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Bullet Box's Christmas story #7420458
12/02/21 05:16 PM
12/02/21 05:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,516
Oakland, MS
Drifter Offline OP
trapper
Drifter  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,516
Oakland, MS
[Linked Image]






This is what Christmas is all about...

Better bundle up - the goose bumps will freeze you!! I think I need to read this every year at Christmas.

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what..

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his r ight shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say
something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as mu ch as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that,but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, to you and yours...


Experience only teaches the teachable.

Aldous Huxley









Life member NTA , and GA Trappers assoc .
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7420460
12/02/21 05:21 PM
12/02/21 05:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,993
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"
Paul Dobbins  Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,993
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Thank you Pete for putting this up.



Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7420525
12/02/21 06:44 PM
12/02/21 06:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,541
Beaman Iowa 55
H
Horn Offline
trapper
Horn  Offline
trapper
H

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,541
Beaman Iowa 55
I was hoping that someone would carry on Blake's Tradition... It is something I look for every Year...

Thanks Pete

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7420577
12/02/21 07:59 PM
12/02/21 07:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,820
The Hill Country of Texas
Leftlane Offline
"HOSS"
Leftlane  Offline
"HOSS"

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,820
The Hill Country of Texas
Thank you Pete trappers lost a good one when Blake was called home.


“What’s good for me may not be good for the weak minded.”
Captain Gus McCrae- Texas Rangers


Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7420598
12/02/21 08:26 PM
12/02/21 08:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 321
Swords Creek, VA
A
ABeardedTrapper Offline
trapper
ABeardedTrapper  Offline
trapper
A

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 321
Swords Creek, VA
Thank you for posting this Pete, my wife and I always look foreword to this story. Eric

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7420601
12/02/21 08:27 PM
12/02/21 08:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,850
western mn
B
bucksnbears Offline
trapper
bucksnbears  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,850
western mn
Still tears me up after reading it many times.


swampgas chili and schmidt beer makes for a deadly combo

You have to remember that 1 out of 3 Democratic Voters is just as dumb as the other two.
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: bucksnbears] #7420865
12/03/21 07:14 AM
12/03/21 07:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,382
New York ,Adirondack mts.
M
mole Offline
"The Tman morning greeter"
mole  Offline
"The Tman morning greeter"
M

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,382
New York ,Adirondack mts.
Thank you. Merry Christmas Trapperman

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7421436
12/03/21 10:48 PM
12/03/21 10:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 5,315
South Carolina
T
Tom cat Offline
trapper
Tom cat  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 5,315
South Carolina
Thank you drifter... I look forward to this every year..


Sugarcreektrapping@gmail.com
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7421559
12/04/21 05:00 AM
12/04/21 05:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,639
Wisconsin
R
RdFx Offline
trapper
RdFx  Offline
trapper
R

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,639
Wisconsin
Thanks Pete, miss ol BB, we met on line many yrs ago competing bids for traps, from there friendship from BB down in Robert Lee Texas.


RdFx
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7422044
12/04/21 07:34 PM
12/04/21 07:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 41
central Ohio
M
mfergu8 Offline
trapper
mfergu8  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 41
central Ohio
Thanks for the story. I get a little choked up every time I read that story. It's a good one.

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7422359
12/05/21 01:57 AM
12/05/21 01:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,993
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"
Paul Dobbins  Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,993
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Another one by Bulletbox....

[Linked Image]




'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,
There came a surprise that gave them a shock!
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
"Just what I expected," they heard him remark
"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."
"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom. "With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.
They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,
The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on..
"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"
Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!



Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7422557
12/05/21 11:03 AM
12/05/21 11:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,603
Arkansas
J
J Staton Offline
trapper
J Staton  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,603
Arkansas
Having a brother called home due to that which also claimed Bulletbox makes these stories extra special this Christmas time. Thanks for posting!


James 1: 19-20
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Paul Dobbins] #7423192
12/05/21 10:11 PM
12/05/21 10:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,850
western mn
B
bucksnbears Offline
trapper
bucksnbears  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,850
western mn
Originally Posted by Paul Dobbins
Another one by Bulletbox....

[Linked Image]




'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,
There came a surprise that gave them a shock!
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
"Just what I expected," they heard him remark
"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."
"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom. "With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.
They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,
The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on..
"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"
Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!

I've not seen that before but.... awesomeness laugh


swampgas chili and schmidt beer makes for a deadly combo

You have to remember that 1 out of 3 Democratic Voters is just as dumb as the other two.
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7423705
12/06/21 01:58 PM
12/06/21 01:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,516
Oakland, MS
Drifter Offline OP
trapper
Drifter  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,516
Oakland, MS
It just wouldn't feel like Christmas without Blake's Christmas stories. Bet he is up there trapping those cats with his hoarded up Montgomery traps.


Experience only teaches the teachable.

Aldous Huxley









Life member NTA , and GA Trappers assoc .
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7424486
12/07/21 11:14 AM
12/07/21 11:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 65
NC
S
SpellNC9 Offline
trapper
SpellNC9  Offline
trapper
S

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 65
NC
WOW!!! First time Ive seen these both....Thank you!

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7425727
12/08/21 06:37 PM
12/08/21 06:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 764
GRAVETTE ARK
A
Ark Trapper Offline
trapper
Ark Trapper  Offline
trapper
A

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 764
GRAVETTE ARK
Thanks Pete

Like everyone else has already said I also looked forward to his 911 story. RIP Blake

Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7426222
12/09/21 08:04 AM
12/09/21 08:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 938
Central Texas - Erath- Real Co...
Ol' Smoke Offline
trapper
Ol' Smoke  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 938
Central Texas - Erath- Real Co...
R.I.P. Blake


---- CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE----Build The Wall Better
Re: Bullet Box's Christmas story [Re: Drifter] #7431110
12/14/21 09:02 AM
12/14/21 09:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,016
Northern Illinois
M
MChewk Offline
trapper
MChewk  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,016
Northern Illinois
Thanks Blake and Pete for putting that back up...gets me every time.

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