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Winter Memories In Northwest Indiana

Updated on February 23, 2016

Christmas At The Farm

I was 12 years old in 1962 and could not wait for Christmas Eve. I knew my cousin would be coming to my house to spend the night. She had an hour and a half ride from Chicago to DeMotte, Indiana. My grandmother owned a farm and we would all get together at my grandmothers house. The farm was right next to my house. I loved her farm it was so nice and pretty. It was 162 acres and had about 50 acres of woods. She raised chickens, goats, turkeys, and pigs. She also had corn, beans, and 7 acres of asparagus.

My cousin and I would stay up late eating snacks, and playing penny poker. When my mother got home we had to be real quiet so she could not hear us .We had to be real quiet so we could watch the Honeymooners, at 10:30, and then switch to Twilight Zone with Rod Serling. After Twilight Zone, came One Step Beyond, with Joseph Cotton. We use to watch Frankenstein and scare our self. We did not even lock the door as it was such an innocent time as far as not feeling afraid some one would break in the house.

My grandmother had 10 kids in her family and this gave me plenty of cousins. The family was close when my grandmother was alive. We had so many beautiful Christmas Eves in the Old Farmhouse. They are truly precious wonderful memories.I suppose it meant so much to me as I do not have much family now. My mother only had 2 kids. I wish there were more. My Grandmother had about 20 or so grandchildren and a few great grand kids.

My cousin and I would get up and get ready to walk or get a ride to the penny candy store. Our town had O'steens shoe repair and the front side of the store sold penny candy. It was great for picking out candy. The old wooden floor would creak, so the owner knew immediately when someone came. The old woman would cut your hand off if you stole a candy. We knew better our mothers would cut the other one off. The lady would take a small brown paper bag and pick out the candy we wanted. We got a nice size bag of candy for 15 cents, a quarter and you would be in heaven.

Our Family Tradition

Our Family Tradition Is making these Christmas Slays once a year.
Our Family Tradition Is making these Christmas Slays once a year. | Source
My husband makes the pieces in the USA.
My husband makes the pieces in the USA. | Source
The back of the Sleigh and Reindeer.
The back of the Sleigh and Reindeer. | Source

What You Need To Make This Sled and Reindeer

This tradition was started in Dec. of 1999. My husband had an accident at work and was laid up for quite some time. I use to bring empty grape boxes home that a friend would give me. They would be thrown out so they were glad I wanted them. I used them to store stuff I was not using as we just moved in our new house. They really came in handy.

My husband was healing from surgery and was very bored from staying home. He wondered what he could make out of the box. So, first he broke the wood box into flat pieces. He had no plan just worked off his imagination.

1. He drew one side of the sleigh and cut it out on his scroll saw.

2. He then cut out the center part of the Reindeer.

3. He laminated the deer into 5 layers each layer with the outside having the legs.

4. He then glued it on a leftover piece of hardwood flooring 10" X 2 7/8 X 14 ".

5. He used pipe cleaners to make the 8 point set of antlers and the harness and glued them in place.

6. I painted the sleigh and small pieces for my husbands project.

The actual height to the highest point of sleigh is 2 3/4", the length of sleigh is 4 1/4". the width of sleigh is 1 3/4". The Reindeer stands 3 1/2" to the top of his antlers and is 2 3/4" tall. The total length of the piece is 7 1/4" and is mounted on a 10" X 2 7/8" base.

He likes to make one each year and give one to a family member for Christmas.

The Big Storm

The snow storm of 1967 was great if you were a kid. No one was able to go anywhere. It was pure fun.
The snow storm of 1967 was great if you were a kid. No one was able to go anywhere. It was pure fun. | Source
The lights were put on at Christmas Eve each year. I can not remember a Christmas without the tree. 1962
The lights were put on at Christmas Eve each year. I can not remember a Christmas without the tree. 1962 | Source
The right is a photo of me age 9 with Grandma Stella on the left. The middle is an aunt. Grandma Stella came to this country when she was 16 years old.
The right is a photo of me age 9 with Grandma Stella on the left. The middle is an aunt. Grandma Stella came to this country when she was 16 years old. | Source

What Do You Enjoy Most

What did you enjoy on Christmas Eve?

See results

Snowing Harder

It was starting to snow harder so we started to walk back to the farm. We knew we had to eat all the candy before we got home.The last quarter mile we could barely see. The snow started to really drift by the time we got home, it was almost time for supper.

My cousin and I made it home before supper was put on the table. My aunt was supposed to go to Indianapolis to visit her mom but her and my uncle never left. They said the roads were so bad the police were telling people to go back home. The neighbor across the road came over to tell us he could not get out of the driveway. They could not go to their sons house for Christmas Eve and Christmas. My grandmother invited the whole family over they brought all their German dinner, and the deserts were awesome. My aunt and uncle went to their car and brought in all the food they were suppose to take to Indianapolis. This was turning out to be a great time.

The dinner began with just about anything you wanted to eat. The turkey and salad, home made bread, real homemade butter, whole fresh milk, pork and chicken fresh from the farm, and our own vegetables from the freezer. My mother was the cake,pie,cookies, and desert person. We had wonderful tasting food. Funny thing was back then everything was real food and practically everyone was skinny.

After the supper the adults cleaned up and then played cards. My uncle played Polka music and the kids played in the back front room. At 11:00 pm all the kids except the babies loaded in the wagon and my Uncle Joe with the snowplow on the tractor took us the mile or so to church. After church we open our presents and it was wonderful.

Everyone usually goes home after Christmas Eve not that year. My cousin stayed six more days and we had so much fun. Life was so slow, easy, and peaceful, it was a great Christmas. I will remember it forever.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Comments

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  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    promisem, thanks for reading. I am sure it was just as cold in Ohio.

  • promisem profile image

    Scott Bateman 20 months ago

    Excellent story and ideas! It makes me think of my experiences with winters in northwest Ohio by Lake Erie. Very cold, very windy and a lot of snow.

  • Writer Fox profile image

    Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

    What wonderful memories you have from your childhood. I enjoyed reading your story.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Never, we had cast iron bellies. Stella

  • amazmerizing profile image

    amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

    Oh that was a lovely story... hope you and your cousin didn't have tummy aches ;)

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Psatraubie48, thanks for reading. They were very good times when famlies were together and Christmas was not so much about money.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

    the snow brought the family together in an unexpected way...and the meal sounded like a comfort food extraordinaire experience

    Don't you just love these walks back down memory lane?

    Angels are on the way to you this morning, Stella. ps

  • Vellur profile image

    Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

    Enjoyed reading about your wonderful memories.The sleigh looks so beautiful, wish the accident had never happened. That would have been great. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    You are welcome. I loved that snow storm it was so much fun. When your a kid snow is fun and besides that there was no school.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is such a fun hub (apart from the mention of your husband's accident, which was sad). I loved reading the stories of your winter experiences! Thank you for sharing them.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Hi Romanian, it is my best time of the year. Thank you.

  • Romanian profile image

    Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

    Beautiful article, I always love the day of Christams Eve.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    RTalloni, Thanks for visiting, You are right many hours of work went in to making the holiday so nice when we were snowed in.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

    Christmas may be over for this most recent season but this read has lovely layers to remember throughout the year. A lot of work went into the days you write about here by the adults who cooked and prepared and then cooperated to hold things together during the days of the storm, but to have it all come together in this unexpected way couldn't have been planned. It's a wonderful thing that you have memories of enjoying the time with family and friends. Your husband's woodworking is very nice, btw.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you MelRootsNWrites for visiting, and yes my husband is very talented he makes many wood projects. Happy new year. Stella

  • MelRootsNWrites profile image

    Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

    Sounds like you were snowed in at the right place with your cousins :). I really like the sleigh. Your husband is quite talented. What a neat yearly tradition!

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

    I loved this. I remember the days of the tiny brown bag and the penny candy. And I laughed out loud at the lady who would cut off your hand if you stole anything and Mom would cut off the other!!! I get that!!! Great share...so glad I chose this one to read.

    Many Angels are on the way again this evening ps

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you for your comment. It is great to remember good times. Stella

  • oceansnsunsets profile image

    Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

    Hi Stella, I really enjoyed your winter memories hub about that one Christmas with all the snow. How wonderful! I can't imagine a time or place where we didn't have to lock our doors. I think its great you recall a time like that.

    I could feel the excitement when you talked about the candy store, and what could be bought with fifteen or twenty five cents! It does like heaven for a kid. Glad I saw this link on Jackie's page, so I could find your winter memories hub! I also enjoyed your husband creation out of wood, that is really neat.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thanks for visiting, they were great times, a different world.

  • Mel Carriere profile image

    Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

    Those are wonderful memories of better times. 25 cents of penny candy would either put you in heaven or a diabetic coma. Great hub!

  • tobusiness profile image

    Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

    Memories are indeed precious, loved all the wonderful images. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and interesting.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    What wonderful winter and Christmas memories you have shared, dear Stella! You made a good point about eating real food and everyone being thin. Sounds like great fun was had despite the blizzard and wonderful memories were made to last a lifetime.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you so much.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image
    Author

    stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thank you Jackie, those Christmas times are to be remembered forever. I wish all could experience that joy and love. Merry Christmas.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I have added you to the challenge list and shared this after commenting. Hope I did not forget to post it. I do get in a hurry but I do apologize if I got that much in a hurry. Well will say again I really related to your story with much in common. It was a delight to read. Up and shared and will be back to reread this many times this winter!!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    What a beautiful story; I am so glad you decided to share it! I can relate to much of it. The unlocked doors and large family with cousins everywhere. This will keep me smiling a good while; thank you so much. Voted all up and will share now and put you to the top of the list!