Springbrook is one of the best places for me to go and let go of anything bothering me. Slow walks or fast jaunts, it is so peaceful here and my heart and mind can rest for a short time. Autumn and Spring are the most beautiful here. (I could hear the turtle singing, “I believe I can fly…”)
Ever since I’ve had a job, Michael W. Smith’s Christmas concert has been a Christmas tradition for me. I missed a couple years due to working on Saturdays, but last year I was able to make it, and convinced my friend Joyce to go with me! Usually I get front row tickets, but this year we were waaaaaaaaaay back in the back. But it was still so much fun and the night did not disappoint! The orchestra and singers were amazing! I always love when one of the ladies sing All Is Well. I’d never seen Amy Grant in concert, so that was neat! It was a fabulous night!
The final three months of 2014 were super busy with work, Janet visiting from Germany, and so many events my head is spinning a bit!
October was pretty much the busiest month of the year. Janet flew in from Germany on the last day of September, and we pretty much were always going somewhere, doing something for the next 18 days! We made the trip to Willmar and Sisseton one weekend, saw Hello Dolly at Chanhassen Dinner Theater with our friends Miriam and Kathy, and the tip-top highlight of the year: seeing Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly at the Fine Line!
After Janet went home to Germany, things didn’t slow down! We made applesauce, the OCC Regional office moved to the Processing Center, and my church had a women’s retreat!
November was busy with setting up the PC, National Collection Week, Thanksgiving, and the start of volunteers streaming though our doors to start processing 706,000+ shoe boxes to be delivered to kids in Belize, Ecuador, India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda! I also was privileged to see Celtic Thunder in concert with my friend Kathy.
My OCC office cohorts, taken by Sinouane
December was full-steam ahead with PC time, Warehouse Crud floating around the office, not much snow, moving back to the office, job ending, Christmas and my birthday, making donuts, and then…the end of 2014 came and went silently while I slept.
Twas the week before processing, when all through the warehouse
All the workers were stirring, yes, even a mouse.
The decorations were hung on the trees with great care
Knowing volunteers soon would be there.
The boxes were piled all snug on their pallets,
While visions of blessing kids danced in their heads.
The Collection Door opens, more boxes come in.
Operation Christmas Child makes us all grin.
When out on the driveway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the entrance I flew on that date,
Turned on the lights and threw open the gate.
The moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature train, driving by with great cheer.
With a little black pickup, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it had to be Rick.
More rapid than eagles his minions they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Sarah! now, Kelly! now, Eggy and Kandi!
On, Nicole! On, Rick-O! On S’rena and Dara!
To the front of the crowd! to the edge of the stage!
Now sing away! Sing away! Sing away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So into the trailers the cartons they flew,
With boxes full of Toys, and lots of prayer too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in my ear
The singing and laughing of each volunteer.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the slick walkway Phil came with a bound.
He was dressed in a shoe box from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all colored with red and bright green.
A bundle of boxes he processed with friends,
And he loved taping boxes, the last hand to process them.
Her eyes-how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the fur of her coat was as white as the snow.
The stump of a tree he held tight in his teeth,
And the chocolate encircled his feet like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly!
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And processed the boxes, then turned to the clerk.
And folding his hands and bowing his head,
And giving a nod, a blessing prayer he said!
They were bright red and green, piled high on the shelf,
And I laughed when I saw them, in spite of myself!
They were processed so quickly, and went the world ’round.
I happily knew they were Uganda bound.
He sprang to his truck, to his group gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them all shout, ‘ere they drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”