I am thankful for Christmas trees. They saved my grandmother’s life the day before Thanksgiving in 1964.
She’d gone with my granddad to a tree farm near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The plan was to fill up their pickup with trees they could sell at their used furniture store — the Swap Shop — in Muleshoe.
They were on their way home when it got dark and the trees settled over the pickup’s tail lights.
The man in the car behind them said he didn’t see the pickup until they collided.
Witnesses said the pickup rolled four times, and my grandmother was tossed out of the cab.
“All I know is when I woke up, I was lying in the middle of all those Christmas trees,” she said.
While the trees cushioned her fall, she still suffered a cracked shoulder, and was bruised from head to toe.
Pine needles from the trees were embedded in her skin — she pulled them out for weeks — and she spent 17 days in the hospital in Santa Rosa.
“When they examined me … the doctor said, ‘Well, you’re lucky. Those Christmas trees are what saved your life,’” my grandmother said. “And I guess they did.”
Bertha Stevens was 93 when she died in 2011. So she owed about half of her life to a bed of Christmas trees.
Here are some other things our newspaper staff is thankful for this season of thanksgiving:
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Miranda Apodaca: Last year, on Nov. 25, 2014, I was run over.
I was flown to University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque where I had two major surgeries.
I spent Thanksgiving Day in surgery, away from my two children who were 2 and 6 at the time. My mother, father and aunt ate cafeteria food that day, but never once complained.
They stayed with me through it all.
After my surgeries I began physical therapy to learn to walk again. It was horrible.
The holidays were tough for me and especially for my boys since I was unable to work to give them a Christmas.
However, the community here in Tucumcari blessed me and my boys with food and tons of gifts.
Also the Quay County Sun allowed them to pick out some gifts.
This community made our holidays one to remember. I will forever be thankful for that.
This year I am thankful for life; for still being here today; thankful for this job, which allows me to provide for my kids.
I am thankful and beyond blessed to share the holidays in good health with my family and especially my children.
Family is what matters.
I hope this year I can teach my children the meaning of “giving” and the importance of what to be thankful for — life, because everything can change in the blink of the eye.
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Thomas Garcia: I am thankful for my family and friends. I hope they know they have made a difference in my life — especially by putting up with me, helping when I am down and tolerating my outburst of random insanity.
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Joyce Cruce: I am thankful for, first of all, my family — a great support in all my crazy efforts to keep things together.
I am thankful for the CMI family that drives me crazy at times, just like family, and continues to come to work and do the best they can every day through thick and thin.
And I am thankful for our new publisher.
Editor David Stevens, on behalf of our newspaper family, wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Contact him at: