If anyone reads my blog - know that I have SEVERAL people to whom I am accountable, regarding my blog.
#1: My sister, Mary Ann. She was usually in every memory that I relate, regarding Christmas - so she might see it differently - and she emails me about it. We are now collaborating, and with her input on stuff I can give both perspectives. She is two years older than I and her more developed brain, in the past, was recording some of these memories.
#2: My daughters, Ann, Laura Beth, Sarah, and Kate are readers, so the picture which I labeled 2007, well, Ann told me she was pregnant with Ellie in that photo. I've changed it and it is now 2005. Sorry. Oops. I mean, it should be 2004 - Ellie was born in 2005.
Okay - today I have done some more decorating and tomorrow should have a WELCOME picture with my house and more inside photos of Christmas.
It's all very Christmasy around here. Ellie and Luke are in and out. I've purchased Polar Express and they LOVE it. They have it at home, so they can now watch it at home and at Near's.
Right now I can smell the gingerbread dough cooking. I'm making the parts of the house - so I can put together a Gingerbread Village. This will be my 4th time to do a Gingerbread house. I was a senior in high school, first time. Ann's first Christmas I made one. Then, fast forward, I have four girls, and I made the parts of the houses, one for each girl - and let them put them together and decorate. We have it on video. Ann narrating which is very funny.
I learned all of this and what to do from a lady named, Vida Law Robinson. Her son is my uncle, John Law. He is married to Mary, my mother's youngest sister. So, Mrs. Vida wasn't even really related to me, but it surely seemed like it. Our family was so very extended and Mrs. Vida and Mr. John(her husband), John Law's Father, were at every family gathering, it seemed.
She and Mr. John Robinson were in our church, as well - and we were all family. She was the "other grandmother" of my cousins, John, Jim, Melissa, Mary Claire, and Edward... so - I think nearly every year she made them a gingerbread house and brought it to them. I think Mother got this recipe from Vida. (that is pronounced with a long i) Vida as in V-eye-da. She was very very very much a lady. The earliest I remember doing these cookies, gingerbread men, was when I was 3. I think this is all correct, because I was 3. It's what I remember. Mother was sick, but as I grew I knew that it was when she had her "miscarriage". She had been in the hospital and Vida had Mary Ann and me out - I'm sure to get us out of the house - and we made these gingerbread cookies. It wasn't even Christmas. It was July, because stories and my babybook have told me Mother was in the hospital on my 3rd birthday. I just remember doing these cookies, I can see the scene, and there's a lot of flour. Right now, as I type this, waiting on the next batch, there's still a LOT of flour. On me, on my apron, in the kitchen, etc.
My memory is that Vida was so kind and so patient. It was so much fun. I loved it.
Later years, Mother must have gotten the recipe from her, and Mother would make very large gingerbread men, and tie ribbons around their neck. She'd give them as gifts to little boys and girls whom she knew. She didn't do that every Christmas, but I remember her doing that.
So - next thing I remember about that recipe is that I'm a senior and I made my first gingerbread house - like Vida did. Then I did it again when Ann was a baby. But I didn't do it again until about 91 or 92. It's kind of a project - one year I made the dough and had Joy and Hope Baldwin over for Ann and Laura Beth, to make cookies.
This Christmas,Joy Baldwin Finch, who had her first baby this past spring/summer, called me for that recipe. Her asking for that recipe spurred me on to make the dough and make these houses for my grandchildren. I'm tired of typing, so tomorrow I'll post the recipe and pictures of the village and pictures of my house.
That's all for today.