Smelly Socks: 'Yep, it was a reindeer'

By Johanna Bloom
Jan. 3, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:03 p.m.

Ranch Life

As if the holidays are not busy enough, I got a grand idea that added to the Christmas joy in our household. I suggested, volunteered and, according to my husband, pushed, to have a Christmas party. It was not be a huge affair and certainly not much notice would given since Christmas was only a week away. Mainly, this party was intended for our church group, relatives and the very few neighbors we have.

Our family busily began getting ready for the party. I turned on the Christmas music, and it filled our house; soon everyone was humming along to the familiar classics. The boys contributed by cleaning their rooms and helping set up the tables. John was busy working in the yard, and I was straightening up the house and making Christmas cookies.

Although there was a lot to do, there was a true family working in harmony atmosphere. The essence of Christmas was filling our house. It was a rare occasion in that there was no complaining and no sibling arguing. Everyone had their job to do, and everyone seemed to actually enjoy themselves. It was one of those moments that do not happen often enough, but when it does happen, you have to stop, take it in, and smile. I was thankful for everyone's festive attitude and Christmas spirit.

I was walking past our large dining room window just as Jamison and Austin were also walking past it in the opposite direction. From the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of some unusual movement outside the large window. I turned around to look and, at the same time, I noticed my boys' eyes spring wide open and their mouths were moving with no words coming out. Outside the window we saw a set of massive antlers on the most enormous buck that I had ever seen. I took a deep breath and tried to regain my composure. I had to force myself to breathe.

Our extremely rowdy dogs were lying on the front porch, not the least bit interested in what had invaded their territory. Oh sure, they saw him, but they seemed to just not care. It was like they had a special animal agreement, or maybe they were merely extending Christmas cheer to their visitor.

The buck was so close that we could practically count his eyelashes, and I could see his nostrils flare with each breath he took. He was alarmingly close and surprisingly tranquil. The boys regained their voices, with Austin being the first to speak. He turned to face the garage where John was busy being productive and said, "D-D-D-Dad! Come quick!" in a hushed voice. Jamison joined in with, "Hurry, Dad!"

When he arrived, he seemed puzzled. We were turned toward him and mouthing, "Look. Look. Look." His puzzled expression seemed to grow. Austin, Jamison and I then turned to face the window once more and saw absolutely nothing. John said, "What in the world is going on?" We stood there speechless and extremely deflated.

Then Jamison said, "Which one was he Mom?" I asked what he meant. He continued, "Was it Blixen, Donner or Dancer?" Then Austin, who would normally scoff at such a remark, said, "A deer can't move like that."

Everyone was still peering out the window when John, who finally seemed to understand what was going on, rushed out the front door with Austin and Jamison right behind him. Nothing was amiss, and the dogs were calm. They came back inside with a look of disappointment and amazement on their faces.

Jamison announced, "Yep, it was definitely a reindeer checking us out." We all looked at each other, and no one had a better explanation.

Johanna is a proud seventh generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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