|BWS Stories - NABBW and GRAND Magazine Contests Winners|
NABBW and GRAND Magazine Contests Winners - Christmas at Mamaw's - Runner Up!
Dee Dyess is retired and enjoys writing when she’s not busy quilting or puttering around in the garden and playing with her dog, Molly. She's become an avid owl watcher after a new family of owls took residence on her property. Larry, her soul mate of five years, starts and completes her world.
Christmas at Mamaw's - Runner Up!“If you don’t go to sleep,” whispered Mamaw, “Santa won’t come.” She pulled the quilt under my chin, kissed me on the cheek, and turned off the bedside lamp. The tiny room settled into a soft stillness caressed by the flicking light from a gas heater tucked within the old fireplace. Snow fell quietly outside my window. My eyes grew heavy with sleep, but my mind was alive with anticipation of what Christmas morning might bring.
My Mother and Father were going through a separation, again, which meant they didn’t know what to do with me, their 8 year old daughter. That was okay, because I got to live with Mamaw while my parents scratched and argued their way through more disagreements. Mamaw and Granddaddy owned a tiny hardware store in Glencoe, Alabama, and while the rest of my world fell apart they became the center of my universe. They were love and light and everything stable. They were hope when everything around me seemed hopeless. With them I felt safe.
Several weeks before Christmas my Father took my sister and me to a toy store in Gadsden and asked us to pick out one toy we’d like Santa to bring. I stared in amazement at the possibilities. Slowly, I walked up and down the aisles drinking in brightly colored spinning tops, view- finder’s and reels, Lincoln Logs, and Uncle Wiggly. I gasped at a pink kitchen set.
“The faucet really works,” assured the sales lady. I was awestruck. I’d never seen anything so amazing. How could I possibly decide on one toy among so many? I chewed my lip studying the situation. Then I saw her; the most beautiful doll in the world. She wore an eggshell-pink dress with white socks and black shoes. Her blue eyes, thick with dark eyelashes, opened and closed. A pink bow lay nestled within her blond curly locks. She was almost as tall as me. I was in love.
Christmas Eve found me struggling with sleep, wondering if Santa would request my wish to have her. I awoke with shouts that Santa had come. Squealing, I jumped out of bed and barely felt the icy cold floor beneath my feet. I raced into Mamaw’s bedroom, where the Christmas tree stood, and froze on the spot. There stood my beautiful doll in the eggshell-pink dress. However, my eyes were drawn to something more amazing decorating the tree. I looked at Mamaw who was grinning from ear to ear. I don’t know how she managed it, but in between running the hardware store, taking care of the house, and me, she managed to sew eight beautiful dresses for my doll. I named my doll Agnes, after Mamaw, which pleased Mamaw to no end. That Christmas Santa also brought me the pink kitchen set along with a table, chairs, and metal dishes painted with red and yellow flowers. But, the most precious gifts were the dresses lovingly made with Mamaw’s own two hands.