no Santa Claus".  I was crushed, but as we retired to open presents . . . . there by the fireplace was a big, brown, burlap sack and in it was a real saddle for 3 little cowgirls who still "believed." (Santa's helper had ridden horseback through 2 feet of snow to retrieve it from the postal carrier).

Every Christmas, we would sit by the fire to hear the age-old story of Christ's birth and why He came "for us" so there was never any confusion about "Santa". He was just a bonus.

A few years later I brought Kenny to our Christmas eve at Triangle Ranch to introduce him to Grandma and Grandpa.  Grandpa was a little skeptical because Kenny's family raised black Angus cattle and we raised Herefords but Grandma approved because he was a school teacher like her.

Thus has been the cycle of Christmas here for 87 years from my great-grandparents to our grandchildren. Family and friends came home for Christmas and these warm walls embraced them.

The South Dakota prairie has whitened but the sun is still shining, our seven trees are twinkling with lights, wreath's at the window, Grandpa's fireplace is crackling warmly and wonderful smells waft from the kitchen. Come, experience "peace on earth" at Triangle Ranch. 







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