Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Angel

Four years ago (three years ago? No, I think it was four...) we had crazazy snow and ice storms the week preceding Christmas. By the time I was ready to head Northeast to my parents' house, the kindly snowplows that cleaned my apartment building's parking lot had carefully piled snow, topped with ice, topped with more snow, right behind everyone's cars. My Saturn SL could only dream of getting over that mountain.

We had a "digging out" party in the parking lot one afternoon, where at least a half dozen tenants were in the parking lot at the same time. I didn't have my own snow shovel, so I asked a number of people if they would let me borrow theirs when they were finished. In true Christmas spirit, no one would commit to shovel-lending, although one kind neighbor did drive me to Meijer, where a frantic search led to zero snow shovels and a very frustrated Brooke.

I had called my parents a couple of times to let them know about my plight, only to find that they were stranded in a different way... they'd been without power for about a day.* (Fortunately this was before digital phones, so their phone worked just fine even though they were without power.) They encouraged me to keep trying to get my car out of the parking lot, and I scoured my apartment looking for innovative snow removal equipment.

Found: one aluminum softball bat.

Picture this: Drunken Monkey outside, aluminum softball bat in hand, kneeling over the pile of snow and ice behind her car, beating valiantly at said pile and brushing tiny clumps of snow and ice to the side. Four years later (three years?), it's kind of funny to think about. Then, it was a desperate attempt to get the heck out of dodge.

So I'm beating and brushing, whacking and wiping, smacking and smoothing, and thinking just how ridiculous I must look, when an old beat-up sedan drove through the parking lot and parked near the dumpster. A middle-aged man with long hair tied back with a bandana and wearing a Harley Davidson jacket got out, along with a junior-high-ish-aged boy. He came over to me and asked me if I needed a push. I could have kissed him. With his help (and the slight indentation I had made in the snow/ice pile with my softball bat), the car made it over the hump and I drove it over to a section of parking lot that had been completely cleared. I quickly packed my stuff and boogied out of here as quickly as possible.

I've lived here ever since and have never seen that guy again. I call him my
Harley's Christmas Angel.


This year, however, brought a completely different kind of angel. I drove Northeast again this year to spend Christmas with Mom and Aunt Karyl Lynn. We had a few great and lazy days, with all sorts of good food and silly puppies and two seasons of
Psych on DVD. However, the night before Christmas I noticed that something was missing from the nativity scene in front of Mom's tree. Where was the angel?

Ah.. there she is. Knitasha got an angel outfit for Christmas this year, and I'd say she pulls it off pretty well. What do you think?

Aunt Karyl Lynn and I took her to
Calla Lily Yarn & Gifts on Friday to show Donna, but she was out of town. So we looked around and might have picked up a thing or two. (I'll post about Christmas yarn in the next couple days, promise.)


Last year I had another experience with a Christmas angel. I held open the door at
Panera for a man on a very rainy day a few days before Christmas. He got in line in front of me on the sandwich side. It was one of those days where you spend the whole time in line thinking you probably should have gotten in the other line because it's moving faster, but as soon as you think you might step over there, three more groups of people get in that other line and you end up staying where you are, but you wish you'd made the move just a moment sooner.

Anyway, this guy in front of me picked up a handful of gift cards as he got up to the register, and I couldn't help thinking, "You have got to be kidding me... this is going to take for. ev. er." All I was going to do was get a drink and play on my laptop for a little bit. And this guy was going to waste a good... what, two minutes of my oh-so-valuable time? So I'm being a rotten jerk inside my head, and he turns around and hands me one of the gift cards he just bought, and thanks me once again for holding the door open for him.

I picked my jaw up off the floor, mentally smacked myself, and gave him a big hug. He told me to have a blessed Christmas, and he went about his merry way. Talk about a Christmas-spirit attitude adjustment.

Have you ever met a Christmas angel? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.


*All together, my parents were without power for more than 80 hours that Christmas. All my dad got for Christmas that year was a stack of DVDs about two feet tall. And really, there's only so much reading you can do from the back of a DVD case before you have to put it down. We spent much of Christmas day squeezing the foot of one of Mom's presents... a stuffed dog who sang "Singing in the Rain" while tapping his toes and swinging his umbrella back and forth.

Regardless, it was MUCH nicer spending Christmas with them and cooking hamburgers on the wood stove than it would have been spending Christmas alone in my apartment. Memories!!


Kimmie said...

I met a Christmas angel once and her name was......BROOKE HIGGINS! What a coincidence! I wonder if I'll ever see her again... :) (I miss you!)

Kara said...

I heart when Brooke posts blogs. :)

Anonymous said...

I met a couple Christmas Angels this year. I was flying to see family with my nearly-one-year-old daughter and my husband and our flight got canceled. We got a new flight with a layover in another city. We ended up sleeping in the airport there where a man lent us his nice goose-down coat for my daughter to sleep on. The next morning, as we waited for our next flight, another man overheard my husband and I talking about our seats not being together. He offered to trade seats with me. Merry Christmas he said as he handed me his first class seat.

Donna said...

This is such a great story, and Knitasha looks fabulous - belated happy new year, Brooke!