Part Two (and Conclusion of) Dem Dam Hippies’ Christmas in Have-You-Been-Saved Missouri
Throughout the day winds howled as an ice monster crept over the town, his goal, to flash freeze everything living and lock us all in houses where our illusion of safety would be challenged by falling trees, downed power lines and out-of-control infernos. Between the ho, ho, ho of jolly Christmas songs, we heard horror story after horror story over the radio, pleas from officials to stay off the roads.
Christmas Eve the Ice Monster still controlled the town. We had no tree, no stockings, no presents. Family managed to get through on the phone, disappointed we hadn’t gotten the packages they’d sent. But there was no mail delivery service in Greenwood. Just a tiny one-room post office two blocks away where you went to “call on” your mail and neither Jo or I had had the strength to walk down there. Outside trees bend towards the ground as though begging for mercy. I watched as Christmas lights on the houses across the road flickered on and off, reflecting in their icy boughs. They, I knew, were dead.
Christmas morning the sun burned through the ice-encrusted windows and into our shack. The ice acted like a prism, sending all colors of the rainbow magically spinning through the room as the winds outside whispered gently – the ice monster has moved on.
“I’m hungry.” For the first time in days I’d woken with a growling stomach and not a headache.
“Hot damn! So am I!” Joellen was already scrounging for something to eat in the kitchen. “Look what I found! A bran muffin mix and it only needs water. Good thing cause we bloody well don’t have anything else.” She turned on the water but nothing came out. “Whelp, no water either! The pipes are frozen!”
“Why the hell not?”
I had no idea why the hell not and so I just watched as she whipped up the bran muffins.
Then she scoured the barren cabinets for something else to eat. “Hot cider mix! I do declare, we’re in for a real feast now.”
I can still remember children shrieking as they slid on sleds down the closed roads, the hot apple cider and bran muffins tasting better than any gourmet meal I’d ever had. Happy to be alive, we danced to Jefferson Airplane:One pill makes you larger, the other makes you small, and the one mother gives you doesn’t do anything at all. Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall!!
As we danced around the room, townsfolk walking past and hearing the unholy ruckus, shook their heads, “Dem dam hippies sure are crazy.”
Ah yes, no Christmas since as ever been so sweet.