Bless My Heart

Did you ever notice how Christmas seems like a great time to think about every-single-little-tiny one of our blessings? 

  • Family? Blessing.
  • Children? Blessing.
  • House? Blessing.
  • Heat? Blessing. 
  • Vehicle? Blessing.
  • Gas for the vehicle? Blessing. 
  • A warm place to sleep? Blessing. 
  • Being able to use a bathroom that’s not in a public building because there aren’t any private bathrooms on the street? Blessing. 
  • Food on the table? Blessing. 
  • A visit from Santa Claus? Blessing. 

A few days before Christmas, I went to the store in our small town. When leaving the store, I saw a man who was holding a sign, standing on the corner. 

We’ve lived in the town 15 years and there’s only been less than 10 times I’ve ever seen someone with a sign and because it’s a rare occasion here, I notice. 

For a few weeks, I’d had some money in my back pocket, I wasn’t spending it, just had it there. I pulled up and gave him my offer of a few bucks. He was beyond grateful. As he walked back towards the curb, I asked him what his sign said. 

“Need propane and a blanket.”

My heart broke. A blanket? Someone needs a blanket? You know what I mean? How many extra blankets do we have in a closet that rarely get used? 

I reached back in my pocket. 

That night our furnace started making racket. The times it happened before left us with no heat. Uh oh. The low forecasted for that night? 7 degrees. 

Thinking that the furnace would go out in the middle of the night, I was soooooo thankful for the blankets we have. I scrambled them all together and piled them on the bed. 

We didn’t lose our heat and our kind repairman arrived in the morning and fixed the furnace. 

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. We were up at my parents and Santa needed some batteries for Christmas morning. I went 20 miles to Iowa to get them. When I left the store, something caught my eye. 

On the corner by the stoplight was a mom with 2 little boys, who were blowing bubbles. A pretty joyous thing to see on Christmas Eve, until I saw her sign. 

I’m not exactly sure what the whole thing said, but what I saw was “I have 3 children and need food.”

I had $10, so I went to the dollar store. I did pretty darn good with that ten bucks. 10 packages of cookies in one box for $1. 2 cans of soup for $1.20. 2 packages of crackers for $2. A box of cereal for $1. And, 3 of those red handled plastic candy canes with candy in them for $3. Grand total? $9 and some change. 

I drove back to where she was and told her I had something for her. She had only one question. 

“Food?”

I handed her the stuff I bought. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing, but just looking into her eyes, there just seemed to be an understanding, you know? You never want your babies hungry. 

English clearly wasn’t her native language, but I’m sure what she did say, will stay with me always and forever. It was genuine, heartfelt, and simple:

“Bless my heart.”


Love and Light

Are you in the thick of the holiday rush? In the last minute scramble to  cross off to-do lists? On a cleaning frenzy right before the guests arrive?

I love this time of year. Just think, in a couple of days, the countdown to Christmas will reset to 365 days. Which means if it’s only a couple of days…

It’s almost Christmas!

This week has actually been a relaxing one for us. Our oven is still broken and believe it or not, that’s been quite a gift. Not being able to bake freed up tons of time.

Instead of having my cookbooks sprawled about, we made our usual peanut butter balls, but this time we fancied them up with chocolate chips and cake decorations. They are sooooo cute!

Wednesday evening, we took a drive. About 15 miles from here is one of the most festive houses I’ve ever seen. They have hundreds of those blow up holiday lights.

Every year since Little Bit was a little bit, we have slowly driven by there. There’s so much for the eyes to take in. Last year, we drove through their circle driveway and this time, we parked and got out.

Talk about some fun! We were both smiling from ear to ear. Almost every character you can think of was there including Mickey, Rudolph, Hello Kitty, Santa, Hocas Pocas, Snoopy, and more. Can you imagine being a kid there?

They also had lights that moved about and looked like glitter on the ground. Oh my, we loved running and dancing in them! What wonderful memories we made!

I hope that whatever you do this weekend fills your heart with joy, love and light. 

Merry Christmas.