Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas story or the ugly book's tale

 1970 was a pretty difficult year .   My father saw no other way to   rise the family's living standard  than going to the capital to study  for a year  in hope of getting a better position   . It made us suffer financially and emotionally as well .  How much I missed  him ! He came home just for a short visit for the weekends . On Sundays he had to leave  us right after our lunch . After kissing him good-bye at the bus station my mum was walking home with grim face – then before arriving home she burst out crying .  Usually , I  could not help  crying with her - we were sobbing in the street . The next door women were laughing at us .” Hey ,are you crazy ? /” He is coming back next week – he didn't go to war , but to college ."

It was hard for my mum .She was left alone with three  little kids and very little money .My father had to concentrate on his studies . We had to suffer for a better future .

Christmas was very near and my mother had very little money for presents . She hoped to get something unexpected : bonus or some money from my father – but nothing came .She had to arrange all the presents somehow on her own means ..
The shops were going to close and remain closed for Christmas time when
my mother ran to the toy shop : she had found a wooden toy car for my little brother and a doll for me – after paying she was left with very little money .” could you suggest something for a nine year old boy ?” she asked „for this money we've a book „ she had pointed to a ugly looking book with grey cover in the shop window . It was meant for summer visitors – a travel book on lake Balaton at discount price .
No „ was the first reaction of my mum „ „ it can not be a present for him „
We do not have anything else -and sorry we are closing „ Are you taking the book or not ?”

My mother recognized that she had no other option . She bought an ugly looking discount priced book for her first born son . What will he say when he sees it under the tree? What a life ! How far were her dreams from the reality !

My father arrived  just some hours before exchanging gifts .He was not scared at all  when my mum told him about the book .” I will arrange that „ he had told her with confidence . (They never lied us about the presents – it was always clear for us that they bought it or they prepared them on their own .)

My son „You get no toys this winter , because we thought with your mum that you are big enough to have a book instead – and not any book but a book written for adults . I consider that you are smart enough to read it and tell us later about it" 
That was my father's trick .
 And  it worked wonderfully ! My brother was not disappointed but proud !He started to read as soon as he found some free time . And the book  despite its ugly cover turned out to be very interesting : it told stories ,legends on the origin of the mountains and hills surrounding us . We had lived in Tapolca basin surrounded by so many different type of mountains . He had learned a lot about them .First he told these stories only  for us at home . Then he shared his knowledge with his buddies as well .Finally he became famous in the neighbourhood as an expert of mountains -and often even adults stopped him and asked him to tell about the story of this or that mountain .

When they asked amazed:where did you learn all this ?: he answered proudly : from a book I got for Christmas .


My brother is in his fourtiies nowadays and he still knows a lot on that area ,he loves the books and had learnt a lots of different hobbies merely from books wihtout tutors .And of course he still remembers with pleasure to that ugly looking book ...


geraldo said...

Olá Alma Wad,
Greetings from Brazil!
I have read the "Christmas story or the ugly book's tale". Quite interesting.
You, at the end, of course, presents an Epiloge. In this epiloge is told how that old book came to be important in the life of your brother, and the rest of the family.
I would add,something, with the same meaning: That God writes lines that immediately we do not understand, but they are exactly for our good.
Have a nice New year with all the family.
Best wishes from Geraldo.
PS. When you have a free time I beg you please to give a quick look on my little site.

Anonymous said...

yes ,exactly . today's thorn might be tomorrow's flower .obrigado

alma wad said...

Thank you very much for your nice comments ! they really touched my heart !

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