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Snow and the Spirit of Christmas

Updated on September 19, 2015
Light snow | Dec 10, 2012
Light snow | Dec 10, 2012 | Source

First off, let me explain. I dislike cold weather. In fact, I can honestly say that I hate it! While some people believe it is easier to warm a body than cool it off, I have to disagree. I can lie on a bed mattress covered in flannel sheets, wearing long underwear, under both an electric blanket and comforter, and still be cold. If it’s hot, a quick shower will cool me in an instant!

Luckily, I live in Texas, where it doesn’t get all that cold. At least, most of the year it doesn’t. In December, the temperatures begin to drop into the 30s, and may stay there until March. We might even get an inch or so of snow. Usually, though, we get quite a fluctuation in temperatures, so I don’t have to hibernate all that long.

In December 2012, it snowed on the 10th day of the month. It resulted in a light dusting on the lawn, and lasted only for the day. I admit that it was pretty, but was glad that it had disappeared by the next day. I do enjoy the quietness that comes with a blanket of fresh snow, but again, it’s cold out.

This leads me to Christmas Day, 2012

All holidays, including Christmas, are important to my family. It is the time we get together to catch up on current life events, eat delicious food, and reminisce. It doesn’t matter how far away we live, we will be there. The only way to have an “approved absence” is to be on our deathbeds.

My husband passed away in 2010, and my Mother suffered a stroke in early 2012. While I was having a hard time dealing with both, I was looking forward to spending Christmas at my parent’s. My parents, brother, sister, niece, nephew, step-son and grandson would be there. We’d enjoy a nice lunch and talk for awhile, then exchange gifts. I have never cared much about receiving gifts, but I do enjoy giving them.

On Christmas morning, I awoke early and loaded up my pickup with gifts. Before leaving the house, I checked the weather report once more. There was a slight chance of snow in the afternoon. If I hurried through the meal and gift giving, I’d be home before the roads got bad.

My parents live 69 miles from me, and it takes about 90 minutes to get to their house. I grabbed my purse and coat, warmed up my truck, and headed down the road. The sky was a bit on the gray side, and the wind was blowing, but inside my truck, I was toasty warm!

Disaster Strikes!

About 35 miles into my trip, my pickup began overheating. The gauge went into the red zone, and steam began pouring out from under my hood. I took the next exit, and there was a convenience store / gas station on the other side of the highway. I was amazed that it was open on Christmas Day!

I parked next to the store, turned the engine off, then called my parents. My dad answered the phone with a cheery “Merry Christmas!”, but his voice changed to a disappointed tone when I explained what had occurred. He told me to call the American Automobile Association (AAA) to have the truck towed to their house.

This was not a good idea, as I explained to him. Yes, I could get towed to their house, but how would I get back home? I have farm animals to take care of, and with the potential for snow, I need to be available to take care of them. He reluctantly agreed, told me they would miss me, and asked me to call him back with updates.

A Blessing

After hanging up with my dad, I entered the store. At this point, I was about to freeze to death! I called AAA, and they agreed to dispatch a tow truck. However, since it was Christmas, and there was not a truck available in my area, it would be a 2-3 hour wait for a truck to come from a neighboring city.

This gave me plenty of time to get to know the store clerk. She was a young lady in her late 20s who, along with her husband and 2 small children, had moved to Texas several months prior to take care of ailing parents. Her husband had been out of work for about 6 weeks, so she had taken this job to support her family.

I asked her if it bothered her to work on Christmas day, and was surprised by her answer. “Of course not! I have been blessed with a loving family, a roof over my head, and a steady job.” She went on to explain how the store was short-handed, and there was no one else to work that day. She was pulling 2 shifts, and was happy to do so. “If I didn’t work today, the store would be closed.”

I was the one who was blessed. If not for her willingness to work, I’d be freezing outside in my truck, waiting for a tow.

Homeward Bound

After about two hours, the clouds opened up, and the snow began to fall. The temperature had dropped below 32 degrees, so the snow began sticking to the roads. Now I had to face another fear: driving on ice. I know that I am not a good driver when it comes to ice. I certainly hoped the tow driver was!

At last, the truck arrived, and my pickup was loaded for the trip home. I hopped into the cab with the driver, who introduced himself as “Steve”. I asked him if he knew where he was taking me, and he replied that he knew the general area. I gave him directions, and we began the slow trek home on the icy highway.

The snow was falling heavily, and we couldn’t see far outside the windshield. I was a bit nervous, so I began asking Steve questions. He told me that he was 22 years old, single, and had two roommates. Both of his roommates were spending Christmas with their families, so he was going to be alone that day. Although he wasn’t scheduled to work, he volunteered so others could be off.

I asked him how he liked his job, and he said it was great. He got to help people in their time of need, and it paid pretty well. He was working his way through college, and his employers scheduled him around his school schedule. He wasn’t a partier, like his roommates. Instead, it was important for him to earn a degree so he could one day provide for a family.

The last 10 miles of the trip were fairly treacherous. It is a winding, 2-lane country road with a lot of hills. While it was a bit slippery, I realized I wasn’t as nervous as before. Steve was a competent driver, so I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery. It was almost magical at how quiet it was. Snow blanketed everything, and it seemed so pure and clean. (I learned later that we received 4 inches!)

Snow covered road
Snow covered road | Source

Give and You Shall Receive

We arrived home safely, and Steve hopped out of the cab to unload my pickup. He had gloves, but no coat! When I asked if he was cold, he replied that he had given his coat to a needy person at his church, and hadn’t had time to purchase another. So while he proceeded to unchain my truck, I ran into the house.

Opening the closet, I found one of my late husband’s coats. I had been hesitant to give away anything that belonged to him. However, I knew that this was the time to do so. Steve had helped me, and it was time to return the favor. Steve put on the coat, finished unloading my truck, then wished me a Merry Christmas. As he began to remove the jacket, I told him it was a gift. I handed him a $25.00 tip, and sent him on his way.

Source

My Christmas didn’t turn out the way I expected. I did miss spending time with my family. Time is so short with the ones you love.

But as I looked out my window, watching Steve drive away in the snow, I was reminded what this holiday is all about. It’s the spirit of giving, of sacrifice and rebirth. And a little snow, or cold, doesn’t hurt!

© 2014 Country Sunshine

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    • Country-Sunshine profile image
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      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      This Christmas turned out a lot better. I spent it with my family, and it was actually (somewhat) warm out! I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas, ladyguitarpicker, and wish you all the best in 2015!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      I always try to keep it in mind that other people may have more worries than myself. It's all in the perspective. I hate the cold winters, but at least I have a roof over my head, food, and clothes to keep me warm. Those people I encountered were grateful to be out in the cold, and I'm happy they were! Paying it forward is what life is all about... sometimes we just need a reminder. Best wishes to you in the coming year, oceansnsunsets!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I enjoyed your story it was a good one. Hope this past Christmas was great for you and that you got to see the rest of your family. Nice Hub, Happy New Year, Stella

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I really enjoyed reading your hub about the snow that Christmas in Texas. How neat to come across such special people during a hard time, as the young lady and that young man. How special it is, that you gave him your husbands coat to help keep him warm. I think we may never know the long term effects of helping others, due to the ripple effect that it can give. The sacrifices that day were felt and the thankful spirit of those people only added to the joy it seems. Happy New Year!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      I hope that I make it to my parent's house again this year. My Mom & husband might not be there in person, but they will be in spirit. However, if something keeps me away once again, I know the spirit of Christmas will be with me no matter what. Thank you for the visit and comment, Pstraubie.. Merry Christmas!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
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      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Torrilynn. I hope you have a great Christmas!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      I am probably the biggest whiner when it comes to cold weather, but I know that so many others have it worse than I! It was a good reminder to me of what life is really all about. Merry Christmas to you, Jodah!!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Jackie! Sometimes things don't go the way you want, but if you keep your eyes and heart open, good things can come your way. Thanks for adding my story to your winter challenge!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      What a wonderful way to spend Christmas...receiving and giving....what a blessing

      Angels are on the way to you

      And yes, our time with our loved ones is so very precious.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 2 years ago

      Great story and perfect for the holidays. Voted up

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a wonderful story C.S. and has a great message for us all on what Christmas is all about. We tend to complain about things that don't go the way we want, but there are always others worse off as well as those who just accept things as they come. Merry Christmas.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      What a beautiful story!! There were blessings galore that day it sounds like. I assume you want this in the challenge so I will add it there now. It is terrific and thanks so much for adding it. You should have told me days ago! But better late than never and I know you are going to get some reads on this!!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Although your holiday didn't turn out the way you expected, God sent some pretty terrific people along your path with blessings to follow. Your story made me tear up but in a nice way. A reminder of how there are good things in this world if we'd only take time to receive them. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

      Wishing you a great Christmas full of love, joy and peace.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Sometimes we need a bit of reminder - or perspective. I tend to whine about the cold quite a bit, but some people do not have coats. I wasn't too happy that my truck broke down. It wasn't my choice to not spend Christmas with my family, but two other blessed souls did make that choice. And I am grateful to them, because they reminded me of the meaning of Christmas.

      My mother has since passed away, and while the holidays are not quite the same, I am thankful for the memories past, and those yet to come. A "Merry Christmas" to you, ML!

    • profile image

      M L Morgan 2 years ago

      'I was reminded what this holiday is all about. It’s the spirit of giving, of sacrifice and rebirth. And a little snow, or cold, doesn't hurt! '

      That is so very true and what a lovely, heartfelt story you've shared with us. I will share it with friends. I really felt so warmed by reading your words. I'm truly sorry to read about your mother and your husband and I wish you all the best for this Christmas xx

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, Billy! It did turn out to be a great Christmas after all. Although it happened 2 years ago, the memories of that day have stuck with me. It is a reminder to look beyond myself, embrace others, and give, give, give! Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, that was a beautiful story and a marvelous Christmas. Thank you for sharing that with us. I'm a sucker for these stories at this time of year, so now I'll go wipe my eyes and continue on with my day.

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