GROWING OLD WITH GRACIE

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Western Maryland, United States

Friday, December 24, 2010

Getting Lost In A Book

SCENE1: Curtain opens.  Four girls sit before a fireplace. 


JO: (Slamming the book closed.) Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents! 

AMY: I don’t think it’s fair for other girls to have pretty things, and we shall have nothing at all.

I swallowed hard and tried not to think about the thing that frightened me the most – beyond the dusty stage floor where I stood with my sixth grade counterparts- and into the stale school smell.  Though the small musty cafeteria turned auditorium was dark, I knew the audience was out there… and my line was next.  I hoped they couldn't hear my teeth chattering or the squeak in my voice.


BETH: We’ve got Father and Mother and each other.


I did it!  I made it through my first line without fainting and I actually remembered my lines. 




It was a triumphant year as I faced my stage fright  head-on, and following the grade school performance  the magic of Santa filled the auditorium as he handed out an orange and box of candy to each student.  It was important to act fast when telling him what we wanted under our tree... there were many children waiting their turn.  I went along, and asked for a new pair of shoes, even though I was strongly suspicious that Santa was not real, and that our parents were the real Santa's.  


It was bittersweet, being old enough to know the truth. Letting go of the magic left a sadness that would live in my heart forever.  I wanted to believe that life was magical and innocence commonplace.  Growing up is something we wish for when we're young and detest when we're old.  


That Christmas I would receive the one thing that would shape my life from there-on-out.  My Grandma arrived at our house shortly after noon with her bag of presents.  It was something we always looked forward to, all six of us kids.  We'd already tore open the Santa  stash, and we couldn't wait to dig in to Grandma's presents next.  


"Wow, a book!" I said.  Then I began paging through...  I couldn't put it down.  


"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.  


And so began part two of my magical, mystical escape from life.  Getting lost in a book is like being in a time machine, taking you to another place somewhere in time.  You feel what others feel, see what others see and are involved in whatever is happening on that page.  



May your Christmas be magical.  May your heart be light.  To all my blogging buddies:  I wish for you safety, good health, love, happiness, joy, and a wonderful and blessed Christmas.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come into your lives by reading your blogs, to see, experience and feel what you feel.  Knowing you has made my life better.

These very old videos I found on YouTube are some of the magic from my childhood days.  They take me back... to a simpler time...  Enjoy.