Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Christmas Visitor

The Christmas Visitor is a true story written by Todd's Grandma Orpha. She went to be with Jesus in 2009, but her memory lives on with her stories, delicious recipes, and handmade treasures that she left us with. She was an avid story teller and this is one she liked to tell frequently.

Christmas at my grandparents home always left me with pleasant memories.

The birth of our Savior was why we celebrated. To this day my grand children and great grandchildren still love to hear this true story.

This was way back in 1926 and it was Christmas day. I was only 6 years old.

Snow had fallen overnight transforming the countryside into a place of beauty. Nothing marred the majestic scenery, the snow lay where it had fallen.

My Uncle Alfred went out to ready the sled as the mode of travel during winter months was mostly sleigh or sleds drawn by horses. We were going to church only a half mile away.
Everyone went to church but grandmother who stayed home with Uncle Albert who was too ill to be taken out into the cold. He was suffering from asthma and had trouble breathing.

While caring for her sick son, grandmother finished the last minute things to complete the dinner or noon meal. Food was simmering on a wood stove and only a few finishing touches were necessary.

Later in the forenoon there was a rap at the back door. When grandmother opened the door she was confronted by an elderly shabby man. Grandmother spoke only Norwegian but understood some English. However, she could tell by his gesture and shivering that he was hungry and cold. She beckoned him in, then seated him close to the warm stove. Immediately she heaped a plate with samples of all the delicious food and filled his coffee cup several time. He seemed to enjoy every morsel.

He stood up as though to leave but their eyes met and without speaking a message came through to her. "Your son will become better and live several more years."

Then thanking her profusely, he quietly left. Almost instantaneously the family came home and grandmother questioned them. "Who was that old man? Where did he go?" There were no answers as they had seen no one.

Uncle Alfred then went out and walked to the road where it was possible to look in every direction. No one could be seen so he started back to the house. Glancing down he was startled! There was the man's footprints at the side of the road.

Checking with neighbors later no one had seen the stranger. Grandmother then knew the Lord had sent an Angel unaware to check her Christmas spirit and give her the message, as Uncle Albert lived several years longer.

-photo taken from Grandma Orpha's farm on the day of her burial.

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