First Christmas:

It may very well have been the first year I lived in Colorado with my family, but it feels to me that it was the second. Perhaps it had already snowed, but I remember there being mud everywhere, more bog than yard. My paternal grandparents were visiting, but they were quiet people and I have few memories of their visit. One of the gifts I received was a Tinker-Toy, a collection of sticks and slotted hubs for building various models. Grandpa and I sat on the living room floor and did our best to assemble a wire frame Ferris wheel. Behind me, Sister laid in her crib. I don’t remember Mother having been pregnant, or Sister coming home… just that she quietly cooed as I enjoyed that Christmas morning. Another of my gifts had been a Playdoh toy that used a lever to squeeze the goop through holes of various shapes. For some reason, there was a shortage of Playdoh, and Grandma used some mysterious recipe to make more. It turned out to be a recipe for modelling clay, which hardened into rock. The toy was broken in the process, and Mother was rather unhappy about it, but I thought it was interesting that Grandma had made any such thing out of what we had around the house.