“Mom, I’m going to be late for school. Why didn’t you wake me?”
5:30 a.m. this morning – I wake up and read my email: ‘two hour weather delay’ awaits me. I gulp, think of my schedule for the day, and then sigh. Outside there is no snow, but at the sun begins to rise I see the white, sparkly frost which has settled on the trees and bushes like powdered sugar. The net which surrounds our trampoline is an opaque ghost. I sip my coffee and wrap a blanket around myself, cuddled up though the outside temp is near 20 degrees. It seems fitting that this weather delay happens two weeks before Christmas. Would that I could freeze time as easily as Mother Nature has frozen the earth.
Indeed, the gift of time is something I remember having received as a surprise Christmas gift a few years ago. A rare snow storm shut down the town and we were all stuck. With all of our children in elementary school, our neighborhood was close knit back then. We sipped cider spiked with Tuaca while the kids built snow forts and snowmen. One of us would trudge the half mile to the grocery store, backpack on back, sled pulled behind them with bells attached. Like an old sleigh, the jingling sound would follow them as they filled our orders for green beans, eggs, and more cider. There was no place to be…. No place we could be. In this moment, in this time, we slowed and the normal Christmas chaos disappeared in the gift of time.
It was the best gift I ever received for Christmas, the one I still cherish.
I pray your holidays are filled with these magical moments of time… or that in the stillness of the morning your own school delays take on the spirit of a gift.
Have you had school delays this year? How is the weather where you live? What Holiday stories do you have to tell? I love, love, love hearing from friends and fans. So leave a comment during the month of December and at the end of the month one commenter will win a $10 donation to the non-political charity of their choice. Check back at the end of the month to see if you won.
“This is definitely not softball weather.”
You think? Yesterday when I heard this it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Brrrrr. In fact, after selling Christmas tree half the day on Saturday I can promise it is not ‘anything outside’ weather. I’m just now warming up.
Even with the sun out, my tree selling experience provided a whole new insight into my father. You see, when I was young my very entrepreneurial dad did all sorts of random jobs. I may have mentioned that for a while he owned a pet store. (It was so funny I even stole a character trait from this for my next novel, MOLTO MAYHEM.) But this was simply the tip of the iceberg. He also sold toys to carnival organizers. And every year at this time, he and a friend of his would set up a Christmas Tree stand. HE said it was the hardest job he ever did… and now I understand why.
The good news is that people were all in a happy, festive mood. We had hot apple cider to drink. Candy canes to eat. And holiday music to sing along with. However, by the time they had spent an hour searching and arguing over the perfect tree, their good mood had disappeared as fast as the apple cider. By the time the customers made it back to our tent, cold, tired and frustrated, I imagine all they wanted to do was get to the warmth of their home and begin decorating it.
I admit the trees were beautiful though: Big and perfectly shaped. And, since the farm was owned by a local family rather than a business, there were a plethora to choose from. The lovely family had donated the Christmas tree sales to our charter school, so that is how we found ourselves outside, in the 20 degree weather, tying trees to the top of cars. Thirty-seven trees later we tripped our way back to the car, shivering as we headed to our next stop, the church pageant.
And I finally also gained a new appreciation for the annual retelling of the birth of Christ. I always thought the best part was listening to the kindergarteners sing. This year my heart was warmed, though, not only by the sweet, sincere children, but also by the thermostat.
In this freezing cold weather my thoughts are with those who don’t have a way to stay warm. Do you have blankets or coats to donate? Leave me a comment with how you stay warm… or help others stay warm, and I will place you in my December drawing - $10 to the non-political charity of your choice. Every comment on any of my blogs enters you. So stop by and say hi all month long and then check back at the end of the month to see if you won.
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