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Stormi Eve

Larry Sandretsky, father of reporter LaReesa Sandretsky, has been writing Christmas poems for most of his adult life. They've been published annually in the News-Chronicle for years.

Tell you all a Christmas story

Goin' back a couple years

Buckin' snow and goin' slow

Usin' lower gears.

Ahead I saw the truckstop lights

Thought, I'd better fill 'er up

Maybe grab some Twinkies

An' fill my coffee cup.

Went in to pay, the old man said

"Hope no one's waitin' on that load

'Cause yonder, see those flashin' lights?

State just closed down the road.

Good news is, your supper's free

An' we'll keep loadin' that buffet

Guess we better keep some leftovers

In case we're still here Christmas Day."

I said, "Well I can live with that

Kinda feels like home to me

A fireplace that really works

An' a good old fashioned Christmas tree."

Young couple had a newborn

The mom was tryin' to be discreet

"Office has a fold out couch,"

The waitress said, "I'll find a sheet."

Two hippies went n' got their packs

An' curled up on the floor

I just laid down in a booth

Like I'd done a time or two before.

The soldier hugged his duffle bag

With a dream that made him grin

Waitress shook her head an' whispered

"No room at the inn."

Then brought us all a blanket

Where she found them, I don't know

Reminding me of someone else

Mom... I miss you so.

Woke up kinda lost

'Til I saw the fireplace

Thought I heard a "Shh..."

Then in the glow I saw his face.

Well, he wasn't in no Santa suit

Just an ol' red faded flannel

He whispered would I help unload

His vintage red Ford panel.

Maybe he was just a helper

Takin' care of stranded folks

But the nametags were all signed from Santa

With long and flowing strokes.

Yet somehow... still I wonder,

How'd he know everybody's name?

We all had our own present

By the tree when mornin' came.

There was even one for the baby

He had magic up his sleeve

She was christened on that very night

They call her Stormi Eve*.

Well that's my story, short n' sweet

You can take it home or leave it lay

But I hope it finds you warm an' snug

With folks ya love on Christmas Day.