NINE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
1978 Sense and Nonsense
The year we broke a long-standing tradition by not staying home for Christmas. We abandoned the turkey and the tree and set forth to Alberta where most of our children and other relatives reside.
If Christmas had fallen at any other time of year but in the dead of winter, we would cheerfully have driven to our destination. As it was, we decided to take advantage of the most available means of public transportation.
Alarm clock bells, alarm clock bells, (tune of Jingle Bells)
We must be on our way!
Oh what sense is it to ride
A Greyhound bus to-day!
Waiting in the snow,
For a crowded Greyhound bus,
Today the bus is slow,
‘Cause it’s the Christmas rush!
Cars on highways slide,
Headlights shining bright,
What a drag to rise and ride
A Greyhound bus tonight!
We left Prince George almost three hours behind schedule and with somewhat diluted Christmas spirits. Our bus driver soon revealed exactly where his homing instincts lay. He aimed his bus due East, and by combining a talented foot on the accelerator pedal with an almost fanatic reluctance to stop at the scheduled feeding stations, managed to reach Edmonton only 90 minutes late!
We forgave him our hunger pangs, and he endeared himself to us with his parting announcement, “Merry Christmas to you all, and I hope you have better days than this one!”
My daughter is married to a native son in Edmonton. As he is of Ukrainian descent, she has learned to make, pronounce and possibly even spell, such delicacies as Perogies and Kapooskas (probably spelled that wrong!) These delights balanced nicely with the turkey and salads on her Christmas table.
I once tried my hand at making perogies and failed miserably. The potato-cheese mixture escaped during the boiling process, and I ended up with flattened lumps of dough floating in a pot of potato water.
The one-car dayliner which travels between Edmonton and Calgary, is run on a first-come-first-gets-a-seat basis. The extras can either stand or ride their suitcases. I have noticed that they have recently invented the wheel on some suitcases. Why not a retractable backrest for suitcase sitters? This would also afford a degree of comfort when waiting long hours in a standing room only bus depot!
We managed to visit most of our children and other relatives over the Christmas holidays. Here is my version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” shortened to eight days because of time limitations.
Verses 1 – 7 refer to eighth verse.
Verse 8: On the eighth day of Christmas my true love met with me,
Eight aunts and uncles!
Seven sister’s siblings!
Six kissing cousins!
Five adult offspring!
Four grandkids growing!
Two brand new babies!
And at every house a Christmas turkey!
On the ninth day of Christmas we arrived home. We have wood heat in our house so we were prepared for a chilly homecoming. Thankfully, some friends had lit a fire the day before. They informed us that on that day the thermometer had read 40 below in our living room. While waiting for the wood to burn and give off heat, they had stood in the kitchen warming themselves in the “balmy” air escaping from the open refrigerator!