Friday, January 30, 2004

Legend of the O.R.

Has anyone had a colonoscopy? I was conversing with a friend that was ready to go get one done and was a little nervous. Oh, I know the embarrassment of a colonoscopy!! I came down with Diverticulitis a few years back. (pockets in the colon that gets infected). My doctor sent me to Dr Zaveruha to get a colonoscopy done. (in the operating room they stick a hose up through your rectom with a tiny camera attached to the end to see what is going on in the pooper). Well Doc "Z" is a friend of mine and was my boss when I worked on the ambulance.
I was soooo embarrassed to go through that. Well it was October....I always try to find humor in everything...I went to the operating room, and the nurses were prepping me before doc Z came in to do the procedure. I had a pair of wax lips with fangs (Halloween)...I told the nurses I was going to pull a joke on doc Z....Well yes I did. I put them in the crack of my butt! Doc Z came in and was so nice. He held my hand and very seriously told me not to be embarrassed or uncomfortable. The drugs will make me forget everything. He then pulled up the sheet and the entire room went dead silent!! Then I heard this "OH MY GOD!!!" He almost had to leave the room! Later, he came in to show me the results. He took pictures of the inside of me that showed all the infected pockets. Then he showed me the last picture. My butt with the wax lips!!! He said "oh by the way, those are copies"!!! That was about 6 years ago, and to this day I am a legend in the OR!!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Embarrasing moments!

I can't believe I am going to write about this one!! Have you ever sat in a black plastic chair at a meeting in a hot room wearing polyester pants?
Well I was at a Disaster Council meeting yesterday (11 men 2 women). It was warm in the meeting and as the meeting ended, I was the first to jump up to leave. I was pushing the chair to the table, and there it was, plain as can be, the WET SPOT.....(condensation from heat)!!! Of course the chair wouldn't push under the table, and the man sitting next to me turned and just stared at the chair!! OMG I was devastated!! I just turned and left!!!
So what was your most embarrassing moment? That by far was not my most embarrassing moment, but one of my latest!! I could write a book on mine!!
One of my funniest as a sober person: About 14 years ago I was driving the bus and I had been on a raw vegetable diet for weeks. I had just let off my last passenger, and gas had built up inside me. Well I was so relieved to be by myself, so I just let 'er rip!!! A few moments later I heard a "ding"!! I about went off the road!!! I thought I was alone, but three seats behind me there was a 10 year old boy all by himself!! I pulled over to the next stop and he ran off that bus!!!! That poor kid!! Poor Me!!!! I laughed and screamed the rest of my shift!!!
Can anyone beat these???

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

What Causes Arthritis?

A man reeking of liquor, obviously drunk, sat down on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes, the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?"

"My son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes, and the lack of a bath."

”Well, I'll be damned," the drunk muttered, returning to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. “I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

”Oh, I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.”

Just sharing another chuckle with my friends!!

Calgon take me awaaaaay!!

Boy, it is only Tuesday??!! This year is starting out rather WILD!! I go to work and the time flies by!!! I cannot imagine having a boring job sitting and watching the clock!!
Well I don't want to talk about work, so the weather is a good subject! I can't believe the winter the rest of the country is having. We are mild up here!! It is 50 degrees and drizzling! Pffft!
I wonder if the sun is shining in Hawaii??? Becky is probably basking in the sun right now!!
Well off to read some blogs! Later..

Sunday, January 25, 2004

A few funnies to start your week!

I couldn't stop myself!! I got these in an email and want to share them with my buddies! I'm not a male basher, really!! I love men!! I'm actually looking for a husband....can I have yours???

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt.
Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me,

"What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

"It depends," I replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, "University of Oklahoma."

And they say blondes are dumb...

A couple is lying in bed.. The man says,

"I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world"

The woman says, "I'll miss you..."

"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he
stepped out of the shower, "honey, what do you think the
neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"

"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.

He said - Since I first laid eyes on you, I have wanted to
make love to you really badly.

She said - Well, you succeeded.

He said - Shall we try swapping positions tonight?

She said - That's a good idea... you stand by the ironing

board while I sit on the sofa and fart.

He said - What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?

She said - Turn sideways and look in the mirror

Q: What do you call an intelligent, good-looking, sensitive man?

A: A rumor

A man and his wife, now in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

On their special day a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been such a devoted couple she would grant each of them a very special wish.

The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband.

Whoosh! Immediately she had airline/cruise tickets in her hands.

The man wished for a female companion 30 years younger...

Whoosh...immediately he turned ninety!!!

Gotta love that fairy!

Have a great week!!!


My favorite subject! I spend more time sitting here on my day off thinking about the chores that I need to do before the week begins again! I like to have the house clean and laundry done so when I wake in the mornings all I have to do is get nurishment, read the morning blogs and off to work. Well here it is Sunday afternoon at 2:17 and all I have done this weekend is the laundry. I have it piled on my bed waiting to be folded. I am going to do the cooking for this weeks dinners too. If I don't have anything ready to eat, I will come home and eat the wrong things. So I am organized in that way. But I HATE doing floors!! I need to vacuum, and sweep and mop. So instead I am writing in my blog to keep from doing my floors! Sounds reasonable to me. Ok, I better get going!! Y'all have a marvelous Sunday!!

Friday, January 23, 2004

The "King"

After reading Becky's blog I saw this in an email and couldn't resist posting it!!
It sounds like something I said to my EX-husband!! hahahaha

The " KING"
I was tired of being bossed around by my wife; so I went to a
psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said I needed to build my self-
esteem, and so he gave me a book on assertiveness, which I read
on the way home. I finished the book by the time I reached my house.
I stormed into the house and walked up to my wife. Pointing a finger in her face, and said, "From now on, I want you to know that *I* am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterwards. Then, after dinner, you're going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And, when I'm finished with my bath, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

"The funeral director," she said.

My poor EX-husband was so frustrated in our marriage (as was I). I was his 4th wife and he is now on #5. His mom was like Edith, and his dad was like Archie Bunker. Woman does woman's work. Men sit back and wait for the dinner then gets out of the way so woman can clean up. Man can go out when he wants, and woman had better by gosh have dinner ready when man comes home!!
Well I was making a roast and at 5pm it was a PERFECT medium rare. Larry wasn't home yet and didn't call as usual. So I pulled the roast out of the oven, cut it in half and put the other half in the oven to keep hot for MAN when he comes home for dinner!! I was in bed when MAN came home hungry at 2:00am. I giggled as I heard him open the oven and get his hot dinner out. His half of the roast had cooked down to the size of a baseball I guess and hard as a rock!!! I kept the oven at 300 degrees all night!! Served him right!!
HAHAHAHAHA I never made it as his woman!! I tried for 13 years and decided I was better off by myself than trying to please the MAN!! Now if he did his share and was rich I probably would've tried harder, but I was working a fulltime job during the entire marriage.
I am content now and single for almost 17 years, and working on retirement form my career!!

It is FRIDAY!!!! YAHOOO!!! I can stay up real late tonight and sleep 'til I want to tomorrow!!!
Later, folks!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Blank mind

I haven't entered anything since Sunday!! I get up in the morning, read Becky's saga, then John's site, then get to work, come home and read Esther, Faith, Leslie, Mary Lou, Kokomo, Don, Patrick, CJ, Otto, G-man, Wind spirit, Purple Moose,California Dreamin, Father Blogger, Dorothy, Special K, Fran, Leslie(usa), TW, Marti, Dave, Leigh, etc.
HAHAHAHA I am tired this week and have dead brain. So I might write some wisdom in a day or two. Later, folks!!

Sunday, January 18, 2004


I live in a mobile home court, and about 14 years ago I got new neighbors. Florence and Gerry. They were in their late 70's then.
Gerry died about 11 years ago. Florence and I have become very close. She is now 87 years old and stilll lives alone. She is like a mother to me and I am included in their family get-to-gethers. She has two daughters and a son that live in Oregon, and one daughter here in Coupeville. She is very close to her entire family. We check on each other daily and we call each other when something exciting happens. I called her a few years ago at midnight when I saw the Northern lights dancing across the sky. We were both in our robes hugging each other in the frigid night. She cried and said she has never seen them before, so we hopped in my car and drove up the Prairie to get a better view.
We went for a drive once and saw an albino deer by the side of the road. We stopped to take pictures. On that drive I pointed out an Eagles nest that has been in a tree for about 25 years that I know of. When there is a storm at times we drive down to the beach to watch the waves.
Last July 5th I got a phone call and Florence was whispering in the phone telling me to quick look out my back window! I went to the window and there on Florence's front porch railing was a Great Blue Heron!! There are alot of Blue Herons in this area but I have never seen one so close and on a porch railing!! I took pictures. He was on her porch for about 2 hours.

Last night I came home from my meeting and Florence had left a message on my phone all excited that the Heron was back but this time just across the back fence in the field about 10 yards from our houses. I didn't get to see it, but hearing her voice all excited I could imagine it. It is such a good feeling having someone you love like a family member living next door.

Friday, January 16, 2004

A Short Story That Puts Things Into Perspective

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"
" It was great, Dad."
"Did you learn how poor people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Sometimes I get an e-mail that just grabs me. This was one of 'em!!
I am pooped tonight and want to blog, so I am sharing this great story!! I know I am VERY rich because I have the blessing to appreciate everything and everyone in my life!!
Whew!! Thank You Lord!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


I look forward to these awards every year!!
I'd like to share these with my friends on the blog. Hope it gives you some giggles!!
These CAN'T be true...can they?????


* In September in Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys. (stupid idiot!)

* In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off a 100-foot-high cliff on his daily run. (Now I wonder what was going through his head as he was falling? DOH!!)

* Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach-goers said Daniel Jones, 21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their
way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.

* In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of bicycle shop he was
burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor. (Another stupid idiot!)

* According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was wearing. (DOH)

* Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in February in Selbyville, Del, as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.

* In February, according to police in Windsor, Ontario, Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they were playing with their Snowmobiles.
(A pair of stupid idiots!!)


* In Guthrie, Okla, in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede with a shot from his 22 caliber rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock near the hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his skull.

* In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favor of a propane torch and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house. (WHA......?)

* Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover Township, NJ, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, when a quarter-stick of dynamite blew up in their car. While driving around at 2 AM, the bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but apparently failed to notice the window was closed.
(another DOH!!)



Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 am. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the cable was secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say "said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night." "There's just no other explanation for it."
Bingham's foot was never located.
(I remember hearing this on the news)



Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his constipated
elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally let it fly, and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop!

Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him" said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. 'with no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that "$hit happens."
(Well now just what the ____ was he thinking??)

Before I blog off, I just heard on the news that someone was eating their clam chowder in a restaurant and found a condom in it!!!!! EEEEEEEYYYYYYYUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!
Goodnight folks!


I tried to post a cute url about how to tell if a cow has mad cow disease, but it won't post. so nevermind!!
I'm taking Theraflu and going back to bed with yet another head cold!!

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Throw away society!

I got this in an e-mail, and it touched home with me!! We are a throw away society!! I can remember saving aluminum foil, brown paper lunch sacks, dad making our bedroom furniture out of wooden fruit crates, mom making skirts out of old robes, (Mary Lou remembers one), curtains out of old sheets, then skirts out of old curtains, (she never made the button holes, and therefore we had to use safety pins to hold the skirts up. I can remember sometimes the safety pins would pop open and poke me in my waist !!! OUCH!!

" I grew up in the fifties with practical parents -- a Mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. ( She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it...) A Father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.......Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other. It was the time for fixing things -- a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful!...Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.

But then my Mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any 'more.' Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return.

So.....! While we have's best we love it....... and care for it........and fix it when it's broken....... and heal it when it's sick. This is true....for marriage....and old cars.....and children with bad report cards..and dogs with bad hips.....and aging parents.....and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep.......Like a best friend that moved away -- or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special..and so, we keep them close! " Like our new Blogging friends!!

Time to get ready for my big birthday dinner date with my sis!!

Thursday, January 08, 2004


I was just reading an article from kiro news "weird headlines" about a disabled man wheeling himself down the street in his wheelchair, with an open bottle of beer and an open bottle of whiskey! He was issued a DUI!!! Now doesn't that beat it all!!! It was a motorized wheelchair, so they issued the ticket!! It was later dropped, and he was fined $100.00 for other costs. Now that would be MY luck!!
I know a guy that was given a warning for riding his bike (that's bicicle, Don) too fast down a hill in a 25 MPH zone by a policeman using his outside speakers!! Now can you imagine riding your bicicle down a hill enjoying the wind blowing in your face and all of a sudden a loud voice tells you to slow down!!??? Egads, that would scare the poop right outa me!! "Yes, God, I hear you!! I will slow down!!
I guess if you are going to travel on a road no matter what means, you gotta abide by the rules, huh?!!?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Child Play!

Ah, snow seems to bring out the child in me and everyone I worked with today!! We ended up with about 4 inches. I took the company van out to shuttle people around that the buses couldn't get to because of the steep hills and icy roads. People said they felt bad for me having to drive in the snow!! Felt bad???? I had a blast doing it!! I LOVE the snow!! I cannot count the snowballs that were thrown at me at work in the parking lot! Everyone seemed in such a jolly mood despite the ammount of phone calls that we had with people asking if we were running today!! Just about everybody showed up in the office, just so we can enjoy the thrill of snow together!! We have a great team!! We are more a family than work buddies. I was in the office late tonight and when I headed out to get in my van a snowball goes whizzing by. Then I look at the van and the buswash crew had built a snowman on my hood by the antennal!! They are being overworked I see. I am such a mean supervisor!! I get no respect!! HAHAHAHA
I am sitting here at my computer listening to the sleet hit my window. It is 32 degrees now and supposed to get warmer over night and rain. Well it will certainly be an icy mess tomorrow!!
I love to listen to storms!! We never get thunder storms here, so when one rarely comes by in the summer about every three years, I sit and watch them in amazement!

It's SNOWING!!!!!!

It's SNOWING!!!! 1" so far, but MORE expected!! Then late this afternoon rain on our frozen ground, so it will be TREACHEROUS this evening!!!!!
Well I am off to work and probably shoveling snow and driving/sliding routes!!! Wish me luck!! Oh well, it is a company van, and I love being out there!!
I see my dear sweet sister found a picture of me and posted it on my site!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

Monday, January 05, 2004

Thought for the day:

" Life isn't like a box of's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow."

I love that one!! Ya listening Don?? :-}

Sunday, January 04, 2004

I hate it when I want to write something, and nothing comes to mind!! I was going to post our weather report, but My sister beat me to it!!
We are in for a cold two days!! It is supposed to warm up Tuesday after the snow, and rain. Since we have below freezing temperature for three days, it will freeze on impact!! It will be an ice skating rink out there!! I'm grateful I am no longer in the Fire Department now!! I'd be spending all night chasing accidents, chimney fires, etc. Now I sit home in my warm house listening to the scanner!! (I do kinda miss it). No wonder I am nearly crippled now!! 16 years bartending (carrying heavy cases of beer) 14 years of Firefighting, 10 years working on the Ambulance. I totally abused my body trying to be a a responsible part of my community. Ah well I have no regrets, just a bad back!!

Friday, January 02, 2004


I just wrote some very wise words and looked up at the monitor and they disappeared!! Oh well I will start over. (and I'm sure they will not sound wise again).
I usually do not make resolutions that I cannot achieve. I do not like to set myself up for failures.
*This year I want to work on being a better person and friend.
*I need to be a better listener.
*I need to forgive right away and not carry resentments.
*It is not for me to judge a person, if I do not agree with them, so what!!
*I want to work on being healthier. (If I lose weight, yahoo!!)
*I need to get the clutter out of my house!
*My goals are to get my yard organized and gravel put down in the back.
*I want to have laminate flooring put in my house.
*I want to pay off two credit cards and my loan.
*I will wake up each morning happy and looking forward to the day!
*I will go to sleep each night with gratitude for what I have and who I am.
*If I catch myself on a pitty pot, I will need to get out of that pit right away!!
*I will try not to show my anger.
Well that is enough for now I think!
I don't think they are unreachable goals. (well maybe the credit cards, but hope not!)
It is Friday night, YAHOO!!
until the next time...

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The Rifle - A Christmas Story

A feel good story to start out your New Year!!

The Rifle - A Christmas Story
Author: Unknown

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those that squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned that the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted so bad that year for Christmas.

We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. So after supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.

I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible; instead he bundled up and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't
think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up the big sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on. When we had exchanged the sideboards Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"

"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smokehouse and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be
Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us. It shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, and then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?" Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said, and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes
and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out. "We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said, then he turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring enough in to last for awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and, much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks and so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy filled my soul that I'd never known before. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord himself has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he were on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes. Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two older brothers and two older sisters were all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, 'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. So, Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Just then the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night: he had given me the best Christmas of my life.