The radio and television news is full of stories about the wicked winter weather in other parts of the world. Doesn’t it make us grateful to be in Payson? Even if we don’t have a white Christmas, we’ll take this over two feet of new snow and below zero temperatures.
I remember all too well coping with Midwestern winters.
As a child we lived in the country, three miles from the rural, one-room schoolhouse my sister and I attended. Those were the days before school buses and our county had only two snowplows, so we often missed school because the roads were impassable.
I recall one Christmas when we were supposed to have a Christmas play at school and the day before it was to be presented a major snow brought everything to a halt. We were bitterly disappointed at the thought of not being able to participate. But then, one of those Christmas miracles occurred. Just a few hours before the program was to start, we were surprised and overjoyed to hear the rumble of the snowplow coming down our road. Santa himself couldn’t have been more welcome!
Christmas Eve was always spent at my grandparents’ farm along with aunts, uncles and cousins. The menu was always the same — lute fisk, boiled potatoes, rutabagas or carrots, homemade bread and home-churned butter and of course, Christmas cookies. The coffee pot was always on at Grandma’s house and the milk came right from the cows.
For those who have never heard of lute fisk, it is dried, salted cod that must be soaked in water for two or three days before it is cut and boiled then drained and served in a cream sauce. Of course the soaking left the house smelling like a fish market on a hot summer day and the boiling produced its share of aroma as well. Not only did I not like lute fisk, I also hated rutabagas and boiled potatoes. Christmas Eve dinner was not my favorite meal of the year! I ate only as much lute fisk, rutabagas and boiled potatoes as I had to then, and I haven’t eaten any at all since I became old enough to make up my own mind.
The rest of the family loved lute fisk though. Must be an acquired taste — one I never acquired.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
The Senior Center and Thrift Store, 514 and 512 W. Main St., will be closed Saturday, Dec. 24 for Christmas Eve. The Center will be closed Dec. 31, but the Thrift Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a New Year’s Eve party at the Center at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 30 with a special lunch. Karaoke by Big Bob is part of the celebration. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling (928) 474-4876 or stopping in the Center’s lobby between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Ann James will present musical entertainment at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 28 at the Center. The performance is free and open to the public. Free country western dance lessons are given every Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Center. For information, call (928) 474-4876.
Join the Bible study group at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29 and then stay and listen to the Country Gospel Misfits sing and play old-time gospel music. Both events are free and open to the public, no reservations required.
Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? The Thrift Store has gift certificates in denominations from $5 to $20.
Megan Byrus is volunteer of the month at the Senior Center. Megan delivers Meals on Wheels and helps out in other areas of the Center. Volunteers are needed to work in both the Center and Thrift Store. Call the above telephone number to learn more about volunteering.
Payson Regional Senior Circle
Beginning Jan. 5, free hearing tests will be offered at the Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway. Free blood pressure checks are done from 9 a.m. to noon each Monday. For information or to receive a full schedule of events, call (928) 472-9290.
May your Christmas be blessed and joyous and may you have a New Year of good health and happiness.