Friday, January 7, 2011

Being Gifted and Other Things

Snowmen fall from heaven... unassembled.  
Author Unknown

There was a knock on my back door not long after I moved here, and it was Sara. She's been part of my life ever since. We've day tripped together to discover off-the-beaten-path covered bridges. We've shopped till we dropped and traveled to visit family. 

In her thirties, now, Sara fell from a barn loft onto the cement floor when she was four. The doctors let the family know they didn't expect her to live. But her father saw it a different way. He was determined that she would, and she did. Though she didn't fare as well physically, she's smart as a whip, and her vocabulary is one we'd all hope to have. 

Sometimes when Sara pays me a visit she rides in on her scooter, but it's been put away for the winter. Yesterday she came visiting on foot and bringing a gift. Since we'd both been busy and hadn't seen each other before Christmas, gift giving was delayed. I was happy to be gifted with a fine china mug, and Sara was happy to be gifted with a triple set of WVU tees that will hang to her knees. She's a shorty, you see. Shrinkage from washing might make them shorter, but they will still probably hang low on Sara.

Where does the white go when the snow melts?  ~Author Unknown

So, Cynthia didn't get the kiss I was expecting from Father Tim, but it was just as good to read that he kissed her hair and brushed her cheek with his lips. Maybe he will navigate to her lips in the next book, A Light in the Window. He's off to Ireland, now, on a much needed vacation after twelve years (or was it thirteen?) ministering to his flock and the other residents of Mitford. He's promised Cynthia to think about her request to "go steady".

During this laid back but eventful year in Mitford, Father Tim, an Episcopalian priest, developed diabetes, counseled a friend and his lady love through a heart transplant, listened to the romantic and sad secrets of the eldest member of his congregation, took a huge black dog and a homeless boy under his wing and his next door neighbor into his heart. 

Sixty years old in At Home in Mitford, Father Tim can show some jealousy (Cynthia has another suitor), become angry (somebody stole his dog), succumb to temptation (marmalade cake) and ignore warning signs (his diabetes). Today, I'll return to Mitford through Jan Karon's written words and my imagination by way of A Light in the Window. Father Tim should be rested and well after his sojourn to Ireland, ready to encounter more eccentrics in the wonderful town of Mitford.

Snowflakes are kisses from heaven. 
Author Unknown

Though for most of the day snow flurried through the valley, there was no accumulation, except for the hilltops far beyond the river. The highest points are always the first to be covered and always the last to melt away. 
Strips of snow still line the driveway and rest mounded in heaps from being plowed or shoveled during last week's snowfall. More snow will come, but maybe not as much (a time to knock on wood). The season is young, not even in middle age. Winter isn't done with us yet - not even close.

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together! 
Author Unknown
And this was Thursday in the valley.