Monthly Archives: November 2011

Below Zero Lockout

It’s nighttime, it’s below zero . . . and I’m standing outside Maria’s home, finding a little shelter inside the screen door. 

Tina has obediently settled down for a good sleep, recorded birdsongs ushering her into dreamland. I’ve stepped outside to once again try to negotiate the cords and plug in our car.

I’m pretty sure the door is unlocked, so no need to check.

After failing to get the little indicator light at the end of the block heater cord to come on, I decide to go back in the house.

Oops! The door’s locked! The car is locked, too. However, my husband, Richard, has been coaching me as I’ve tried to figure out why the combination of cords isn’t working. And that’s why my cell phone is in my coat pocket instead of in my purse.

I call Lisa and arrange for her to go to Maria’s work and pick up her house key. I call our son, Rick, to come and figure out how to plug in the car. (Richard is out of town.)

And I meditate on Scripture as I wait. “In everything give thanks.” I’m thankful for my helpful, good-natured, forgiving family.

I’m thankful for my heavy gray sweater, a Christmas gift from our oldest daughter; long burgundy coat, a gift from my parents; white scarf, knitted by my mother-in-law; and my tall, warm boots, a Christmas gift from a friend.

I’m also thankful for what a good story this will make!

Rick arrives first, and confirms my suspicion that mechanical people have good imaginations. I hadn’t done anything wrong by plugging the block heater cord into Maria’s extension cord and the extension cord into the outlet on her house. Perfectly sound.

Except that it didn’t work. What I should have done is plug Maria’s extension cord into the block heater, and our block heater cord into the house!


Then Lisa arrives with the precious key.

The next morning, I tell Tina the funny story about me standing outside banging on the door, calling her name and ringing the doorbell. She’s amazed.

And I also pick up long underwear, a headband, boot liners and heavy socks for Richard. When I get home he has a gift for me, too. He’s cleared our driveway.

Winter’s here!

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I Thessalonians 5:18


Hallowed Halloween

Not being partial to witches or candy, I’ve had little use for Halloween.

But this one is different.

Maria has taken Tina Trick or Treating before going to work, leaving Tina and me to give out the treats.

We have two different gospel tracts, “Halloween Maze” and the four spiritual laws for children. Maria told Tina she can give three or four mini chocolate bars to each child, so Tina makes little piles of four bars and two tracts. We make sure the light is on.

Tina’s too excited to want supper, but I manage to get an odd assortment of foods into her–broccoli, butterscotch pudding and a tiny triangle of pizza.

Listen! There are children across the street!

But they don’t come to Tina’s house. Hearing more children across the street, I open the door and call out “Hi! Happy Halloween!”

Still no takers.

Tina and I pray for children to come, and soon little groups of two, three and four Halloweeners arrive at the door.

During a lull we notice there’s only one “Halloween Maze” tract left, and Tina asks me to read it to her. Then another group comes and the last tract goes.

Only when the giving is over does Tina remember that she, too, has candy, and shows me her stash.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35