Wednesday, December 8, 2010
A Christmas Tale ~ The Rocking Horse
Two days before Christmas the year I was three, my parents took me to see Santa Claus at a department store in downtown Los Angeles. In the store on the way, while going through the toy department, I saw a rocking horse and was enchanted. Of course the first and only thing I asked Santa for was a rocking horse. They had already bought all the toys and a rocking horse certainly wasn’t included so that night my Father, who had just begun honing his carpentry skills, started working in the garage; making a rocking horse. On Christmas Eve my parents set their alarm clock and took turns getting up to turn the horse in front of the oven door to hasten the drying of the glue and the newly applied varnish so that Santa could bring me my my wish. And, of course he did and I was thrilled. But this story does not end here, but much later as somehow through all the clean-ups and changes in the next decades the rocking horse was something that was never discarded. He sat hidden in a corner of their barn, unseen and falling gradually into disrepair until many years later when I discovered him lying mostly in pieces, and on this Christmas as once before, the one gift I asked my parents for was my rocking horse. My Father finding most of the parts, and rebuilding those which he couldn’t, repaired the horse and on Christmas morning, for the second time in my life a rocking horse was awaiting me under their tree. Now every Christmas my horse reappears as part of my holiday decorations, often in my toy window as you see in this picture and this year under my living room tree. Throughout the rest of the year he is securely stored away waiting for the return of the holidays. My Father went on to become a master carpenter and spent many hours working with wood, he made cabinets, furniture, and built houses, and when he became ill and couldn't expend much physical effort he began making model ships. I have two of his ships in pride of place in my media/library room, but the rocking horse remains my most precious possession and every time I look at him I think of him as a gift of love, given not just once but twice over.
This post is dedicated to my Father who passed away February 2, 1997.
This post has been linked to: http://alittleofthisandthat2.blogspot.com/