Chapter 4 (December 24, 1978)

My nose knows, poking out of my sleeping bag.

The fire is out. Brrrr! It is way too early to get up. Besides, there's no alarm clock today and it is ever-so-cozy to snuggle up wrapped in the arms of my warm husband and snooze some more.

Today is Christmas Eve! Some wonderful librarian in my mind swiftly supplies my inner senses with the crisp precise notes of the Nutcracker Suite Ballet. In the darkness I let the music fill me...

Chapter 7 (December 27, 1978)

Where shall my mind wander?

Where can I revisit and find comforts, security, welcome, warmth?

With the closeness of Christmas still echoing in my heart and the distance of separation still aching in my heart, I summon the sweetness of the past and compare and contrast my experiences before marriage and after moving. I follow the trail of my own decisions.

...When our family moved into the Church community, I was offered my first babysitting job. I was twelve years old.

Chapter 8 (December 28, 1978)

The personal possession I would most like to destroy is my little wind-up traveling alarm clock. It folds away cleverly into its own brown case to slip safely into a suitcase or bump along in a backpack. When it unfolds the triple sides form a stand so I can see the face measuring off the seconds, minutes and hours.

Somehow incongruous in a log cabin, this tiny reminder of the outside world is really an instrument of torture.