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Home for the holidays in Pagosa Springs

Pagosa is beautiful at this time of the year.

The quaint little shops in downtown Pagosa take on a Christmas card feeling with banners of snowflakes and Christmas stockings hanging from the lamp posts. Snow outside and smoke from the chimney makes our little corner of the world special.

Where else would we want to be for the holidays, or for any other time?

Our family will be home and invariably someone will bring up the fun days, the hard days and the people they remember from their childhood.

One of the family members will say, “Do you remember when the first stoplight was hung downtown? It was big news. The library was where the town clock is now? When McDonalds came into Pagosa and it caused such a stir? The town was not too keen on a fast food restaurant coming in. It came to town, but it didn’t make us an Aspen. Our town has changed, but not changed at all.”

We spent several Christmases with Bert and Elaine Hyde’s family in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Those were special times. Elaine and I had the fifth quarter in the basement of the old First Baptist Church where the Humane Society Thrift Store is today. The kids played football in the downtown park. They came after the game for chili beans and table games.

I saw Janet Sorenson at the ball game and I flashed back in my mind as to how she was always there for our kids.

In our family, they remember when the electricity went out, the water froze and we cooked our turkey in the woodstove and cinnamon buns on the top in a Dutch oven skillet. We had invited the Laues for dinner and had all the trimmings. We played games all night, and had some of the best times. It has always been about family and friends, and they always seemed to understand and overlooked the inconveniences.

There is something about memories: They seem to glorify themselves when we talk about them years later. At the time, we cringed at the thought of having twelve people home for the holidays and the septic overflowing or the hot water heater going out. If you can name it, it has probably happened one time or another when out-of-town family and guests come home for the holidays.

Who would have thought I would be writing a column for our little town’s newspaper? I struggled over this article; I wanted to write something really poignant about this time of the year. Nothing came to me. I’m not one to get sappy or sentimental or delightful over a tree. Sorry, that’s just who I am.

But, I propose to have goodwill toward everyone. When you come to mind, I pray for you. When I look at the people of Pagosa, I know I don’t need a special star, decorations, gifts, celebrations or a to-do list to make this season special.

It’s not Bethlehem, but it is Pagosa Springs. You have made room in your heart for the One who has the answer and the reason we celebrate.

Final brushstroke: From our family to yours, I pray blessings and continued warm memories.

Artist’s quote

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie.

Reader’s comments

Please e-mail your comments to bettyslade@centurytel.net. I will pass them on to Pagosa.

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