It was four o'clock in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

Mother and Dad would be home from work soon.
Travis and Grandmother had been making cookies. They had put them in the oven and had gone into the den to wait for them to bake.

Outside, the sky was dark, and light, powdery snow had begun to fall. The wind was still, and everything was beginning to be covered by the soft film of white.

Sitting beside the fire, they talked about Christmas and the thing they were looking forward to this season.

Travis was eight years old.
He had red hair, freckles, and unusually big hands.
This feature made him able to field a fly ball with ease.
He liked all sports and active games that let him run and shout with his friend.

Grandmother was a small elderly woman.
She wore her white hair piled high on her head to make her look taller.
She walked slowly and sometimes used a cane for support.
She liked to laugh, and Travis was always happy when she came to stay with the family for a while. 

On this snowy December afternoon, they sat and watched the fire and talked of Christmas.
Grandmother was knitting, and Travis lay stretched out on the carpet, his chin resting on his hands.

He felt so good.
It would soon be Christmas.
He and Grandmother were there together. The cookies would soon be done, and he had a warm feeling.

(つづく 1/3)  



Travis was a member of a bell ringer' choir at his church.
He thought about the concert coming up, and he asked, " Grandmother, are you coming to hear my concert? "

"How's that?"

" Are you coming to our choirーour bell choir concert? "

" No, I don't think so, Travis. I don't hear very well, you know.
I have trouble hearing things, espeacially outside. I don't think I will;I don't go to many concerts anymore."

Then it occurred to Travis what it must be like not to be able to hear, especially at Christmas.
There are so many lovely things to hear, such as choirs, Christmas music on the radio, and friends calling out to one another.

Also, the HO! HO! HO! of the Santa Clauses in the stores, and the beautiful words that people use at Christmas.

He had never really thought about what it would be like not to be able to hear at this happy time.

Grandmother looked down at him., and she could tell by the expression on his face that he was thinking of her.

She reached down to touch him and said,
" Travis, please don't feel bad.
I can remember very clearly the choirs and concerts and all the sounds we hear at Christmas.
They make happy memories, and I enjoy remembering.
And even though I don't hear so well, I can still smell as well as I used to.
That's important, too."

"Smell?" asked Travis.

" Yes," said Grandmother with a chucle.

" All the different scents and odors that are peculiar to ChristmasーI can still enjoy those.
Certain scents bring back memories.
Have you ever though about the scents that are associated with Christmas? "

Well, Travis never had.
After thinking for a minute, he smoiled and said, "Let's see nowー”

Before he could finish rhe sentence, Grandmother said, " I can think of one right now."

Travis looked around the room, and he saw the fire.
He said, " Oh, fireーsmoke. The scent of fire, and different kinds of wood burning. "

"Yes," said Grandmother, "That's one scent you think of at Christmas."

Travis kept looking around the room. He was sitting up and slowly examining the den.

"The spruce tree has a nice odor, and the branches smell so good when you use them to decorate."

" Yes, " said Grandmother.

Then they bagan to name the scents that they thought of  particularly at Christmas.

They mentioned the defferent scents of candles ; incense, the way the smoke curls upward ; perfume ; the aroma of good food ; plastic toys that are newー baby dolls and car kits ; leather footballs, soccer balls, and ball gloves when they are new. 

(つづく  2/3)



Then Travis said, "Oh Grandmother, I bet I know something that you won't think about."

He jumped up and said, "Come over here with me."

Grandmother put down her knitting and slowly stood up. Together they walked over to the sliding glass doors that opened onto the patio.

Travis slid one of the doors back just a tiny crack because he didn't want Grandmother to get chilled in the cold air.

He whispered, " Grandmother, stand right here and sniff. "

She stood behind him and put her face up against the opening of the door. She took a long whiff of air.

" Snow ? Does snow have a scent to it ? Can you smell snow ? "

Travis laughed, " Can you ? "

" Well, the air has a crisp, cold feel to itーsort of a clean smell, so I suppose you can smell snow! "

They both laughed. It sounded funny to talk about smelling snow.

" That's another scent we can think about at Christmasーand other times, too, " Travis said. He slid the door closed and locked it.

They went back and sat down in front of fire.

After a while, Grandmother put down her knitting and started to get up out of her chair.

Just then Travis heard the timer on the oven ringing. He jumped up and followed Grandmother  to the kitchen.

" Grandmother, you knew the cookies were done even before the timer started, didn't you ? "

"  Yes, I could tell by the way they smelled that they were done. And that is what I meant about being glad I still have my sense of smell, even though I don't here so well anymore. "

She turned off the oven. She took the large cookie sheet out and placed it on the counter. Very carefully, she lifted the warm cookies and placed them on a platter.

Travis leaned against the counter. He thought about their conversationーthe scents of Christmas and how nice they were.

Grandmother looked down at him. With that twinkle in her eyes that always came before a laugh, she made up a funny little poem;
" I may not be able to hear the Christmas bells, but I can still enjoy the Christmas smells ! "

(おわり 3/3)