There are moments in time that will stay with you forever – or you hope they will. One such moment was Christmas day, 1969. Our neighbor to the North, Bob Hale, had horses and also happened to have a daughter my age named Becky. I grew up in a more innocent time when parents didn’t make “play dates” for their kids, but we were more trusting and played together when we felt like it. Sometimes we ended up at each other’s house for a meal. To raise the kids in my neighborhood took a village – everyone looked out for everyone else’s kids.

Our parents got along very well. We didn’t get in anyone’s business, but they knew we were there if they needed help. All the neighbors came to our storm shelter when the tornado sirens sounded. When one of us kids had a birthday party, the other kids showed up. We banded together to have garage sales before it was considered “cool” to have an area-wide sale. All our moms were on the PTA and they were all room mothers. Well, technically, my daddy was a room father. The other women drove – but my mama did not drive when I was in elementary school. So, my daddy took us on field trips and so forth.

I had a Shetland pony named Dolly. She was a bit feisty and let me know when she did not want to obey. She kicked once in a while and that always got my attention very quickly. Bob offered to break her for me – well, actually he talked to daddy about it. So, one of the tests that my Dolly had to pass was that of pulling the sleigh! She passed with flying colors! It was the only time we got to go for a sleigh ride, as I lost her shortly after that. I never got another pony, but I cherish the fun ride we took with Dolly pulling the sleigh!


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