Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Tales
"Attic Treasures"

Once Upon a Christmas, my grown, married sons unwrapped old skateboards. They were not just any old skateboards; these were old skateboards with history. I had stumbled across them, literally, cleaning the attic that summer and decided it was time to bequeath them to the boys. It was a time for memories.

The skateboard had been purchased the summer we returned from Ecuador. By then the boys were 6 and 7 years old. We landed back in the good old USA flat broke with what we could carry in two suitcases each, with two boys to feed, no jobs, no car, and no home. A former employer immediately gave Bob a job which included an apartment. We were grateful. Friends furnished the apartment with odds and ends of furniture, dishes and bedding. We were doubly grateful. Another friend loaned us a car for temporary use. What can I say? We have wonderful friends. Within a week I, too, was back with a former employer. We could breath. That first month, we could purchase groceries, gasoline and pay utilities. That was it.

Then there was trouble in the playground. The boys were too quiet, wanting to stay in the apartment most of the time (there was no tv, no video games). I could tell something was wrong. I inquired.

"The kids here won't play with us," they reported.

"Why not?" I asked.

"We don't have any toys to share."

"You have the Tonkas. You have Matchbox cars."

"But we don't have any BIG toys. We don't have bikes or hot wheels so we can play with them."

"Won't they share sometimes?"

"Not if we don't have any big toy to trade for awhile. They don't want to play with the cars we have."

So Bob and I discussed the situation and decided we could use the grocery money to buy skateboards. We'd have very little for food, but I thought I could just swing it. We told the boys that there would be no chips, no cookies, not even juice. Just plain cereal and milk for breakfast. Dinners would be rice and beans and maybe potatoes once in awhile. Lunch would be a sandwich or Mac and cheese. Could they do that?

Their response was immediate. "Sure."

So as soon as I got paid on Friday night, I bought two skateboards for $10 each. One was blue, one yellow, plain, but sturdy. On Saturday two ecstatic boys came in for a peanut butter sandwich at lunch. The skateboards were a hit. They were part of the social group now.

And when they unwrapped the almost forgotten old skateboards years later, we shared tears and hugs remembering those difficult, but joyful days. And gave thanks to God for his constant hand on our lives this and every Christmas.

1 comment:

His Girl said...

I love remembering the lean years. It's such a testimony to what God does in our lives. It makes me both nostalgic, and appreciative of what we have now. Thanks for sharing this sweet story.

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