• 61°

Making a Beeline to Christmas

Standing there in the middle of the cement Bee Line Highway, circa 1927, that had been unearthed in Orion, I was suddenly a child again.

That was surely the highway that took me to Montgomery to see Sandy Claus when I was five years old

“Tomorrow, we’re going to Montgomery to see Sandy Claus,” Mama said. If she had told me any sooner, I couldn’t have stood the wait.

I smiled until my cheeks were sore and I couldn’t sleep a wink.  For the first time, I was going to see Sandy Claus who was going to bring me the Daisy BB gun I’d circled in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue with a red crayon.

We left right after dinner and I sat on the edge of the backseat all the way and didn’t move an inch. Mama had bushed my hair and I didn’t want to mess it up.

I had on a green and red plaid dress with a wide, white collar and I put it on without Mama standing over me with a switch.

It was long way to Montgomery so I kept my fingers crossed so maybe Sandy Claus wouldn’t leave for the North Pole before we got there.

When we got to that big city, my mouth got as dry as cotton, butterflies fluttered in my stomach and my knees went weak.

Daddy carried me into the store because it had started to rain and Mama didn’t want me to get my shoes wet. I don’t think I could have walked anyway.

At first, I was looking at all the children and didn’t see him sitting there in that big tall chair. But when I did, I think my heart stopped for a beat or two.

Sandy Claus was the prettiest, most wonderful person I had ever seen. He looked just like I thought he would and he smiled right at me.

I got in line but I kept my eye on Sandy Claus all the way and to make sure he didn’t leave before I got to talk to him.

When it was finally my turn, I walked right up there and climbed up on his lap.

He laughed out loud and his belly shook and his eyes how they twinkled. His voice was merry and I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said, “a baby doll.”

I had never wanted a baby doll in my whole life and there I sat on Sandy Claus’ lap telling him I wanted a baby doll.  I meant to say a Daisy BB gun but baby doll just came right out of my mouth.

Sandy Claus said I’d been a good little girl and he would have something very special for me under the Christmas tree.

He gave me a candy cane and helped me off his lap.

“Merry Christmas!” he said.

But I knew it wouldn’t be if I got a baby doll.

On the way home, I sat so still and quiet that Mama thought I was sick.

“My stomach hurts ’cause I told Sandy Claus I wanted a baby doll,” I told Mama and started crying.

Mama said for me not to cry.  Sandy Claus always knew what little children really wanted.

And, he did. That was my best Christmas ever.