Once upon a Christmas (4)

A wonderful time of the year. I know it’s been said before, but, I will always, call it from the mountain tops. I will let everyone know, that this is our time to rejoice, and put our differences aside. 

In a place far away, from all who judge. A family, with a new-born child, living in the woods. No job, only the saving they had before loosing their home. There are, two more children that complete, this family, Erin, Thea, and baby Hans. Dad tries his best, to see that his children, get good food to eat, a safe warm place to call home, as well as home schooling (done by mom) and medical care when it is required. When, they first entered the forest, they lived in tents, with tarps, tied to tree branches, for shelter from the elements. The river, close by was the only source of drinking water, and they bathed in the cold river. The camp fire dad built each day supplied a way to cook, and keep the family warm. There were beds, dad had made from small fallen trees, that kept them off the ground. Mom washed their cloths in the river, and hung them on a nylon clothes line, with wooden pins. Their home was nothing to talk about, but to them, it was a safe place. Dad would fish, and gather root vegetables, and mom would create a feast, fit for a king. She would make flat bread, and an apple pie, once in a while. There was plenty of fruit, to be found in the woods. Berries, cherries, if you got them, before the birds did, apples, crab apples, for jam. No one went without food. tarp.jpgThe day came, when the man who owned the property, came to visit. Dodger, was his name, and he did not want to throw the family off his land. He just came to visit. Dodger, was jolly man, with a big round belly that shook when he laughed. The hair on his head, eye brows, and beard, were all white as snow, and his nose was always red. It was like he always had a cold. Erin, and Thea, always thought of him as Santa Clause. The pictures, they had seen in their books, looked just like Dodger. Dodger had come to visit, and he had brought, some of his wife’s famous cookies, fresh-baked bread, and six jars of jam. Made by his wife of course. Dodger had a letter for Nicolas (the dad), and his wife (Helga). Nicolas thought, the letter was going to tell them, they would have to move. Nicolas opened the letter slowly, while Helga held his arm tightly. There were no smiles on their faces, just the signs of fear. Nicolas read slowly, as not to miss a word.  Dear Nicolas, and Helga,   You and your family have been wonderful neighbors, and have very polite children. I know, that times have been hard for your family.   I wish to, give you both a plot of land, that you can build a cabin on. It will be a little further into the woods, but I’m sure you will not mind.   In this deed I, give you five hundred acres of land, close to the river, at the mouth of the lake.  The land is higher up, but, still in a well treed area.  I have many building tools for you to use, and my workers are going to start, helping you clear the land, and build a beautiful home. They will be here tomorrow, in morning to start. They are great workers, and will have you, in your permanent home, before you know it.  If you wish, we can take a walk, to your property.                 Yours Truly;        Dodger Clause. 

dodger - Copy.jpgThe walk to the parcel of land was not far, and it took only fifteen minutes to get there. The view from the land was so amazing. Nicolas could not believe that this was all happening to his family. Dodger, looked at Nicolas, and laughed. “It’s true Nicolas, this is for you and your family.” Dodger said. Nicolas had tears in his eyes, as he thanked Dodger for being so generous to him, and his family. Helga, even gave Dodger a quick hug, and a thank you. “God bless you.” Helga said to Dodger. On the way back to the camp, Dodger, asked the children. “What would you like for Christmas this year?” Erin was the first to speak. “I would like, some shirts, and jeans, and a pair of new boots, socks, “Oh,” and a winter coat to keep me warm in the winter, um, two dinky cars, a hat, coloring books, and crayons, and that’s it.” Erin said, so fast that Dodger, could not quite understand. Mom filled, Dodger in, later on. It was, Thea’s turn to talk. Her voice was quieter, than Erin’s voice. Dodger, “I would like a new dress and shoes for mama, new pants, shirts, and boots, for daddy. I wish for, some cloths, and a toy for my brother Hans, and for myself, I would like some colored pencils, and a big pad of paper so I can draw.” Thea said. “Don’t you want anything else, for you Thea?”  Dodger asked. “Not really, I mostly want my family, to be safe and happy, and your family too, Dodger.” Thea said, as she stood, to go tend, to Hans. Dodger, asked dad what he would like? “Me, a boat would be nice, then I can catch fish better.” Nicolas said. “Helga, Have you anything you wish for Christmas?”  Dodger asked “Well, I wish for happiness, for all the people’s of the world, a healthy family, and a little money to keep us going.” Helga said. “Are you sure you don’t want anything else.?” Dodger asked.  “No. I’m fine.”  Helga said. Thea was like her mother, when it came to giving to themselves. They put others before them. Erin, was just a young lad of nine, and really wanted everything. letter.jpgDodger, wanted to get home, as it was starting to get darker. Nicolas, walked Dodger half way home, and thanked Dodger, what felt like a million times. Dodger, really like his neighbors, and would make many visits to their home.

The children had gone to bed early, after such an eventful day. A day that was more exciting, than their usual day.  Helga, and Nicolas turned in early as well.  After all the workers would be there early in the morning. Sleep did not, come early to either of them, as the thought, of a real home, was still a shock. Helga asked Nicolas. “How did Dodger know our names? I did not tell him, did you?” Helga asked. “I never thought of it, to tell you the truth.” Nicolas answered. They, both shook their heads, and cuddled together, and fell asleep.  Nicolas woke early, and was having coffee, when a weird voice said. “Hello.” “Hello, come in, please.” Helga said.  A tall thin man, with a green, and white cap, and pointed boots, and a higher pitched voice, entered. “We are all ready Nicolas, we should have all the land cleared by noon, and then we will start to build.” The strange helper said.  Nicolas didn’t know what to say, he was dumb founded. What start to build, by after lunch? He could not understand, what was happening.  “We must get started.” The strange-looking fella said.  “My name is, Teato, and I am the foreman.” Teato said, while he stood straight, with his clip board in his hand. Teato spoke again. “At lunch, we will go over a set of plans, I have drawn up of your new home.”  “Okay, was all Nicolas, could muster up to say.” Nicolas grabbed his coat, and off they went. Outside was a crew, of forty weird, looking helpers. They were of different heights, and sizes, but they were all dressed like Teato. Some in green and, some in red.  “Hello, Nicolas.” Seemed to echo through the forest, from every corner. “Hello, helpers!” Nicolas said. Whispering, could be heard from the crowd. “Time to work fellas, you know the place, let’s get going.” Teato said, in a commanding voice. elves.jpgThere were helpers running, riding bikes, in carts filled with tools, pulled by reindeer.  Nicolas, had to shake his head. “Did I just see reindeer?” He asked Teato.  “Oh, yes, our horses where not well today, so we are using the reindeer.” Teato answered. When Nicolas, reached the site, half of the trees had been cut down. Only a few, had been left behind for shade in the summer. At this rate, the house would be built before, the end of the day. Nicolas, thought to himself. Nicolas stood by Teato, and watched, all the helpers busy at work. The sound, of chattering voices could be heard, throughout the site. Teato, laid out the plans for the house, on a saw horse. Nicolas looked over the plans, and asked Teato. ” How many bedrooms are there in the house?”  “About five I believe.” Teato said. “How come, so many?” Nicolas asked. “Dodger, figured there would be other, children coming into your family.” Teato explained. The rooms, were quite large with lots of room for the family to grow. “There was two bathrooms in the house, and the fixtures, would be arriving tomorrow.” Teato had said.  It was coming up to lunch and, Teato had a speaker in his hand. When his pocket watch, said twelve o’clock, he yelled out. “LUNCH TIME! ONE HOUR!”  The place cleared, and there were, bunches of workers, in different places, and they all were chatting away. It sounded, like a bunch of bees, buzzing around.lumber.jpgTeato, and Nicolas, made the trek, back to camp, and went over the plans with Helga. Helga was so excited, after seeing the plans, and all the things the workers, were going to put in the house. Running water was a big plus, and a system to heat water, for a hot bath.  This house would be warm, and comfortable to live in.

Back at the site the workers, were milling wood for the inside, while  others were doing the logs, and the framing work. At this rate, the house would be livable by Friday. Nicolas was very excited, and felt blessed to have been treated so well, by a man he, had never met before.  Nicolas, knew that in time, he would pass it forward, to someone in need of help. The thought of that, was all he could think about but, in time he knew the chance would happen. By the end of the day, the foundation had been laid, and all the trusses, were made, and ready for assemble.   Morning came, way too soon for Nicolas, he seemed to be tired. There was no reason, for how he felt, after all he, had never touched a tool. Teato, had his speaker in his hand, which ment it was almost lunch time. Once, all the workers had gone for lunch, Nicolas, took a walk around the site, and said “Thank you” to all the workers, and told them, the family will always appreciate, what they had done for his family. Nicolas walked around, looking at all the parts for his home. There was a tear in his eyes, and he wiped it away, so no one could see. Teato, walked over, talking to Nicolas, about a sewer system, and how it would work. Nicolas, was amazed at the designs, and curves that would,  be added to the house.  Teato, brought out another plan, that showed the furniture for the house. Teato said. “All the furniture is all made of wood. The furniture would be, beautiful when you see it in the house.” log.jpgLunch had finished, and the home started to grow before Nicolas’s eyes. It was a thing of beauty, watching the workers, walking on the beams, like monkeys in the jungle. The logs on the outside were on, and the steel roof, was a work of art. Helga, will be so happy, Nicolas thought to himself. Tomorrow, the workers would start the work inside, and Nicolas couldn’t wait, till he was watching from inside. The day was coming to an end, and the house looked so stately standing on the hillside. It was time to go home to the family, and spend time with them. Helga had dinner warming on the fire. The children were happy to see their daddy, and jumped all over him. Nicolas held his baby son, and ate his dinner, sharing some with the baby. Helga, had all kinds of questions, about the house, and how it was coming along. Nicolas didn’t want to give too much away to Helga, as he wanted the move in time, to be a surprise. Helga, had no idea, what the house was going to be like. Nicolas, was very excited, and wanted to see the look on her face. The night spent with the children, and Helga, was a treat. Tomorrow, was thursday, and the house was slatted to be near the end of the completion.   Morning, was here again, Nicolas thought, as he climbed out of bed. The workers would be there, in the next ten minutes, and Teato, was a tough supervisor. Nicolas got a move on it, and was waiting outside. The children, and their mom, were still sleeping, and he did not want to wake them up. At the house the work was in full force. The pounding of hammers, and the chatter, was like music to the ears. The floors were all stained wood, and shiny, the walls all pine shakes. The staircase to the upstairs, looked like something, out of a fashion magazine.  A big grand fire-place stood stately in the middle of the living room. This way the fire could be see from every angle. The windows had been installed, and the view from the living room was spectacular.  At the end of the day, the furnishings had been put in each room. There was little work left, to be done the next day.  Nicolas, would only be there for a short time, then he would get his family, and bring them to the house. Nicolas could hardly contain his excitement. He wanted, so much to bring his family to the house this evening. But, he wanted everything, done first. He was up early as usual, and off with the workers. When he arrived, at the house Dodger, was there waiting for him.  Nicolas, and Dodger, walked through the house together. Nicolas said, to Dodger. “You have a wonderful crew, that has worked so hard on this home. I really do appreciate, the way they are so dedicated.” Dodger put his hand on Nicolas’s shoulder, and said. “Yes they are my crew, and they work so hard.”  home.jpg Dodger, said. “It’s time to go get the family, Nicolas. I will have all the things, you have been using at the camp, brought up tomorrow for you.” “I will wait here for, your family to come up.”   Nicolas started to walk down the trail to get his family, and at the camp was a very nice lady talking to Helga. “This is Mrs. Dodger, sweetheart, and she is going to the house with us.” Helga said.  “Hello Mrs. Dodger.” Nicolas said. “Call me Christen.” She said.  “Lets go ladies.” Nicolas said.  Helga’s eyes looked like they, were going to pop out of her head. Once she stepped into the house, she cried.  Everything was so beautiful. The day was filled with happiness, and tears, and ended with a good nights sleep. Waking up in a warm house was amazing.   Christmas was only two days away, and the family needed a Christmas tree, and Nicolas was going to get the best tree, he could find. The tree was decorated, with home-made putty, mom had made.  Late, that evening Nicolas, could hear some noise on the stairs outside.  He looked out the window, and seen nothing. Sitting in the living room, he could hear a noise in the chimney. It was Santa, and he wasn’t surprised to see Nicolas, at all. It was Dodger, and he really was Santa Clause, and his Elves were the ones, who had worked on the house. The family, had their very first real Christmas, in their permanent home.

Join me tomorrow, for another story, on Once upon a Christmas.

Take care of those you love, and kiss them often.

I would like, to thank all my followers, readers, and new visitors for stopping by to read my stories. Thanks  🙂

gran driving red  lips (2).jpgMAGS.

“Have a great Thursday, and be careful out there on the roads.”  🙂

I would like to thank, all the talented photographers, at Up Splash for their fantastic photos.  🙂

Please, leave any comments or Questions below.  Thanks.. 🙂


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