X – XMAS Memory – 1975

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations. In a few cases I took an old post and updated it with new information.

Kristin and Jim

Christmas Trip From Mississippi to St. Louis – 1975

We moved to Simpson County, Mississippi in November of 1975.  Jim was in charge of the Emergency Land Fund’s Model farm.  Our daughter Jilo was 5 and Ife was 2.5.  I was 29 and six months pregnant with our third daughter Ayanna. Jim was just about to turn 31.  This was before we had goats, chickens or rabbits.  The greenhouses weren’t in production.  I remember several of the farmers Jim worked with gave him gifts of money for Christmas.  It didn’t amount to more than $30 total but it paid for all the gas we used.

We decided to drive up to share the holidays with Jim’s family in Rock Hill, MO.  They lived at #1 Inglewood Court, right outside of St. Louis. 17 year old Micheal, 15 year old Monette and 12 year old Debbie were living at home.

We made the 8 hour trip in the little gray Volkswagen bug that came with the job. We took food to eat on the way, left early and drove straight through.  I don’t remember anything specific about driving up. As I recall we got to St. Louis before dark.  Jim’s parents gave us their bedroom.  They were always so nice about that.  Jim and the kids and I shared the pushed together twin beds.  There weren’t presents for us but Jim’s mother looked around and came up with some. I don’t remember what she gave Jilo and Ife but she gave me two copper vases and Jim two glass paperweights. I don’t remember what we took as gifts.

Three of Jim’s brothers – Micheal, Chester, Harold. St. Louis 1975

I remember going to see Jim’s brother, Harold at one of his jobs.  He had several, just like his father always did. We also stopped by his studio where he made plaster knick knacks.  Or was it cement bird baths?  Or both?  There was a Salvation Army or Goodwill store nearby and we stopped and I got some shirts for the kids and a dress that Ife wanted.  Mostly we stayed around the house and visited.We stayed until New Years Eve and left in the evening.  There is never enough food or time to prepare it for the return trip. We stopped at Howard Johnson’s somewhere on the way home and I remember getting fried oysters. It was cold and dark and clear. There were stars. And there are always trucks. We listened to the radio and talked and maybe sang some.  The kids eventually fell asleep in the backseat and we welcomed the New Year driving through the night.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter X

13 thoughts on “X – XMAS Memory – 1975

  1. Being with family at Christmas is a special event especially when you live at a distance. There is no need for expensive gifts or fancy meals. Sharing the joy of the season is what matters.

  2. Good choice for the difficult X. I enjoyed your memories and the ones that you can’t quite remember, that’s how my memory works, too.

    I live in Kirkwood — quite close to Rock Hill.

  3. A wonderful story. It was a trek but memories that have already lasted a lifetime. We took my kids to my parents for Christmas year before last. I don’t think they remember their presents but they certainly have lots of stories from that 5000km round trip!

    1. I find it hard to remember most of my presents through the years, but I remember the fellowship and food and conversation. That is what I miss.

      Usually we visited our parents during the summer. There were only a few trips made during the winter. Not surprising since we were driving and we had to drive up into the snow and cold.

  4. I did drive from Tallahasee, FL to Houston TX a few holidays…taking my children to be with their cousins, seeing my family of origin (which was always a strain.) Just a few pictures remain. I never thought twice about driving places, and still don’t, except my stamina is shorter-lived and the prices are doubled.

  5. Important to make memories with family. Mostly one doesn’t remember the presents but the feeling of the gathering.

  6. Those family gatherings generate special memories, as would the long drive. Just hanging out together would have been a gift in itself. Like you, memories are sometimes “fuzzy” and it’s the overall feel of it. Presents can seem important at the time but how often do we remember them? Our gift-giving has been severely rationalised…how much do we really need.

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