Christmas is saved…!

Last week I was looking forward to the holiday season without a care in the world.  Then I got the sad news that my grandmother passed away.  While I was still recovering from that, the very next day my car lost power just as I got to work, after deteriorating all the way there.  I work around ten miles from home so it wouldn’t have been a possibility to just turn back.

It being between pay periods, and having just bought presents for people, I was a little short on cash.  My awesome adopted work brother helped me go to a battery place at lunch and we got a used one in hopes that the alternator was still good.  Then there was a mad hunt to find a socket set so we could change out the battery… which we finally did.  My car started up and ran fine.  I was relieved.

The next morning, the car started up again and I thought everything was great.  Then, partway along the trip, I started having the same electrical problems.  I barely limped in to work, having had the engine almost quit on me several times.  It was undoubtedly the alternator.  Now, the battery had been old so that was also likely to fail, so it was good that I’d replaced it.  Yet, what in the heck was I to do without an alternator and someone to help me put it in?  They aren’t easy to reach on my car, you have to put it up on jacks and take out the oil filter.

My sweet cubemate, who has been really amazing, offered to help me get home from work.  Her husband brought a charger and extension cord so I could at least get somewhere if I had to, and we charged the battery enough for me to get home, though the trip was nerve wracking.  It was the greatest feeling to pull into my driveway!  Then they dropped the bomb.  They offered to buy the alternator and help me put it in – and I could pay them back after my next check.  Then my work brother said he’d take me to the store on Christmas Eve to pick up dinner so we didn’t have to make do with our emergency stocks.

I am very happy right now.  I intend to pay my friends back in the best of ways and continue my tradition of paying it forward.  Like my cubemate’s husband said, “This is what Americans do for each other.  Or should, anyway.”

That’s how Christmas was saved for me this year.  Miracles are what we make for each other, and I know my Grandma is watching and is happy with what they did.


Mending what’s been torn

I sometimes have a tendency to complain – hey, who doesn’t?  Life is often frustrating and hard.  However, today I have had a great experience and I want to focus on that.

Even considering the fact that I have had a murderous headache most of the morning, I have actually had a pretty good day.  I had some work done at the dentist and needed to pick up the holiday meal.

I went to Albertson’s to pick up the chicken and mayhap a small Christmas cake, which we are going to enjoy in the Japanese tradition.  I don’t always have the best experience with their deli but today the workers went the extra mile, doing everything I needed with a minimum of fuss.  The lady in the bakery went out of her way to help me find the perfect five inch round cake, exactly suited for what I wanted.  She even commiserated with me about the sad lack of buttercream in much of today’s baking, and made sure the cake I bought had it.

Amazing Christmas Caek.JPG

At the dentist, all the hygienists were exemplary, the office staff quick, and the dentist his usual cheerful, amazing self.  My cleaning went really well and I actually enjoyed it!  Lisa was really amazing.  It’s so good to deal with people who truly enjoy their jobs and are good at them.  She was informative, good to talk to, and gave me some excellent tips about managing my dental health.  (Shout out to Associated Dental on Campbell in Tucson!  You guys rock!)

So, even though my headache only got worse as the day went on, I was really happy with everyone I dealt with.  So here’s a big thank you to everyone in the service sector, thank you for doing your jobs with a smile.  You help mend what’s torn, fix what’s broken, and the world would be lost without you.

Happy holidays!

A Winter Thought

As I write from normally sunny Arizona (today it’s cloudy and dry) I cast my mind back other Yuletide seasons in my past.  I don’t miss snow and cold but it sure makes some beautiful memories.

One thing I recall is the silence of a fresh snowfall.

Have you ever heard anything so quiet as when there is no traffic on the street, no one chattering or clumping along in snow boots, and all the night sounds are muffled in a fresh blanket of snow?  And have you ever seen anything so peaceful as when the flakes are swirling down and looking up into the black night sky is like gazing into hyperspace?

I remember one particular night when there were ice crystals rimming every branch and pure white covered the ground, mounding up on every horizontal surface.  I stood in my front yard, breathing in that dry snow-smell, admiring the crystalline icicles and not wanting to shatter that quiet.  I just watched, letting my senses drink it all in.

I rarely saw deep snowfalls as a child so each one was special to me.  I lived in the rather wet Pacific Northwest so snow was sporadic at best.  Back then I didn’t have to drive in it, or go to work, and my main concern was simply if the snow would pack down well or not.  I miss those snowfalls, and that lack of worry, but at the same time I really appreciate my new, dry, sunlit life.

Icy branches

(Photography by Lenore Plassman)

via Daily Prompt: Silent