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Home for the Holidays

by Yvette VanDerBrink


This year has been a busy auction year, and I can’t be more thankful. I have met so many wonderful people and got to work with many fabulous collections. But before you know it, the end of another year rolls around and Christmas is here.

Christmas at the Nordstrom house was a special time of the year. I grew up on a dairy farm by Garretson, S.D. and our holidays revolved around the cows and the milk check. We would wake up Christmas morning and come downstairs and there would be presents. But, we couldn’t open them until Dad came up from the barn and ate his Campbell’s Split Pea Soup in his long johns. It just drove us crazy. Dad was always trying to show us the value of hard work; which I’m so glad for today.

One Christmas there was a blizzard coming and we had to clean out the free stall barn. It was so cold. We were pretty young and there were a lot of stalls. We were chipping out stalls and re-bedding them. My sister Suzie wasn’t one for the farm work, and I remember looking over and she was laying in the stall. I said, “Suzie, Get Up!! We got to get this done!” Luckily, Dad figured after we were gone for so long that we learned the lesson of hard work and appreciation and called us in to open presents just before the storm hit.

Another Christmas that I remember was in 1983. For the longest stretch it was so cold. I was working with Dad feeding cows and the John Deere 4010 wouldn’t start. Next thing I knew the ether came out. Enough to send me to the moon. Pop, pop, and cussing, but is still wasn’t running. Another shot of ether and Dad jerked the chain only to have is fly back and hit me in the head. I had so many layers of clothes on that I hardly felt a thing until I saw the blood run down my head. Dad got off the tractor and yelled, “Where’s that Chain?” “In my lap!” I held up the chain. We went in the house and looked at my head and decided it didn’t look too bad. We finished feeding cows, but never got that 4010 started. I had a heck of a concussion, and now I can tell you when it’s going to storm thanks to my Christmas war wound.

Dad and Mom always made Christmas fun with surprises. On Christmas Eve we would go to Gramma Nordstrom’s in Sioux Falls, S.D. It was always fun and we loved to drive Gramma Nordstrom crazy. Suzie and I would sit at the table with black olives on every finger. She always said Suzie and I were wild animals. Dad always had Chevrolets and I can remember going home from Gramma's and laying in the back window of the Impala as I looked at the stars. You wouldn’t get away with that today. Late at night on WNAX we could pick up KOMA from Oklahoma, they would give the Santa tracker. Then on Christmas Day we would go to Gramma Johnson’s in Garretson, S.D. All the cousins were there and we’d steal cookies out of the freezer. If you weren’t careful, often you wound up in the freezer. Gramma Johnson had a big hill for us to go out and fly down with runner sleds. I think they are banned today.

Another fun Christmas memory was sliding on Car hoods by Corson, SD at Uncle Irvin’s. Dad would burn tires on the sides of our track. We would always go at night. It was so much fun.

There are so many memories and now I have my own kids. Time flew by. It seems like they were just babies and now they are all grown. I too, have and try to install the true meaning of Christmas with my kids. Christmas is the birth of our Savior Jesus. The real meaning of Christmas. In the bible, it says that “I have prepared a place for you.” My Gramma Nordstrom and Johnson have passed away and I still miss them. Christmas can be a sad time for people that have lost a loved one, but it doesn’t have to be. It may be hard, but we need to remember the real meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus and the gift of eternal life. I know several car guys that I was close with, have passed away this year. I’m sure Marv is driving a Ford Mustang to a Grand Christmas in Heaven. I’m sure Gramma Nordstrom is organizing the angels, Gramma Johnson is cooking, and countless other relatives celebrating Heaven in Christmas.

Someone asked me if I thought there would be cars in heaven. Of course! He prepared a place for me. Something in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine. I’m sure there are salvage yards, collections of fabulous cars, tractors, and someday, a long time away, I’ll auction with angels and meet up with my Grammas and Grampas again. So Christmas is the best time of the year! Christmas should be every day! So remember, there’s a fabulous celebration in heaven and I’m sure there’s a Cruise Inn for Christmas! So have a fabulous Christmas and we will see you all next year! Call if you need anything!

Merry Christmas and have a great New Year!

Yvette VanDerBrink
The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC

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