By Lynn Moncus: Comments from the Canyon
As we enter this new year, we need to take a few minutes to thank two local ladies for the gift they gave to Quay County and the travelers along Highway 209. Mrs. Bert Waterman and Mrs. Dorothy Kingston took the time to decorate a beautiful little cedar tree in order to brighten our days and to brighten their own.
Through the years, we have admired a lone, decorated tree between Tucumcari and Logan but had never seen one amid the mesas of Quay Valley. Bert explained that the idea struck her several years ago but that she hadn’t taken the time to bring it to fruition. She collected some decorations from Mrs. Charlene Grau, added some of her own, and then began trying to located a helper. A call to her good friend, Dorothy, was all that was necessary as she was ready to go at a moment’s notice.
They checked the few cedars along the road and chose the one that was the most difficult to reach from the road because they had to go down to the steep bank of the barrow ditch. Undaunted, they placed the decorations very carefully and received waves and horn honks from passerby. They were very pleased with the results and returned to town.
A few days later, the winds hit and created a few problems by scattering and shattering some of the ornaments. Undaunted, they replaced those so their gift to us could continue to be admired and enjoyed.
While listening to Bert tell about their adventures and the joy they received from decorating that little tree, I was most touched. I could see them helping each other up and down that bank and arranging each decoration so carefully. I could hear their laughter and conversation as they prepared that labor of love. I could see how pleased they were when anyone mentioned their gift.
Those ladies set an example for us as they gave so freely and so lovingly. They weren’t really trying to gain recognition for their efforts but were giving to each of us in the spirit of the season. They were not giving in order to receive but were giving just for the pleasure of giving. Heart’s gifts are the most precious gifts of all and touch the receivers deeply.
During the coming year, we should attempt to follow their example by giving such gifts quietly and without thought of selves. By thinking of others, we can accomplish far more than we can by thinking of ourselves. That is a part of our pioneer tradition and is obviously still alive in many people.
Let’s take time to thank Bert and Dorothy and to move in to a new year as gracefully as they have. If we need a bit of cheer, all we have to do is to think of that beautiful little, lone cedar and the two ladies who took the time to give us such a wonderful gift.