Christmas at Caddo Lake This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 19, 2012
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Once a year, Christmas comes around. The chilly breeze of winter air and the familiar smell of pine trees, deep-fried turkeys, and apple pies baking bring a smile to my face. The warm smoky smell of burning firewood on a cold, frosty winter’s day is simply the best.

Every other year, my family goes to see my Grandpa in Uncertain, Texas, but we refer to it as Caddo Lake. Caddo Lake is such a mystical place, with tall pine trees, swampy bayous and the spotting of an alligator every now and then. My grandpa will take us on boat rides out on the lake, which in the winter is covered with moss. I perch myself on the front of the pontoon boat and enjoy the chilled breeze blowing in my face, which smelling the chimney smoke coming from the many cabins. I keep one eye open for the alligator that we sometimes get to catch a glance of. They will usually be peeking their scaly snout barely above the calm water as we cruise by, but quickly to disappear under the water into their safe haven under the mucky, brown water.

Back at home, Sugar (my grandma) is making cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, fried apple pies, and many of her other delicious sides and desserts as she waits for us to get home. The fire burning in the fireplace is so warm and inviting as we get back home in our damp clothes from the mist that fell from the cypress trees. I snuggle up in my favorite blanket that Sugar made for me when I was a kid, it is a patchwork of different materials shaped like dolls. She spent many days and nights working on that blanket. It brings me such good memories of my childhood, when life was all about riding my bike, playing with dolls and going for rides with my Grandpa in his old Ford pickup truck down to the store for an ice cream cone.

Grandpa is now ready to start deep frying the turkeys. Every year, he fries them for all the neighbors there on Taylor Island, the little parcel of land that sits on Caddo Lake and is only connected to the rest of Uncertain by a little rickety bridge. This year I will be helping him fry 8 turkeys! After 3 hours of frying turkeys, we went around on the golf cart and passed them out to our neighbors, then it was time to go back home and eat. After a long day of playing and working the food is so fulfilling!

After Dinner, My grandpa and Step- Dad go out into town to pick out a Christmas tree for us to put up. We decorate the tree while we listen to some christmas tunes, this is my favorite part because my 5-year sister gets very into it and I love to see her so joyous. We don’t worry about putting any presents under the tree, Grandpa and Sugar just sends them with us and we wait to open them when we get home.
Whenever we leave to go home it always makes me very down because I only get to see them about twice a year. My grandpa is very sick now and can barely walk, he has to have a large amount of help to get down his stairs. Now he is in the hospital, and may be coming to live with us soon, but him taking my out on the pontoon boat, and deep frying turkeys with me will be the best memories I have with him, so I cherish them immensely.





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Mary23 said...
Sept. 20, 2012 at 11:29 am
This is an absolutely fantastic example of a memoir. The imagery is so good, I feel like I'm there. I can almost taste the turkey and smell the pine trees. Great job!
 
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