I respect our military most at Christmas. My first not home was where Roosevelt and Churchill rendezvoused overlooking Placentia Bay during the darkening days of World War II.
Not airborne, I watched the red fishing sloops coming from sea against picturesque Marytown on Burin Peninsula. Reminded me of the song “Red Sails in the Sunset.” I pondered like at home; the everlasting hills where I grew up, the sons of the pioneers, Orion in the winter sky, the soft gurgle of the coffee pot on Christmas morn. And Mom.
I remembered Jimmy Dean saying, “Mom’s give up the last piece of pie so you can have it.”
Mom’s brisk creamy soup, the kind that’s good for you, with chunky potatoes, lima beans and corn, when we came in from the snow. When the hobo’s came, she fed them. When near or afar, she worried. When we had Sunday off, she cooked. Mom put up, that is, peaches, apples, pickles and jam. She had no income, but she earned more than Dad. Mom was funny; when the dog warned company, “Where’s my shoes.” She took extra jobs that paid nothing. She listened to our problems; she listened to our hopes.
We decorated the chow hall with Christmas pine, then I read the one thing that brightened a Newfoundland day in the land of horizontal snow: Mom’s letter, like I was home. Mom knew, and I knew she knew. A song says, “The little things get you to heaven.” Mom is there.
Joe Fontana, Roxana