(Note: This post has been edited since it's original posting this morning, please re-read for some additional "coincidences.")
I never thought I’d say this; I’m looking forward to the cold, dark winter days of January. A simpler time. A peaceful time. Or so I hope. The holiday season is fun, exciting, and exhausting. The kids now have new items to keep their attention for at least a week. I have some new books and hopefully some time to read them. For some reason the Helper has gone back to taking an afternoon nap. I think he’s as exhausted from the holidays as we are. I don’t know how long it will last but I’m taking advantage. His nap just happens to coincide with the Baby’s nap – I’m good. Two full hours of bliss from noon ‘till two. Ah, sweet pleasures; an uninterrupted lunch, followed by some reading in my big comfy chair. Can’t do any housework as it might wake the sleeping princes.
This holiday season has been filled with many challenges. On the Friday before Christmas, the Mommy got into a car accident on the way home from work.
Christmas Miracle Number One: She was okay, still a little sore though. The car suffered some major fender damage but nothing I can’t fix. And, as it turned out, a very dear friend of ours was dropping off her beautiful new SUV for me to use, ten minutes after the accident happened. She was leaving for Palm Springs CA the next day for a 10 day vacation. I had volunteered to take care of her pets while she was away, but, needed the use of her car to do it. Miracles never cease!
Christmas Miracle Number Two: I researched all the parts I would need to fix her car, on the internet, expecting at least $1,000 bill. To my surprise and delight all the parts (with shipping) came to about $200. Better than the $2500 the auto body places would have charged – not to mention the increase in our insurance premiums.
Christmas Miracle Number Three: We almost ran out of home heating oil on Christmas Day – with all the activity I forgot to check the status. It’s been warmer than usual here and so I don’t check my fuel supply that often. No company would deliver over the holiday weekend so we had to pray it wouldn’t run out. A good friend of my neighbor’s came over Christmas morning with 15 gallons of fuel for me -- enough to last the entire week. He wanted us to not have to worry about it; a Christmas Angel right there in my driveway.
Christmas Miracle Number Four: On Tuesday my neighbor had my oil tank filled and paid for it – told me it was for all I do for them all year long. Another neighbor sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers that arrived Tuesday afternoon -- just because. We had seen them Christmas Day and exchanged some gifts – we never expected anything else. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well here in our small town.
Christmas Miracle Number Five: Three healthy, beautiful, smart children. A father-in-law, that despite being in the hospital for a few weeks in the fall, celebrated his 98th Christmas with us. A mother-in-law who loves and cares for us -- no matter what. A roof over our heads, a job, food in the pantry, health insurance, heat and hot water and a positive outlook for the coming year.
Children learn by observing adult’s actions. My children see me all year helping out others. My neighbors know they can count on me at any time to help them with any project – I’m the one with all the tools – actually a separate building on our property devoted to storing all my acquired treasures. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a retired Home Improvement Contractor and have been doing home repairs my entire life. When one of my friends or family needs my advice or help I love it – I get to keep my skills honed. I often bring the Helper along to watch. I used to bring my daughter but she’s outgrown the novelty. While we try to shield our children from “adult” problems, especially around the holidays – some things can’t be hidden. That’s okay, because then they get to see the goodness in others and hopefully assimilate the kindness and generosity into their own character. They learn that no one is an island and that all problems can be fixed if people come together in a common cause. My children have Hope and Compassion in their hearts, not Fear and Dread, that's all I can ask for...again, as always, thanks for reading!