April 12, 2024

**Do Not Use**

Portal videos are now available on ARC Event Library page located under News/Updates menu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Merry Christmas 2023

By Barbara Robinson

It is time for 2023 Christmas Greetings and with each Christmas comes the busy, crazy, sacred time of year. Each Winter Holiday Season seems more precious to me as my years mount up, and with the years memories come to mix in with the holiday milieu. I will share a few of my remembrances of these great days in hopes they will bring some of your own happy memories of the season.

My grandmother was visiting us the year was maybe 1953. We were the only young grandchildren my grandmother had, and my dad was her only living child so needless to say we were dotted upon. Although not a wealthy woman Grandma Baldwin always had surprises for her grandkids. Grandma was my buddy and even slept with me when she visited.

We were a very fortunate family to always have an operating television set, as my dad’s hobby/part-time job was T.V. repair man. In fact, we had half a garage wall stocked with various T.V. tubes and wires so I, even at the age of eight, was quite knowledgeable about most of the kids’ shows. My very favorite was “Lassie,” this was a weekly program about a collie dog and a boy named Timmy. In this series Lassie always came to the rescue, usually saving Timmy. Well, that show did it for me I had to have a “Lassie.” My parents, I could tell were not enthusiastic about getting a dog especially a rather large, long-haired animal. I was relentless about my insistence on getting a Lassie not a beagle, not a cocker spaniel, but a Lassie. My dad would pass on this issue when I started describing all the attributes of a collie dog.
“Go talk to Mom about it.” This was his usual comeback as he punted to my mom while he tinkered with someone’s broken TV.

Now with Mom there was maybe a glimmer of hope because she had grown up on a farm, so I tried a different strategy with her. I would describe all the advantages of a dog; she would agree and begin telling me all about their family dog named Toby. I’m sure Mom’s Toby was a wonderful animal, but he certainly wasn’t a Lassie. Toby had been a stray mut and had wandered into the family farmyard one day and was adopted. I didn’t share my assumptions about Toby with Mom as that might have shot down any chance of her being an ally in my campaign for a Lassie dog.

So as the holidays approached, I had done everything I could think to do to be the perfect child in hopes that somehow, I would be rewarded with a little furry Lassie.

Grandma knew I wanted a Lassie, but she had cautioned me before our Christmas dinner, “Girlie sometimes you just don’t get what you want even if you write to Santa, life just isn’t that way.”
I was so certain that I had won my dog campaign I paid no heed to Grandma’s council, and during our Christmas Pageant I nearly forgot my lines, “And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.” How hard could those words be? But all I had on my mind was a cuddly little Lassie dog.

Silent night was sung by real candlelight and after each of the pageant’s participants were awarded a Christmas Stocking loaded with fruit and goodies we headed for home, anticipating being allowed to open one gift each before Christmas morning. I could barely hide my tears of disappointment when I found my gift was a doll carriage and not my dog. I looked at Grandma and she shook her head as if willing me to hide the distressed look on my face.

“I think it is time for bed,” Daddy said as he looked toward our living room window. “Who knows when Santa will be coming.”

What could I do but trudge off to bed? I did manage to give everyone in my family a kiss and take Grandma’s hand as we walked to my room and climbed into bed.

Grandma smoothed my hair and kissed my cheek. “I was very proud of you tonight, now go to sleep.”
Between the tragedy of the missing Lassie dog, the Christmas Pageant, Grandma’s visit, and anticipation of Christmas morning I fell into a deep Christmas sleep. All was well except, … and then I heard the most sorrowful cry, I think I have ever heard, it seemed far away. Grandma had heard the noise too I think because she stirred and turned to face me.

“Did you hear that noise Grandma? What do you think it is?” I ask in a squeaky whisper.
Grandma patted my head and pulled the covers up around us, “It is just an owl, sometimes they make funny noises at night. Maybe Santa’s sleigh has disturbed him.”

Grandma and I both heard the crying noise several times during the night, but she reassured me each time that it was nothing to worry about, so reluctantly I willed myself to sleep.
Suddenly I heard my brother shouting in the next room demanding to get out of his crib. It was Christmas morning! Grandma hobbled over to my bedroom door and slipped into my brother’s room. I jumped out of bed and ran past my grandma and brother in order to be the first one to glimpse our Christmas morning tree. Mom had beaten all of us as she already had the tree lights on and oh the packages!! My brother ran over and climbed into a red Chevrolet miniature kiddy car, with a horn that honked, we quickly learned. Mom had started Christmas songs on our stereo, and it was then when I looked at my Christmas doll carriage and above the toy kiddy car horn and the carols, I heard again the strange whiny noises grandma and I had heard during the night. There she was, little fuzzy head sticking out of the doll carriage with a bright blue bow around her furry neck, and a little pink tongue ready to give all of us many Christmas kisses.

Lassie stayed with us for 12 years and even got to retire to country life on a farm where she lived to the ripe old age of 17. During those years Lassie, myself, and the whole family had great adventures together and she even went with us to live in South America for a time. Lassie was a great watch dog and had a deep basso profundo bark which she used very judiciously. On one occasion she warned me and my Mom of an attacker hidden in our apartment stairwell. Lassie shared many of my growing-up dreams and when my grandmother passed away, Lassie sat on the back porch with me whining and licking my tears away. What a wonderful Christmas blessing was my Lassie.

Wanted to share this little Christmas story with you and your family. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas filled with the blessings of family love and closeness, even if far away.

We took our last long touring journey to Papua New Guinea last February. Believe it or not we have pretty much stayed in place at home in our cottage at the Army Residence Community. Our family remains scattered about the globe, and we do miss seeing them during the holidays. Please stay safe and in touch when you can. Love Barbara and Terry Robinson

Request a Tour of Army Residence

"*" indicates required fields