Archives

Aunt Gilda’s Christmas Gift

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”

It’s time for my annual Christmas and Holiday greeting to all my friends…four and two legged. The Geezer has written a new one that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

 

Aunt Gilda’s Christmas Gift

 

If I could relive one day of my life…at one place…whenever I wished, it would be at my Aunt Gilda’s home on Christmas morning 1968. I learned something that morning; one of the most important bits of wisdom I’d ever receive.

The year 1968 had not been a good one for our family. My older brother went to Vietnam and died there, early in the year. Resulting stress took its toll on our whole family. My sisters, both older, were very close to Eddie. The loss nearly destroyed them both. Their wrath focused on my parents whom they believed allowed Eddie to enlist. My father’s health went from vibrant to precarious after a mysterious malady struck him. He would not find the cure in the bottle that caused it. Mother struggled to keep what she possessed in-tact. That was difficult. Both my sisters were in a state of uncontrollable rebellion, her husband a tottering drunk, and I…I had become convinced that love was something I didn’t want. From what I saw, love was simply a transitory, conditional thing that eventually caused pain.

Aunt Gilda was special to me. My mother’s sister, she was several years older than my parents. Gilda wasn’t a stranger to life’s disappointments and tragedies. Her husband died in World War Two. She had no children. She never remarried. After a brief period earning a living as a nightclub performer, she settled into first managing, then owning a small restaurant. It suited her. Despite a fire, hard economic times, and a violent robbery, she persevered and prospered. She was happy sharing life with friends and her two Golden Retrievers.

I was her surrogate child and she was my favorite aunt. So, when things reached a crises in our household that December, I was sent to stay with Aunt Gilda for the holidays. My mother needed fewer problems and I was one that could be removed from her over-stuffed basket. Two weeks before Christmas, my aunt greeted me with a warm smile as I walked out of the airport gate. My twelve-year-old mind only processed the material aspect of my stay. Gilda was a great cook, generous to a fault, and fun to be around. My first evening there, Aunt Gilda discovered that as we sat in front of her huge fireplace.

“I’m sorry you don’t have your parents and sisters here. I know you’ll miss their love.” Gilda shoved a plate of pecan pralines at me.

I greedily grabbed a few of the sweet candies and said, “Thanks, Aunt Gilda. These pralines are a good substitute.”

“Jerry, you don’t mean that! There is never a substitute for the love we share.”

I casually said what I felt, “I don’t know Aunt Gilda. It seems to me that love always has a string on it. If things go bad, it can be jerked away. It’s kind of like the way my sisters play with their cat. They tie a piece of paper on the end of a piece of string. They let the cat chase it until they get tired. That’s the end of it. If things go bad or get boring, love just goes away. Dad says love is just another four letter word.”

My aunt examined my face but said nothing for several seconds. Finally, she said, “I’ll have to think about that for a while.” I was to get her rebuttal Christmas morning.

“Get up, Jerry,” my aunt said as she pried me from the bed much earlier than I expected. Presents! What was I waiting for? I rolled out of bed and took a few steps toward the bedroom door before she stopped me. “Whoa!” She grinned and I noticed a sheet and a huge red bow draped over one of her arms. “I have to wrap you before I give you away,” she said.

“Huh?” I was surprised and confused.

Gilda smiled as she covered me with the sheet, grasping both hands so they would extend uncovered. When she finished, I was encased in a white cloth “package” with the red bow pinned to the sheet. “You’ll make a great present!” Was I really going to be someone’s gift? She said, “Come with me,” and led me to whatever awaited. I could smell the pine as we entered the living room and stood next to the Christmas tree.

I heard strange noises. After a few seconds, I decided they came from my Aunt’s two dogs. She asked, “Are you ready?”

No one answered, so I decided I should. I murmured, “I guess I am.”

“Good…Buster, meet Jerry. He’s your Christmas present.” Simultaneously, I felt something soft, warm, and furry being placed in my hands. And, it was moving around. My fingers circled a small body between four legs.  Aunt Gilda snatched the sheet away. I was staring into the eyes of a golden retriever pup.

Back when I was a puppy ……

Aunt Gilda spoke to the puppy, not me. “What do you think, Buster? Do you want to keep him? He’ll likely be a pain in the ass to train. He has no idea that to love something or someone it has to be unconditional. No strings…no if’s…no anything. He’ll need to learn to take you with him most everywhere he goes, the proper way to scratch behind your ears, and what your favorite treats are. Test him a time or two…leave a few messes for him to clean up. Want to give it a shot?”

Buster whimpered a little, took his eyes off me, stared at Aunt Gilda for a few seconds, then focused on me before issuing a baby bark, indicating he’d accept the challenge.

Aunt Gilda looked at me. “It seems Buster is willing to give it a try. How about you, Jerry?”

I would have the thought the smile on my face would have answered her question, but I enthusiastically answered, “Sure!”

“Hold him to your chest and let him enter your heart.” I did, and Aunt Gilda said words I’ve never forgotten.

“Jerry, when you take someone into your heart and decide to love them, it’s a decision you can’t cancel, though sometimes you may wish you could. That’s the reason you make the decision to love carefully. Buster will provide you with unconditional love if you do the same for him. Love wisely, love unbreakably and you will love happily.”

Merry Christmas Friends

 

~~~~~~~

 

Do I hear sleigh bells? Or is it Gobble, Gobble?

I’m thinking the season is coming. No, I don’t have a red nose. I do like turkey!

Okay. I’m rushing it. In my defense, it’s hard not to. The Geezer and I have made several social calls in the last few weeks. As far back as November 3rd, we observed multitudes of colored lights appearing on porches, around windows, on bushes, even circling palms in some of our neighbors’ yards. The Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t met the Guillotine and people already are checking the northern sky for the fat man in the red suit.

With all the stores dressing for Christmas right after the 4th of July, it’s no wonder you humans allow your ‘not always strong’ minds to wander ahead. Aaahhhhh, try to remember all those store owners decorate their home Christmas trees with dollar signs. Get a grip. Remember that holiday that comes before Santa?

It’s THANKSGIVING! …… Not turkey day, diet abstinence day, football forever day, or “oh, no, not Uncle Pete!” day.

In your rush to get to that ultimate season of joy, you humans have a tendency to brush past Thanksgiving like the first Salvation Army kettle you spy outside Walmart’s exit. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of reflection and appreciation for the good fortune that has entered our lives. At least, that was the jest of Lincoln’s reason for creating it as a formal holiday. What has it become to some of us?

Turkey’s dread it! With such an attractive, pleasant, ugly, face. Its hard, easy, to understand its murder.

The compulsory day of gluttony – can heartburn be far behind?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You humans consider it a day to eat enough to increase your waist size so you can justify that new Christmas wardrobe. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, steaming baked biscuits, yams, wine, calorie-stuffed desserts, and…of course…turkey! Thanksgiving is a national day of mourning for the bird with the big chest. It’s been raised and hunted by men for that virtue (though some ladies can sympathize with that) since the pilgrims landed. When you think “Thanksgiving,” you have to think, “Fat!” with it.

To many, particularly men, it has become a day to participate in a marathon, a football watching marathon. The tube works overtime as you crush couches and consume untold unneeded calories. The potato chips, dip, little Smokies, and chocolate chip cookies are washed down with floods of Pepsi and Coors. Basketball has competed for a share of the audience. It won’t happen. Watching thin men in shorts works on the conscience more than watching fat men in pads. Humans don’t like to be reminded of their mistakes.

Fascinated by the tube, you human zombies eat snacks like a garbage disposal.

To those of us who reside with you humans, Thanksgiving is leftover appreciation day. Yes, it is a great day for pets. I’m less fussy than either the Geezer or Mrs. G. White meat, dark meat…frankly, I don’t give a damn. (I’ve always had a crush on old Clark Gable).

To the sound of music — “It was anticipation…”

Take your pick–“After the ball is over,” “Happy Days are here again!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all of you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (And try to remember why we celebrate it!)

 

~~~~~~~

 

 

The Geezer is on the move…

The audience at one of the Geezer’s presentations

 

DL at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County

The Geezer’s season has arrived. He’ll be busy giving presentations and signing books from now to the spring. He was a speaker at the Cocoa Village Book Fest last Saturday, sandwiched in a public service day Sunday servicing as “Mr. Fix It,” for a charity children’s fishing tournament, did two historical presentations and a luncheon at Southwest Florida College for LifeLong Learning, and will be at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County all this weekend.

No dogs allowed. That means I get stuck “cat-sitting” for Missy. Oh, well………

Mischievous Missy

Visit the Geezer. (DL Havlin) He’ll be at the Cultural Center Friday & Saturday 9 to 3 – That’s at 2800 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte, Florida.

~~~~~~

 

 

Holiday House of Hope

I can’t go, but you can. Visit with award-winning author DL Havlin at the Holiday House of Hope, 11/30, 5:30-10:00 PM hosted by the historic Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Get your copy of “Turtle Point” set on Pine Island and Cayo Costa

Sandy’s Dream of Twelve Golden Days of Christmas!

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

 

On the 1st day of Christmas
My human gave to me
A fuzzy rug on which to play

I’m a reindeer – Did I fool anyone?

On the 2nd day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

These birds are my alarm clock EVERY morning

On the 3rd day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

I’m now known as “Mahatma Sandy”

On the 4th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

What is life without cheese?

On the 5th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Aren’t they cute? Too bad they grow into arrogant cats.

On the 6th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Shiny balls that will be easy to see no matter how bad my human’s aim is!

On the 7th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

What a hunk! Someone to dream about.

On the 8th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

A painting – These type don’t hide in the palmetto bushes.

On the 9th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Nine sticks of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

“Yum-yum Bells, Yum-yum Bells. Yum-yum all the way!

On the 10th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Ten two pound steaks a sizzling
Nine packages of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Dare I say it? My tongue anticipates heaven!

On the 11th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Eleven bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne
Ten two pound steaks a sizzling
Nine packages of Pupperoni
Eight quail a whistling
Seven pictures of Rin Tin Tin
Six balls to go a chasing
Five kitties meowing
Four pounds of cheese
Three hats to wear
Two Osprey a screaming
And a fuzzy rug on which to play

Ohhh my …. See dem pink eliepantttss?

On the 12th day of Christmas
My human gave to me
Twelve glasses of Alka-Seltzer a fizzing
No bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne
No steaks a sizzling
No Pupperoni
No quail a whistling
No pictures of Rin Tin Tin
No balls to chase
No kitties meowing
No pounds of cheese
No hats to wear
No Osprey screaming
No fuzzy rug to sleep it all off

“OH, what a relief it is!

 

Merry Christmas and … A Happy Hang-over … Opps! … A Happy New Year.

PLEASE! No noise … no bright light … no making me move … and NO food!

 

#  #  #  #  #

A dog’s tale of Christmas spirit

As is my custom, I like to present my readers with a canine crafted Christmas story this time of year. This is a new one.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas"

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

I watched the dog from my apartment window. The first time I noticed him was when I was eating lunch one Saturday. It was a blustery December day, cold, dreary … the type day best served by fireplaces, sofas with blankets, hot chocolate, and football games on the TV … not being outdoors. My apartment building adjoins the park where I saw him; that park’s lively April through October, but is as still as a mortuary in the cold Midwestern winter.

The dog was by himself, his actions rather strange for he chose to sit by an isolated park bench away from the access sidewalks that criss-cross the facility. Immobile as a statue, he faced into the wind and waited. I might have forgotten about him if it hadn’t been for the fact he was a Golden Retriever, one of my favorite canine breeds. It was for this reason I noticed the same animal, sitting precisely in the same location, after I returned from church the next day.

I’m a project engineer and elected to take a break in job assignments. Christmas was coming and with it another anniversary. My wife died, an untimely victim of a drunk driver the preceding Christmas day. Our ten years together was hardly enough and there were no children to help fill a Grande Canyon sized void in my life. Pity from relatives and friends, though well-meaning, added to my anguish. Their efforts to force me to indulge in an active social life revolted me. I was home, alone, on Monday and when lunch time arrived, I looked to see if the dog had returned to the park. He sat there, waiting for someone or something, patiently.

It was a bright, sunny day, with clear skies and cool temperatures. Between eating a sandwich, sipping coffee, and reading a novel, I kept tabs on the beast. The dog sat there, gazing intensely at the park entrance. The clock in my kitchen chimed two, I glanced at the dog in time to see him walking, alone, to the park’s front gate. I watched him cross the street and disappear into a maze of apartment buildings and homes. I decided I’d see if he’d return the next day. He did.

At eleven the next morning I saw him stroll through the park entrance, trot straight to the same bench, face the gate, sit on his haunches, and wait. Promptly at two, he left. Fascinated, I waited for the animal to change his behavior. He did not vary from his routine. Rain, wind, bitter cold … nothing made a difference. The only change I could see was his body thinning and a slightly perceivable slow-down in his gait.

A few days before Christmas two inches of snow covered the ground. I fancied I could see the animal shake. The poor dog looked as empty-hearted and forlorn as I felt. Before I gave it much thought, a pack of hamburger was in the microwave defrosting.

When I entered the park and stepped the hundred yards that separated us, the dog never looked at me. His eyes were focused on some unseen being in the world outside the park entrance. Goldens are known for their friendly disposition, but this one never acknowledged my existence, even when I sat on the bench next to him. His body was emaciated, his eyes slightly sunk into his skull.

“Hi boy.” The dog ignored me. “Who are you waiting for?” The retrievers eyes remained fixed on the gate. “You hungry?” I removed the hamburger from a cloth cooler and held it on my lap. The dogs nose twitched and its tongue circled its mouth. It did not move or take its eyes away from their vigil. I unwrapped the waxed paper from around the meat and placed it in front of the dog. It whimpered, but remained immobile. “Go ahead, boy.” He whimpered louder. “Go on,” I coaxed. The dog’s hunger won for a few seconds. He dropped his head over the meat and in a couple of gulps the hamburger disappeared. The dog returned to its watch. No amount of petting or verbal persuasion could distract it from its purpose.

“That dog belong to you?” A policeman stared down at the two of us. His expression was friendly, but sad.

“No, officer. I’ve been watching it from my window.” I pointed to my apartment. “I felt sorry for him.”

“It’s a stray. Some people reported it hanging around their home a couple days ago. I been keeping an eye on it. It doesn’t have a home. Sleeps where it can find a warm spot. One thing it does do, it always comes here during lunch time. I was hoping it was yours. Now I’ll have to call animal control and get it put down.”

“You don’t have to do that, do you?”

“Afraid so … unless someone adopts it.”

I heard myself say, “I will.”

‘Royal’ came home with me from the pound on Christmas Eve. It was obvious the dog had been well trained and cared for before his abandonment. He reacted to his new home with an attitude of grateful acceptance. As I had expected, there was a defined reservation in his demeanor. I new I was number two and probably always would be. We woke on Christmas morning … me grateful that something had entered my life to return some focus to it … he grateful for his improved chance of survival. I told him, “Well Royal, we got each other for Christmas.”

We spent the morning introducing ourselves to each other until eleven. It was then Royal barked for the first time. He changed from being calm and sedate to agitated. He went to the apartment door and scratched it and the floor beneath it. “Have to go out?” I asked. He barked and kept looking back and forth at the door and me. I had the leash on him and as we left the apartment there was no doubt where he was headed.

He led me to the park bench, and we sat there and waited, for what I had no idea. It was sunless, very cold, the wind was vicious, snow flew by horizontally and I settled deeper into my coat, wrapping my scarf over my face. Royal whimpered then began barking. When I uncovered my face he was staring at me … I thought.

From the bench next to me a soft feminine voice said, “I’m so happy that Clancy found a new home.” The voice came from a pretty young lady. Her long silver coat covered her in a manner that was surreal. Her brown hair spilled from a knitted cap, she had brown eyes, and smiling lips.

“You know who the dog belongs to?” I asked. She rose, nodded, said “yes,” and knelt in front of Royal wrapping her arms around the animal. It whimpered softly. The girl said, “Clancy belonged to Sally James. Sally had leukemia. The last weeks she lived she came to this park and sat here with Clancy.” The girl stroked the dog and scratched behind its ears. She put her head next to the dog’s ear and whispered to it. “I lost track of him after Sally died.” She patted the Golden on its head a few times and stood up. She smiled at the dog then at me.

I hoped for a negative answer. “If you’d like to take the dog, since he knows you …”

“Oh, no. I can’t have him with me. No dogs allowed kind of place. He is yours now. Besides, you two were made for each other.”

Royal, or Clancy, rested his head on my knee. His eyes were fixed on mine. It was as though a bond had passed from the dog, through the girl, to me. Looking deep into his eyes, I asked, “Ready to go home, boy?” He whimpered a positive response.

“Jessica approves.” It was the girl’s voice, but my wife’s name. My head jerked up to look at her … to ask her. No one was there. The dog and I were alone. His head and eyes were on me and are hearts were one. The weather hadn’t changed, but my life had suddenly turned warm. I spoke to the wind that howled around me, “Thank you Sally. Thank you Jess.” I will never be sure, but I believe I heard two women’s voices faintly, sweetly answer in the wind, “Merry Christmas.”

#  #  #  #  #

Fall has fell! … The Geezer’s on the road again.

I hear Willie singing, "On the road again"

I hear Willie singing, “On the road again”

 

Fall is in the air! It’s only 92 degrees today and the humidity is 78%. Well, that’s better than its been. It means the holidays are coming and, best of all, the election will be over! It’s also traveling season for us as the Geezer starts his appearance schedule after his hip replacement.

Dogfucius has some bits of wisdom for the upcoming season.

Advice to does. A horny deer and a horny dear both must be approached with great caution unless one wishes to be horned. Approach a horny deer from downwind for best success when hunting. Approach a horny dear from upwind for nostril relief. (Hunting these is not necessary.)

Do not discuss going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving with any of your turkey friends.

Buy stock in insane asylums. The election will be over soon and overcrowding will be a problem.

I suggest humans with white chimneys post the following sign on Christmas Eve: “Santa, this is not our outhouse.”

Men, do not argue with your spouse about who will be the back half of your Halloween costume if you’re going dressed as a horse. You are what you are.

Speaking of horse rumps – My human, the lovable old Geezer, will be signing books at the On Point Book Fair tomorrow. If you’re in the Tampa, Florida area, he’ll be at the Westshore Plaza 10AM until (ugh) 9PM. Look for the sign with DL Havlin printed on it and the Geezer wearing his black Stetson.

 

#  #  #  #  #

Merry Christmas …… Now for some LAUGHS …..

I'm a raindeer - Did I fool anyone?

I’m a reindeer – Did I fool anyone? …… Maybe rain dear?

Well, the Geezer has done it again. He’s posted his laughter inducing classic, “Claus and the Consultant.” This thoroughly enjoyable read is posted on (linked for your convenience)  www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com   If the season is getting hectic, and you need to renew your positive attitude with some humor, DON’T MISS READING IT! And, PLEASE, share it with your friends. Everyone can use an attitude adjustment at the end of this year.

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

A Christmas story … for your pups … and you.

Woof! Woof!  Each year I like to tell a Christmas Story. This year it has a message … a positive one! Please share with your pups, family and friends.

A Christmas Story in the park.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas"

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

Hi. I’m Sandy the Golden Retriever. I want to tell you a story.

            Each day my human takes me to the park. We meet some interesting people there … and we get to watch what they do. That’s how we got to know Sam, and the Wilson kids.

Sam is an old fellow who spends most every afternoon sitting in the park. He comes there to feed the birds. The old man doesn’t seem to have anything else to do. Sam is short, plump, and bald. I like to think his hair slipped ten inches because he has a long white beard and a mustache. He always has a big bag or two with him. The bags are loaded with goodies for his bird friends. All the birds in the park and the surrounding neighborhood know Sam and flock to him when they see him walking toward his favorite long bench. It is right across Main Street from Miller’s Department Store.

The Wilson kids like to hang around the same area. Billy is five. He loves to play “fetch” with me and his sister, who is a very wise ten, is one of the greatest dog petting people in the world. Trina knows just how to scratch behind my ears. Both the Wilsons love to feed the birds. I don’t chase the pigeons, starlings, and sparrows because Sam, the Wilson children, my human and me are all friends. We spend a lot of time sitting together and talking.

It gets cold where we live … very cold in December. The Wilsons don’t seem to mind the cold. They don’t wear heavy coats like most folks. Both Sam and my human have suggested they should dress warmer, but Trina and Billy never want to talk about it.

The leaves had all fallen, some patches of snow were scattered on the ground, and Christmas decorations filled Miller’s Department store. It was the day before Christmas. We were all seated on the bench feeding the birds from Sam’s huge bag of day-old bread. Little patches of white fog marked each breathe we took. The birds ate so much they could hardly fly. Sam said, “I think we need to stop feeding our buddies. I’m afraid some of them might pop.”

“Do we have to?” Billy was disappointed. I think he’d like to see a bird pop.

“Billy, Sam is right. Besides we can go look at what’s in Miller’s windows before they take everything out after Christmas.” Trina grabbed her brother’s hand and tried to pull him from the bench.

Billy resisted. “Awwww, I don’t want to. It makes me sad.”

My human asked, “Sad? Why does it make you sad?”

Trina answered, “Because he knows we’ll never get those things. Mama can’t afford it.”

“What does he want?” Sam asked.

“The train set with the yellow engine.” Trina tugged on Billy’s hand, half pulling him off the bench.

“You seem anxious to go look. What do you want from the window?” Sam smiled. “It must be important.”

“A cell phone. I don’t care which one. I want to call my friends and have them call me. I get left—” Trina didn’t finish her sentence.

Sam rubbed his beard for a few seconds. “Have you tried to ask Santa?”

“I would, but Mama doesn’t have time to take us. She’s too busy working this time of year.” Billy looked enthusiastic. Trina just smirked.

“You don’t have to see him in person. Just ask, he’ll hear,” Sam said.

“I don’t think so,” Billy said, “I’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work.”

“Will you walk me across the street?” Trina asked her brother.

Billy snorted, shrugged, and got off the bench. He walked to the street. Trina started to walk with him, but ran back for a second and whispered, “Don’t get his hopes up. He’ll never get it.” She raced back to catch Billy before he crossed the street.

My human shook his head. “What size coats do you think they wear, Sam?”

“The boy wears a size 4 the girl a 9. I’d buy them a size or two larger.”

My human nodded. “I hope they get something for Christmas that they want.”

Sam remained silent for several seconds before saying, “I want them to get something more important than a train set or a cell phone.”

*  *  *  *  *  *

            Christmas afternoon my human and I were walking in the park when Billy and Trina ran up to us. Both wore new coats that were a little large. Their smiles were wide, but not as wide as the one on my human’s face. I figured out what the two of us had left outside the Wilson’s door. I barked to let them know, but my human just said, “Shsssh.”

We walked to the bench and our Friend Sam was already there. He looked tired, but happy. Two huge bags rested at his feet. “Merry Christmas,” he said as we approached. We answered, “Merry Christmas.”

“The bakery had an extra-large supply of bread to throw away and I intend to see the birds have a great Christmas, too.” Sam patted one of the bags.

Billy plopped down on the bench next to Sam and yelled, “Hooray.” My human and Trina sat on Sam’s other side.

Sam said, “Those are big Christmas smiles.”

“Yep, look at our coats,” Billy said.

“They’re so nice and warm,” Trina added.

“Well that’s good,” Sam got a serious look on his face. “I thought you’d be disappointed.”

“Why?” Trina asked.

Because Santa made a mistake and delivered some of your presents to my house.” Sam opened the second bag lying at his feet. He handed a large gaily wrapped package to Billy and small one to Trina. The wrapping paper tore easily and soon Billy was admiring his new train set … with a yellow engine. Trina held her I-phone in her hand with a grip so tight her fingers turned white. Tears entered her eyes and my humans. And, I admit, mine. Trina looked at Sam and said, “Thank you.”

“Oh, don’t thank me. These really came from Santa. Look,” Sam slid his fingers over the cell and a message appeared. He handed the phone to Trina and she read the e-mail.

“From: S. Claus … To: Billy and Trina Wilson …

I hope you enjoy the wrapped presents. I have two more gifts for you that are far more important. One is hope. The other is belief. As long as you keep these two things in your hearts and minds, anything is possible in your lives.”

*  *  *  *  *
Merry Christmas from Sandy & Author DL Havlin 
sandy-blog-1-042www.SandySays1.WordPress.com qrcode.32492489 Web Site (2)
www.DLHavlin.com