Many can recall the snowstorm we had the Christmas of 1989. It was Dec. 22-24.
This was the first time in my lifetime that it had snowed during the Christmas season where I’ve lived; Long, Tattnall and Liberty.
It was our family tradition to go to Glennville to my mother-in-law’s home on Christmas Eve for supper and to exchange gifts.
That particular evening we left from Walthourville early in evening as the weather was so bad.
All along Highway 196, cars were in the ditch where they had slid off the road. Wreckers and trucks with chains were busy.
The further we went, the more dangerous the trip. It began to sleet about dark and kept getting worse.
Our daughter Paula and her husband left early that night after the gifts were opened and then she called me crying.
Somewhere near Gum Branch a car ahead of them wrecked and a woman in it was killed.
Paula begged us to be careful going home.
When we finally arrived home after a very slow and careful ride, I vowed that never again get on the road with my family and risk the hazards, unless it was an emergency.
That was my mother-in-law’s last Christmas.
My daddy was 78 at the time and he said, "I have always heard people say that they were dreaming of a white Christmas. Well, this was my first one and I never care to see another white Christmas! I slipped and almost fell on the doorsteps!"
My husband worked at the Greenberg Furniture Store in 1971. It was where The Heritage Bank parking lot is today.
During the middle of that November, he told me to go over to Main Street to the Polk’s Jewelry Store and have Mr. Robert or his wife Mavis show me three rings they had on sale.
I went, knowing that we certainly could not afford a ring for me.
They showed me the three rings and I looked at them, tried them on and saw the price of each. I later told my husband that I did not really care for any of them.
In the middle of December, our credit card invoice came. We had only one credit card that we used in emergencies. I assumed the balance was zero, but opened it anyway.
I almost fainted! The invoice was $799!
What in the world for? I looked and there it was — a diamond ring from Polk’s jewelry.
I had to hide the invoice and act surprised when he handed me the pretty little box on Christmas Eve. He was so excited and could hardly wait for me to open it.
The beautiful silver ring had 27 little diamonds set in the oval. It is one of my most treasured possessions and I still wear it often, even if I have to wash my hands with liquid soap to get it on or off.
When I have no more use of it, my daughter will enjoy it.
Love had prevailed over common sense!
Former President Jimmy Carter remembered one of his favorite Christmases when he was young. His mother, Miss Lillian, was a nurse.
She always told her children that Christmas was for children and not grownups as she and Mr. Carter rarely received gifts.
This was during The Depression and very few had anything.
Miss Lillian had helped a black family that lived in one of their tenant houses on the farm during a lot of sickness in their family. She would not take any pay.
On Christmas morning there was a knock on the door and it was the black man asking for Miss Lillian. He proudly presented her with a gift — a brand new corn shuck scrub brush with a handle that he had made himself.
She used that scrub brush for many years applying the Red Devil Lye on the bare wooden floors twice a year to thoroughly disinfect and clean them and to keep the bedbugs and other vermin out.
Miss Lillian did not have to cook on Christmas Day. It was a family tradition that is still carried on that they ate sausage and biscuits cooked the day before and heated on the kerosene stove and served with jelly or peanut butter for breakfast. Dinner was leftover fried chicken, baked ham and pimiento cheese sandwiches.
Sunbury’s Dickie Welch relates that he talked to his parents when he was 10 and made the decision to accept Christ as his Savior.
"I thought that I knew what it was to be a Christian, but I found out in 1982, after an encounter with God, that I didn’t have a clue. That Christmas was my first Christmas really understanding that the birthday of Jesus was the beginning of a new life for mankind. I believe that is and always will be my favorite Christmas memory."
James Woodard Sr.
Hinesville’s James Woodard Sr. said, "From 1978 to 1988 (when we moved here), I spent late Christmas Day to the end of hunting season at Holbrook Pond. In 1982, I met Mr. Otis King, Pat Bowen, Paul Zechman and Billy Allen on Fort Stewart. They and others have become lifelong friends. They have helped my family and me in numerous ways by sending us customers and valued advice. The good Lord and Liberty County has blessed my family beyond our wildest dreams!"
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and the new year of 2017 filled with 365 wonderful days!
I’ll have more Christmas memories from area residents next week.
Love is a history buff, who writes periodically for the Courier.