Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yes, Bullet Hole, there is a Santa!


Things are tough everywhere. We know it. And likely to get worse before it gets better. We know that, too.

Several weeks back the publishing industry experienced its own 'Black Wednesday' complete with lay offs, restructuring, merging of lines, etc.

Yep. It's tough all over.

Which brings us to Christmas, 2008.

With the long-term health of our economy so uncertain and the value of the U.S. dollar so up and down it would make a yo-yo dizzy, it's a good thing the true reason for the season isn't linked to stock prices and 401K values.

A real good thing.

Still, when one sets out to shop for family and friends, the reality of a shrinking family budget can morph even the jolliest of Christmas elves into one of those homicidal gremlins from the seasonal horror movie.

Like I said. It's a good thing Christmas isn't about things.

Recently, the reason for the season and the generous nature of people was brought home to me in a big way. As I posted last week, my ancient washer and dryer gave up the ghost within a week of each other and I was forced to go shopping for large appliances when I should have been shopping for stocking stuffers.

Sigh.

After a rather disappointing experience with a rather rude salesman at one of the leading department store chains, I decided to shop closer to home. My brother recommended an appliance center in a town ten miles from my home. He'd done business with the store and was very satisfied. So, I drove over and purchased a washer and dryer from them.

They were to deliver the set last Friday afternoon. They were there Johnny-on-the-spot, a pleasant surprise in and of itself. The two appliance specialists were over-the-top friendly--and appropriately apologetic--when they determined the plumbing leading to the washing machine from the basement was just a hash mark from the stone age on the timeline.

Nice.

I was bummed out. They would have to take the washer back until I made arrangements to have a plumber come and run a PVC connection that brought me out of the 19th Century.

Great. Three kids. No washer. And a plumber's bill.

Merry Christmas, Bullet Hole.

I called my plumber and, to his credit, he promised to come over the next day--a Saturday--and 'take a look' at the situation.

Here's where the story gets good.

Friday evening my phone rang. It was one of the nice young men who came to bring and install the appliances. He was wondering if I would mind if he came over the next day to run the plumbing for me. FREE OF CHARGE.
I almost dropped the phone.

The young man explained that he and his family would like to come over and do this for us as an outreach from their church at Christmas time.

Something else happened that doesn't occur too often.

Bullet Hole Bacus was speechless.

That's right.

Without words.

Dumbstruck.

Write it down, folks, it's not likely to occur again soon.

The next afternoon this young man, his wife and two boys arrived with the store truck and proceeded to run the plumbing from my washer to the basement. Just because they wanted to do a good deed at Christmas.

On a Saturday.

When they could have been spending time with their family.

I was humbled.

And moved.

And uplifted by the love of God's people.

So, to Grace Fellowship Church in Pella, Iowa, and to Brad and Erin Rolffs and their two sons, thank you!

Thank you for reminding me so amazingly--and timely--of the true reason for this season.

Love.

And I promise I'll pass it on!

Merry Christmas!

So what good deeds have you been the recipient of that have really touched your heart? What 'reason-for-the-season' moments have you participated in or experienced?

Share and share alike.

'Tis the season!

~Bullet Hole~

18 comments:

Kristi said...

Hi Kathy. What a wonderful thing that family did for you. It makes you realize there really are still nice people out there. Have a wonderful holiday.

Christie Craig said...

Great post!

Christmas is about giving. But when you give of yourself, you time, your kindness, well, it's always the best.

Thank you so much for sharing this, Kathy!!!

CC

terrio said...

This had me tearing up. *sniff* What fantastic people. Renews your faith in humankind, ya know?

Back in 2005, I was going through one of the most difficult times of my life. New apartment, new job (which didn't pay enough for the new apartment), and a vehicle with a broken transmission going into repo. Let's just say, things were bad.

But a co-worker, someone I barely knew, took me out to her car one day to show me a trunk full of presents. They were all for my daughter. Then she'd managed to get another co-worker to give me his tickets (great seats!) to a performance of The Lion King on stage. Add to this the gift card to a local restaurant she knew would be open on Christmas and this woman handed us our holiday.

A week after Christmas that year, an angel knocked on my motel room door just outside Knoxville where I'd gone to pick up my daughter. He handed me 2 crisp $100 bills telling me God wanted me to have them. I tried to refuse them but he gave them to me anyway. That was exactly the amount of money I needed to get on my feet. I never saw the man again but I'll never forget his face.

Miracles and angels come along more often than we realize. I'm happy to hear these four wonderful angels came your way.

Merry Christmas, Kathy!

Gemma Halliday said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Hurray for the Rolffs!

I'll admit the nicest thing I think I've done fr a stranger lately is wave someone in front of me on the freeway. Not quite the same. This post is inspiring, though!

~Gemma

Linda C said...

Kathy,
About 10 or so years ago my husband and I were coming home from my parents cottage which is about 1/2 hour from home and got rear ended at a red light. We were hit so hard we pushed the car in front of us.

Thank god no one was hurt. However, my Blazer was. I couldn't drive it and it had to be towed. Did I mention it is 11:00 at night. We didn't know anyone to call to get home. Out of the blue a gentlemen pulls up in a beat up SUV and says he heard about the accident on his CB radio and offers to take us home.

I thinking "I don't know this guy". However he gives us his busness card from a Senior's tour group (He was their Coordinator). So we let him take us home. He wouldn't take any money just our thanks.

I keep thinking he was our guardian angel. I'll never forget that night.

Hope you have a wonderfull holiday. Linda

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, man, you made me cry too! In a good way. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Hey, Kristi!

Yes, I was really blown away by the totally unexpected, selfless gesture. Needless to say, it was just what I needed to get me in the true spirit of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Truer words were never written, Christie. Christmas IS all about giving of yourself--and that doesn't necessarily mean a token that comes with a ribbon and a bow.

I think such gifts will be especially meaningful this year.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

WOW! What an incredible story, Terrio. And to have those amazing servants appear in your life when you needed them the most is truly inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing this.

As Linus so aptly told his pal, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Amen!

Merry Christmas, Terrio!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Never underestimate the effect one such 'you-first' moment in traffic has on a person's day and outlook, Gemma. I commute 45 minutes each day and see a lot of rude drivers. One nice one can get your day off to a great start.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Yet another testament to that giving spirit that costs us each so little, but can make a HUGE difference in the lives of others, Linda! Thanks for sharing! So glad no one was hurt in the accident.

Have a safe, warm, and lovely Christmas!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Sometimes we all need a good cry, Tori, and this incident provided the perfect opportunity.

~Bullet Hole, speaking from experience~

Keri Ford said...

That's awesome, Kathy! Most of what I do is let people pull out in front of me, or slow down so they can change lanes in front of me. I know it makes me happy.

Kathy Bacus said...

Wish I'd 'run into' more drivers like you on my morning and evening commutes, Keri. I'd forgotten how ugly it can get on the drives in and home.

Croikey!

~Bullet Hole~

Shel said...

Earlier this week, during a huge snow storm I ended up stranded at the train station, no taxis to be had for at least 2 hours. I was only 2-3 miles from where I had left my car, but 2-3 miles with my rolley briefcase in a snow storm (which makes it very hard for the briefcase to roll, I discovered) is not pleasant.

A bus pulled into the train station and I figured what the heck. I went over and asked the driver if he was going anywhere near where I needed to be. He said no, but he could make an exception and get me about a block from my office. Sweet! As we approached he asked where I was going exactly and ended up stopping traffic to let me out across the street from my office. Thanks Pace Bus Guy!

Then the plow driver saw me run into the parking lot and came over and cleared all around my car so I could get out of the lot.

After having spent the day dealing with other lawyers, it was nice to be reminded of the kindness of strangers...

Happy Holidays!

Heather said...

Wow, what a great story, Kathy! It's nice to know there are people like that out there. Merry Christmas!

Kathy Bacus said...

Oh, wow! Love your story, Shel! You certainly ran into two good deed doers that day!

And Mother Nature can put the brakes on the 'winter storm events' already. Winter hasn't even officially started and we're back in the pattern of snow/ice storms every several days.

I spent three hours shoveling today with more snow set to move in tomorrow night.

Blah...

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Heather! It does warm a person's heart to see and experience such selfless acts of generosity.

~Bullet Hole~