Monthly Archives: December 2014

Nugget Nate and the Christmas Callin’

Hey everyone Merry Christmas. I wanted to give each and every one of my readers a free story for Christmas and as I sat working on Christmas Preparations  tonight this story came to me. So Merry Christmas and enjoy.

It was Christmas Eve and Nugget Nate was carefully wrapping the gifts he had made for Penny and Young David. This would be the first Christmas that David would be able to enjoy, and Nate had spent all year on creating the boy the perfect Christmas toy. He had built a large model of Noah’s Ark and carefully over the last eleven months carved two of every animal. He polished the last one and put them in the burlap sack and tied it with a wayward string from his own buckskin leggings.

Almost the same care and attention had gone into Penny’s gift, and he was positive she would know that she had the best Nativity Scene anyone had ever owned. He already knew what she had gotten him and had helped David picked up for him too. He loved that his upper-crust society wife understood that all a mountain man needs is simple, practical gifts. And the new buckskins she had made for him and the beaver skin gloves that she had helped David tan were perfect. Tomorrow would be just perfect for him and his family. They were in Kentucky visiting his mama and would be staying until after his baby sisters hitchin on the first. Then they would go back to New York for David to continue to get the doctors treatments that he needed to grow stronger.

Just like every night Nate walked over to where his sickly son lay sleeping beside his mama and layed his hands on him again. He began to press in asking the Good Lord to strengthen and heal his son. As he pounded on heaven’s door, a single tear slipped past his lid and ran down into his beard where it disappeared into the wealth of sandy blonde facial hair that adorned the Legends face. He moved his hand to his wife’s cheek and once more thanked God for the cherished gift of his most precious Penny. Then Nate quickly shucked out of his skins and climbed into the feather bed beside the two most precious people in his life. Just as he was starting to slip into slumber that all too familiar feeling came on him, pulling him back to full wakefulness. He was getting a callin’. Someone needed his help.

The person he felt needed him didn’t make much sense. He knew that those feelings were never wrong and that God sent him what he needed to know but how in the world could he believe what he was being shown? It couldn’t be. Nate loved Christmas as much as the next storyteller. He told Saint Nick stories to the kiddies every pig picken, just like the mountaineer had heard his Daddy tell them, but they all knew they were just that, stories. So why was the picture in his head of Jolly Ole Saint Nick and that pull to get a move on so strong? Only one way to find out Nate had learned long ago. So he got up, slipped on his clothes and gear grabbed his bear skin coat and headed out the door. As he passed the workshop, he swung in and grabbed a hand drill. No idea why but he knew he’d need it fer this adventure was done.

The snow was just beginning to fall again and by the height of the moon, Nate knew it was Christmas Morn. “Well Happy Birthday Jesus. I hope yer getting’ a good laugh got me up here looking fer wonderlights and Christmas Spirits.” The only response he got was a slight change in direction and up the mountain he went. About an hour later, Nate heard the sound of Sleigh Bells, and as he rounded a bend in the trail came to a complete stop. His mouth dropped open at what he saw. A very loaded sleigh with eight reindeer hitched to it and Santa Clause himself on his knees at the head of the team beltin’ out a prayer of his own. “I know that you have a plan Lord. Please send me the help I need to keep my vow to you again this year. Otherwise, I don’t see how I’m gonna get these presents delivered in Your name this year.”

Nate shuffled a few steps closer and saw the Jolly ole Toymaker look up at him. There was no denying who this was even if he wanted to because when the Legend saw him; he burst forth in the most famous laugh known round the world. “HO! HO HO! Thank ya Jesus.”

Nate continued to stand staring at the big man as he rose from the ground. “Well Nugget Nate as I live and breath. Don’t just stand there man get over here and help me fix this here sleigh. I’m running out of Christmas Magic and got a lot of stops yet to make.”

Nate just shook off his shock and walked over to where Santa stood. “Well Nick, y’all don’t mind iffen I call ya Nick do ya?”

Santa chuckled again “Of course not Nate. I’m bout to be reciving some of yer special callin type help so it’s the least I can do.”

Nate just nodded “What’s the problem and how can I help?” Santa's Sleighjpg

Santa pointed to the hitching bar on the right side of the sleigh. Dasher there slipped a step and we hit that there cedar and snapped the hitching bar. Now I can’t steer the sleigh.”

“That’s simple enough I’ll just cut one of these saplings and fashion ya ‘nother one in about ten shakes.”

Kris Kringle shook his head. Can’t do that Nate. I would have been able to do that myself. I do have a bit of experience with making things ya know.” His eye’s twinkled.

“See my sleigh only flies because the Good Lord sends the angels that sang to the shepherds to sing over the sled and empower it with the blessing of that special night. If we replace that bar with one that hasn’t been blessed I still won’t be able to complete my task.”

Nate stroked his beard and looked around at where they were. They were just a stones throw from his favorite fishin’ hole and he remembered an old water hardened log precisely a bit rounder than Santa’s broken bar. “Alright then how about a splint? Will that damage the power of the Blessing?”

Santa gave it a though for a minute. “Well the whole stave would still be in place, so I don’t think it would. Anyway, I would say if God sent you and this is the answer you came up with it’s probably what he has in mind.”

Nate nodded. “Allright well gives me a hand and we’ll gets you back up and running in two shakes of a coon’s tail.”

Nate and Santa went down to the creek and sure enough there was the log, and Nate pulled out Davey’s hatchet and after a few minutes of chopping had a section about two inches longer than the break on each side. Then he took the Hatchet and split the log in two sections, and he took half and Santa took half the went and placed them over the split after putting the broken pieces together again. Nate took the drill and drilled two holes through the whole thing on each end and then quickly fashioned four Ceder pegs and using the flat side of Davey’s hatchet, he pounded them in and then pour some water from the creek over them to swell them and hold the patch snug.

As Santa ran his hand over Nate’s work, there was a faint Gold and Silver glow that passed from his hand to the patch. The sleigh lifted a few inches off the ground, and the team began to grow restless. “Yes Dasher I see it. We’ll be back to it in a moment.”

The Legendary Toymaker turned to the Legendary Mountaineer and held out his hand.Thank you Nugget Nate. I am much obliged to you. Now help me into this contraption, so I can get back to my mission seeing as how yours is done and mine is only just begun.”

Nate helped the man up into the sleigh and shook his head. “Won’t know one believe me even if I told them this tale. What’s worse is every word would be true.”

Santa threw back his head and roared out his trademark chuckle. “Same will be true for me too Nate. When I tell the Missus and my workers that I met ya they won’t believe me either.”

Nate reached into his belt and pulled out his Arkansas Tooth Pick. “Well this here is the very Knife Jim Bowie gave me when I beat him in that knife throwin’ demonstration. You jes show them that, and they’ll have to believe ya.”

Santa laughed again “We both know this is not the very knife, but I’ll take it anyway. In return let me give you a Christmas gift.He reached under his sleigh and pulled out a small wooden chest with the Letters SC carved into the lid. “You take these and use them to keep making people happy with your handiwork Nate.”

Nate opened the chest to see a set of wood carving tools finer than anything he’d ever seen in his life. “Won’t you be needed these to make them toys ya deliver?”

“I happen to know that the Missus just got me a new set made. I didn’t know why I felt the need to bring these with me but reckon they were meant for you. Now enough jawin. You done finished yer callin’ I need to complete mine. Time to remind the kids of HIS love for them.”

Then with a snap of the reigns and a whistle Santa exclaimed. “On Dasher, On Dancer. On Prancer and Vixen. Up Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen.” The Team strained at the hitching rails and up the sleigh went. When it had reached the top of the trees, Nugget Nate heard Saint Nick Say: “Merry Christmas Nugget Nate you saved Christmas tonight!”

Nate watched until he couldn’t see the sleigh or its little ole driver anymore and started back to his bed. He knew that God was in control, and if he had wonders like Nick out there working for HIM, then he had Nate’s little family in the palm of His Mighty Hand. “Merry Christmas Nick, God bless your trip.”

The walk home seemed like that glowing gold and silver light shined off of everything along the way and Nate’s feet fairly touched the ground themselves.

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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Book Reviews


The Little Diode Christmas Tree.

Hey everyone with this being the Christmas season I wrote this little tale for a contest I entered. It was loosely based on the true story of a favorite Christmas Decoration in our family.  I hope you enjoy.

New out of the box

New out of the box

It sat on the shelf, one of fifty of the newest Christmas decorations a multi-colored diode Christmas Tree. It was perfect. It looked like a Christmas tree, and its diodes burned cool and flashed between Red, Yellow and Green. Everyone who saw them thought they were cool, and they were flying off the shelves. This particular decoration wanted to go home to a loving family whom it could help enjoy the Season of the Birth of Christ.

The little diode tree watched as its brothers and sister flew out the door. Finally, it was the only one left, and it began to worry that it wasn’t going to find a home for Christmas. Then HE walked in. Bald and leaning on a cane the man looked all around the store. He seemed to be looking for something in particular. He picked up several prelit trees and put them back then he approached the Little Diode Tree. He picked it up and turned it around and round. The little Diode Tree began to wish this person would take him home. Subsequently just when the tree was convinced that he was once again not going to be chosen the man whispered “Perfect” He looked for one in a box and couldn’t find any. Then he picked up the Little Diode Tree and the empty box it was displayed on and went to the Cash register. “Is this the only one of these you have left?”

“Yes sir those were quite popular this year we’ve sold over a hundred of them.”

“Well I really want this one will you sell it even though it was your display model.”

Certainly sir, I’ll even give you a discount since we’ve been using it.”

With that the clerk rang up the Little Diode Tree and placed it in the box. The Tree thanked God for giving him a home for Christmas. Soon enough the tree was being pulled out of the box and plugged in. The little tree looked around at his new home and his new family. There was the man who had purchased him and sitting on his lap clapping and squealing was an excited toddler.

“Nathan this is your Christmas tree. You can’t touch the big tree the things on it will break, but this tree is Nathan’s tree.”

The little toddler reached out and gave the tree a hug. The tree was crushed and didn’t look like the perfect Christmas tree anymore, but he was loved and sharing in the family’s Christmas celebration, and he was happy. That night and every night after that Nathan would play with him and set and watch him flash his diodes and every night at bedtime Nathan’s mommy or papa would unplug him and carry him to the top of Nathan’s bed and plug him in again. The Little Diode Tree would blink all night long and help keep little Nathan from being afraid of the dark.

The Christmas season ended, and all the decorations were put away except for the little Christmas tree. He stayed out until Nathan’s second birthday. When Nathan’s mommy got him a star generator for a night-light, and the Little Diode Tree went into the box of Christmas decorations.

The next year out came the decorations, and almost three-year-old Nathan was happy to see his Little Diode Christmas tree. Yes, the Little Diode Tree was a bit misshaped by the love of the last year and the time in his box but papa straightened him as best he could and then surprise, surprise they showed the Little Diode tree to Nathan and his new baby brother. Now the Little Diode Tree wouldn’t stand watch over one precious child but two. Papa reminded Nathan. “Now you can’t touch the big tree Nathan, and you can’t let your brother touch it, but both of you can play with this little Tree all you want. It is Nathan and Alexander’s Christmas tree.”

So for another season the Little Diode Tree was part of the family’s Christmas celebration, and the boys did touch him the hugged him and played with him, and the Little Diode Tree looked less and less like a Christmas tree. Once the holiday season was gone the Little Diode Tree looked very pitiful. It wasn’t shaped like a Christmas Tree anymore. It really looked more like a sad and twisted Mountain Pine. Some of it’s diodes didn’t light any more and there was some talk about how much use they had gotten out of the cheap little decoration. Once again, the tree was boxed up and put away with all the decorations to await the next year,

Before Christmas could come around again the Little Diode Tree caught a conversation that papa was having about them having to move, and that they weren’t going to take anything they didn’t absolutely have to have. They were moving to a small apartment and Nathan, and his brother and mommy were moving into their own little apartment. The little Diode Tree wondered if it would be considered something they had to have. He knew he wasn’t as pretty as some of the other decorations. He knew he had some of his diodes that didn’t work anymore, and he knew he had been crushed and straightened so many times that his family might think he wasn’t worth the limited space they had in their new apartments.

The day of the move came, and everything was being loaded into the truck but none of the Christmas decorations had been loaded. It looked like the family was going to get brand new decorations for their new houses. The Little Diode Tree felt sad, but he understood all decorations knew they would only be around until they were replaced. He understood but he really wished he could spend only one more Christmas with Nathan and little brother Alexander. Then just before the family left for the last time the box of decorations were picked up and placed outside with a free to good home sign placed on them. However, at the last possible second papa stopped the truck and came back to the box of Christmas stuff. He opened the box, and the Little Diode Tree heard him say. “I know it was in one of these boxes… come on where are you. Then after rustling in the box the Diode tree heard. “Ah there you are!” Papa’s hands scooped him up from inside the box. The little Diode Tree was worried it’s time in the box hadn’t been kind, and it was mostly just a ball of twisted wires and a very few diodes. But papa didn’t seem to care, he placed it in a box in the back of the truck, and away they went.

Today was Thanksgiving and papa and grandma had Nathan’s family over to eat turkey and help decorate their brand new Christmas tree. They brought out all the brand new decorations and put them up on the tree. As they were getting done Nathan and Alexander’s mom pulled out the Little Diode Tree and looked over it’s sad little condition. “Dad why did you bring this of all things? It looks worse than Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. “

diode tree 2

after 4 years of “Love”

Papa took the crumpled Little Diode Tree and sat in his chair carefully untangling and straightening its wires and diodes. When he was done the Little Diode Tree was worried. He didn’t much resemble a tree at all instead he looked more like a loose collection of wires and diodes. He was ugly and he knew it. He wouldn’t hold it against papa if they did throw him away. Nevertheless, his little electronic heart did a huge leap as papa plugged him in and Nathan and Alexander clapped and gathered around him. “Oh no,” Papa said. “I would get rid of the big fancy tree before I got rid of this Little Diode Christmas Tree. He’s part of our family Tradition and as long as a single diode lights, he will always have a place in our Christmas decorations. He reminds me that Christmas is not just about Jesus but a time for children. This little tree isn’t perfect and pretty, but it is full of love and understanding.”

The Little Diode Tree felt the current as Papa plugged him in and once again told his grandsons. “Remember you can’t touch the big tree but this is Nathan and Alexander’s Christmas tree, and you can play with it as long as you share.” As both brothers squealed and reached for the Little Diode Tree it blinked its diodes with all the love it had to give.

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Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Short Stories