Jack Blanchard’s Column: The Christmas Town
It was the day before Christmas.
We were road tired and traveling westward through Illinois or Iowa…
on our way to another show somewhere.
We tried to cheer each other up,
and said we’d celebrate our Christmas at a later date.
The countryside looked like a Christmas card
through the windshield of our motor home.
Fine dusty snow was starting to whirl around.
and the Interstate Highway was just about deserted.
It began snowing harder.
We needed a place to pull in for the night,
but we hadn’t seen anything open for miles.
We started to get worried.
It was getting dark,
and the wind was blowing the snow into drifts.
We pulled off at the next exit,
but there was no sign of life except for an old barn.
There was a wooden sign over the door,
and Christmas lights were on inside.
It turned out to be a little store
with a few groceries, and some antiques for sale in the back.
The owner took us to a little room where they kept boots and snow shovels.
That’s where we plugged in our electric line.
Misty made a good deal…
One night, two dollars.
I dragged our small artificial Christmas tree out of the trunk.
She had it trimmed and lit in about ten minutes.
We’d been on a long hard tour
and we didn’t have any presents for each other,
so we looked around at the antiques and things in the store.
We picked out a few gifts,
but we didn’t have any way to gift wrap them.
Two or three at a time people from the town came into the store,
stomping the snow off their shoes
and saying “Merry Christmas” to each other.
They were smiling and friendly
and offered to take our gifts back to their homes and wrap them for us.
When they came back a while later our presents looked beautiful.
They brought along some cookies and eggnog,
and we had a little party with these unusual strangers.
We wanted to cancel all our future bookings and live here.
In the morning we woke up to snow covered cornfields
and a sparkling forest of winter trees.
An old rusty plow and a wagon
were half buried in the snow outside our window..
It was a perfect Christmas.
We don’t even know the name of the town,
or which state it’s in.
And we haven’t been able to find it on any map.
We just think of it as our Christmas Town.
Maybe it’s in the twilight zone.