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Night Owl MudCat Thank You - Part II (99* d) RE: MudCat Thank You - Part II 03 Apr 02

Next "installment"......

Backing up a bit... last summer, I met a new neighbor. He had stopped by to introduce himself, and initially was a VERY nervous little boy. When I first met him, he puffed out his chest and stood up straight.....and announced that his name was Jon, he was the minister's son from next door, and did I need help with the yardwork. He's been working for me, once a week, ever since.

We talk a lot, while we're working, and I quickly learned that he was saving any money he made, to buy a guitar and take guitar lessons. (So, of course....I gave him a raise.) He's a hard worker and some of the neighbors, watching him work here, hired him as well. By Christmas he had saved enough for his first guitar.

The week before the "ornaments" started arriving, Jon and I made plans to go pick out a tree.......even though I had NO idea at the time what I was going to put on it...... I JUST wanted a tree.. When he arrived, I was in the midst of one of many "kitchen utensil giggle attacks".

I told him that I had something REALLY fun to show him, and as we walked toward the table, I mentioned that, in the fire, I had lost all my Christmas decorations. I looked at the table......giggling......and looked at Jon...who looked upset. He's a very quiet, sensitive kid, and my immediate thought was that the reality of the fire and what I lost was upsetting him. The following Sunday, I learned what was upsetting him.

Walking up my driveway, that Sunday, were three children and an adult, all carrying bags. The adult is a friend and teaches Sunday school at Jon's church. (Jon wasn't with them.)The oldest girl made a "speech" and unpacked the bags.......and then I found out why Jon had looked SO upset.

He had approached the teacher weeks earlier and told her about the fire, (she already knew).....and asked her and the 5th grade class if they could make Christmas decorations for me. Jon had been upset because....when he saw ALL the decorations I had been getting in the mail.....he thought there'd be no room for their decorations.....

Those bags were FULL of the most creative, precious works of art I've EVER seen.

Did you know, that if you take a popsicle stick......glue a tiny red furball 2/3s of the way up on it.....and wrap a brown pipe-cleaner once around the top of makes a reindeer? "confession"......with apologies to my "Secret Santas".

When Jon came again to work, we (he) picked out my tree......and we decorated it with the artwork he and the other children had made....and one potato peeler. A friend had also found "bubble lights" to replace the antique ones I lost...and we put those on the tree as well.

That tree went in the living the 17th century part of the house. The room simply smiled and took on a "spiritual" glow throughout the holidays.

The "kitchen utensil ornaments" never made it onto a tree.

Jon and I hung them, and other special treasures Mudcat "elves" had sent, on walls........ in doorways.....and in the windows. The potato peelers stayed beside candles on the table.....sparkling and reflecting the candlelight. My kitchen and dining room remained warm, giggle rooms until well-after the holidays.
Next year I'll be putting up two trees.

I have pictures of the children's tree......(complete with an "Elmo Jesus" glued onto a styrofoam cup).

"THEY" say that timing is everything in life.

Kat had been giving me repeated "lectures" about learning to receive "graciously" and to JUST ACCEPT the packages that were coming in the mail.

THANK-YOU KAT........AND my Secret Santas"

for giving me ALL the practice with that by the time the children came.....I was receptive and my heart was open to them.

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