From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 15 - 12/9/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

The Christmas Picnic

by Gina Feltner

When I think of picnics, I think of my dad. He could create a picnic out of nearly any occasion. A picnic had to have a fire. Not a small Indian fire...a large "white man" fire. The last "picnic" with Daddy was Christmas tree finding of 1979. Wayne and I loaded all the kids up, picked up Daddy and headed for Little Flattop. We had the Grassell kids too. In our minds we were just going to get several Christmas trees. As we drove up to Cora, Daddy said, "Let's stop and get a few things "for the kids." Well, he came out with two grocery sacks of food and pop. Now we were ready.

We headed up country, turned past the Bar Cross, and up into our old home country. I always have a warm feeling when I close in on that part of the world. The further up country we got, the deeper the snow was. However the pickup was fourwheel drive, as was his Jeep and the snow was an easy challenge. We turned up the Flattop road, and the going got tougher, but still doable.

When we found the old timber sale, there were Christmas trees everywhere. The seedlings had grown to about eight feet in height. Each of the kids found their idea of the perfect tree. The votes were taken, and we chopped down three trees - one for Mother and Daddy, one for the Grassells, and one for us. Make that four trees...we got a small one for Wayne's mother too. The trees were dragged a short distance through the snow and loaded in the truck.

Time for Daddy to shine. He built the fire. He had scooped out the firewood, and settled on a large dead tree lying out in the open. Before long he had a blaze ten feet in the air. The kids were having a wonderful time...dessert first. Marshmallows on a stick. S'mores! Get within fifteen feet of the fire and they were cooked. Wayne and I sat back with our thermos of coffee. Daddy circled the fire...had to keep it going you know. The kids romped through the snow. The sun shone brightly on our picnic. We all gorged ourselves on the goodies Daddy bought "for the kids." All the stuff Mother would never buy for him in their home. By the time Wayne thought we should be thinking of going down the hill, the fire was burning out, the food was gone, and the kids were played out.

We loaded up and left our snowy picnic spot and took the Christmas trees home. Daddy was the first "drop off" of the group. We unloaded their tree and went in to say hi to Mother. She had his Sunday dinner ready. He grinned when he told her, "I'm sure hungry!!"

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