By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
The structure you see here is the house my wife and I called home for more than two decades. I snapped this picture about four years ago, but the real story of this house commenced 24 years ago this week.
On Dec. 22, 1996, we closed on the purchase of this house. We had lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Amarillo for nearly two years. We decided it was time to sink our roots deeply into the Caprock. So we set out looking for some property on which we would build our house.
We found a lot in the far southwest corner of Amarillo. We had selected a floor plan that caught my wife’s attention. We met with the builder and in October 1996 his crews commenced work. Two months later, the house was finished.
We signed the papers. Then we moved in.
Why mention it here? Because our Christmas in 1996 turned out to be one of the more memorable holidays in our long and glorious life together.
We moved in three days before Christmas. We had boxes scattered in every room of our house. Our big stuff had been delivered: furniture, appliances, those kinds of things. Just seeing our belongings again after they had been stored away for nearly two years was in itself a Christmas blessing for us.
We opened boxes and found trinkets and assorted possessions we hadn’t seen while they were packed away and kept in storage. Every box we opened reacquainted us with our belongings.
Oh, what about a Christmas tree? Yes, we had one. It was a Norfolk pine that we had moved from Beaumont to Amarillo. It was a potted tree and was very much alive.
My wife found some Christmas lights and some ornaments among the boxes we opened. We strung the lights around the 4-foot tree along with a few ornaments. We then were able to place a few gifts around the base of the tree.
Christmas morning 1996 dawned like many others in our house. Our sons were there. We had a nice Christmas breakfast, opened our gifts and enjoyed ogling our new digs, which we had watched being built from the ground up.
It was home for a long time. Then came the moment we knew would occur when our granddaughter arrived in 2013. It was time to move closer to her in the Metroplex.
We made the move and bid goodbye to this special place that became all the more special because of a fabulous Christmas memory it provided for us.