Friday, December 23, 2005

The rest of the rest of the story…

It’s gets better and better.

I rode home from work with a mild tailwind again yesterday. The temperature was near 60 and the sun was almost on the horizon. I love days like that. I was inspired to push the fixed gear maybe a little faster than usual, and even sprinted uphill a couple of times. It just felt good.

I put the bike in the garage, locked the door, and went into the living room. Mary and the kids were waiting for me. “We have a surprise for you!” she said.

Jordan brought a big food basket from the kitchen. It was chocolate and other candy, cheese spread, cookies, biscuits, a summer sausage, and tea, among other things. Lyndsay lugged a huge ham from the refrigerator.

“Our neighbors brought these”, Mary said. “Eric and Adrian gave us the ham and a gift card for Wal-Mart. Kim and Chuck brought the basket. They know we’re having a hard time this year and they wanted to help.”

Adrian was here when I told Mary about the car repair cost a few weeks ago. She couldn’t miss the shock on Mary’s face. I can only assume she and Eric informed Kim and Chuck, though the absence of a car in the driveway for a week was probably a good indication. Regardless, I’m not complaining.

Then she told me that Wade had called too. Lyndsay was doing Christmas shopping for him, since she enjoys shopping and he doesn’t. Wade gave her money to buy gifts, but when he talked with Mary, he said, “Just take whatever is left over from that cash and buy groceries!” Wade is our friend, part of the family, and he’s always here for holiday dinners.

We were planning to have lasagna for Christmas dinner in order to save money. Now we have a ham, a very large ham, and we’ll have a traditional dinner. But I could eat lasagna too! Is it any wonder I have weight problems this time of year?

There was a time I referred to our street as “Jerry Springer Boulevard” because of some of the wackier neighbors. Fortunately, they’ve all moved away. For that I am deeply thankful. Let’s just say we had a regular police presence on the street. One couple had so many domestic disputes the cops had all memorized the address. When the daily fight call came in, you could almost hear them groan as they responded.

Like I said, they’re gone. Our neighbors now are good people. We’ve watched as Kim and Chuck’s boys grew up and moved away. Our own kids will be doing the same all too soon. And we see Emily, Adrian and Eric’s little girl, going through the same stages as our daughter. I watch their little girl, and I wonder about my own. Where did the time go?

So we have good neighbors and good friends. Mary wondered how we could ever return this favor. I’m not certain that we can, or at least I’m not certain that we can return it to our neighbors. But there will undoubtedly come a time when we meet someone in need, and we can help.

We are truly blessed. Have a wonderful Christmas!


Blogger mags said...

Merry Christmas. I hope you have a fantastic holiday with your family.


3:44 PM  
Blogger hereNT said...

I honestly don't think that's the type of favor you have to return. Actually, in a way, you've already returned it, just by accepting it. It also says something about what they think of you that they did that - I'm sure that they know you would do exactly the same for them.

Thanks for the happy Christmas story!

7:58 PM  

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