The week before Christmas I was a Bell Ringer with my Mom and sister Aunna. We were at the Hy-Vee store close to our house. Lucky we got to ring the bell inside but it was pretty nice here so if we had to be outside it wouldn't have been that bad. Mom brought music to play and toys for me to play with when it wasn't my turn to ring the bell. Lots of people stopped and talked to us and I think we got lots of coins in our kettle. Another family came after us.
Mom went shopping several times during the week. Some I went along with and some she called "Power Shopping Trips" and I had to stay at home. I think I helped Mom wrap gifts but she didn't think so. I thought the packages on the floor were new play toys but I was wrong. Mom had to wrap several of them twice and this time they stayed up on the table.
On Thursday before Christmas Mom told me we were taking a long trip to North Platte out in western Nebraska. My Great-Grandma Keuter who was 101 & 1/2 passed away. I went to my first funeral and I would like to tell you some of the stories they told about her during the funeral. Grandma was born on the 4th of July. When she was born out on a farm they used oil to light the house, wood to heat the house, had no indoor plumbing/electricity and horses. During WWII she was involved in the Sutherland Group that volunteered at the North Platte Canteen. Mom told me this was a group of people who provided food for the troops when they stopped in North Platte. I remember watching a story about it on Public TV. Mom said she can remember when she was a young girl going to the farm and getting to watch them milk the cows till Grandpa passed away and Grandma moved to town. Mom said they would always buy city milk before going to the farm because they didn't like the fresh cow milk.
Mom and I drove to North Platte the day before. Let me tell you that story. We were about a third of the way there when Mom got a phone call saying some luggage was left in Omaha and we needed to turn around and drive about 30 miles back to York, Nebraska and wait till someone brought the luggage. Mom and I visited the Walmart store in York for about an hour and a half and bought a few more Christmas gifts, went and filled up the Ford with gas and messed around then went to McDonald's for some coffee. Finally about 2+ hours later the luggage arrived and we were back on the road. I am happy to announce I NEVER got car sick !! We stayed at a local hotel - another first for me. I also got to visit with some family I have never got to meet before along with their dog.
Friday morning before the funeral Mom and my aunt Allison went to Walmart. I have now been in three different Walmarts in three different cities in three days. Mom said I did a wonderful job at down/stay during the funeral and a pretty good job at the luncheon afterwards. After the funeral Mom and I drove back. Again I am proud to say "No car sickness".
Saturday it was Christmas Eve. Dad took Ruthie and I out to do the chores and mess around. Later in the afternoon Dad and Mom went to visit my Grandma in Wahoo. We didn't get to go along but I was kind of glad. Ruthie and I needed our rest so that we could stay up and maybe see Santa come down the chimney. Sad to report he is a sly guy and I never did get to see him. When Mom and Dad got back home Dad watched TV while Mom made the dishes for Christmas. I learned that night that getting up on the kitchen counter and licking the cream cheese Mom had out was not the thing to do !!
CHRISTMAS DAY - It started out with Ruthie and I checking our stockings. Santa did fill them however Mom said we would have to wait till later in the day to get them down. Mom and Dad worked out on the treadmill and bike - said they were working off dinner before they had it - don't understand that but then they are human and I am a puppy. Later in the afternoon some family arrived but not the usual gang. Mom told me this one was the first one that Dad's father was not here. He passed away suddenly this spring and his Mom was at the nursing home. Because of the funeral Mom's family had to rearrange their plans and were not here either so it was a small Schense Christmas.
I watched them play what Mom called "White Elephant" gift exchange - never did see an elephant - then they opened their gifts however Ruthie and I watched from behind the mud room gates. Mom and Dad let us out after they opened gifts so we could open our stocking and I got soooooo excited I "peed my pants" Mom brought in towels to clean it up and ended up stepping in it and said some words I am sure Santa would not approve of. During dinner Mom started not to feel so well and stortly after dinner was cleaned up everyone left and Mom went to bed. It was the bed or couch for her for the next two + days so it was lots of down time and naps for Ruthie and I. Mom read one of the books she got for Christmas and she told me to pass it along. THUNDER DOG ! It is about a guide dog who assisted his master down the steps of the World Trade center during 9/11.
Today it is Saturday and New Year's Eve. Mom still is not feeling 100% yet but thinks she might take us walking this afternoon just to get out of the house. Ruthie and I have been outside with Dad. We filled the bird feeders for the birds to party tonight, scanned the farmstead then Dad did poo patrol. Dad is reading the paper now and making his predictions for the football games. I heard him say it will be three days of the best sport ever invented. The HUSKERS are playing on Monday so GO BIG RED !!
Last but not least I have to tell you this day is also a special day for my parents. It is their anniversary !! I am soooo glad they met or I would not be here now. Happy Anniversary to them.
IN LOVING MEMORY
Robert L. Schense Adela K. Keuter