Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

Now before you think I am all saccharine-sweet on my husband, I will confess he barely has time to read this blog and doesn't know how often I talk about him on here. It's a little inside joke I have with myself. Also, shamefully, I am much nicer to him on here than in real life. Not sure what that's about but I'm looking into it. Anyway, on with my story for today.

So you know about the Snow of the Century and how it pretty much buried this area in heaps of white powdery snowdrifts for two days. What I didn't tell you is that my husband and our son spent a good part of their day off yesterday shoveling our neighbor's driveway and walk. We don't know anyone here yet. Wow, how embarrassing to admit but there it is. We haven't met too many of our neighbors save for one nice couple next door. He seems like a southern gentlemen who claims to be pushing 85 but acts like he's barely at 70. Really, he drives his "bride" (love that!) to the Pentagon every morning in his Chevy SUV and picks her up every night, like clockwork. Even though we just met them a couple of months ago, I'm guessing this tradition of theirs has been going on for years. We've never met the Mrs. From afar I can only surmise that she is his lovely southern counterpart. Together, I bet they can polish off some whiskey and beat the socks off most youngin's at Poker.

Yesterday we noticed this lovely couples' driveway was still not shoveled. So my hubby and our little helper son did the neighborly thing and shoveled their drive and walkway for them. It took him -- I mean them as little man G was taking his job very seriously -- three solid hours because both of them pay very close attention to detail. By the time they were finished, the black of the asphalt shown through like a cummerbund to a white tuxedo. In other words, they don't do shabby work.

When the husband and little helper son finally came inside, both had rosy cheeks and tousled damp hair. I offered warm drinks but was rejected twice as they stripped down to skivvies right there in the kitchen. Apparently the 68 degrees of our home was a shock to their almost frostbit bodies.

The husband and I later joked our neighbors probably went away on vacation and wouldn't even need their driveway for a week or so. Then we went on to have dinner and trip around each other like drunk sailors on a ship at the arctic seas.

About 8:30 our doorbell rang. Husband and little helper son were the first to the door. It was our southern gentleman neighbor. All I could hear was this:

"Thank you. I had to come over and thank you in person because.... (his voice trembled, then broke) .... in all my years of living that was...(he stopped again to gather his composure) the nicest thing anyone.... has ever.... done for me."

"No Sir, it was nothing, I just didn't want you out there shoveling by yourself. This snow was deep," my husband rattled off quicker than his usual Eeyore slowspeak.

"Well, I don't know how to express my thanks properly," our appreciative neighbor went on, "I just really (he turned sideways to hide his face from my husband and little boy) thank you from the bottom of my heart."

"You're very welcome, Sir. Please don't worry about it, it was nothing."

And that, my friends, ruined me for the night. I was a weepy mess of uselessness for the next hour or so. If there is one Achilles heal in my life, it is sweet little old little sweet little southernly men. My heart almost exploded out of my chest. I thought it was just me until my husband (who had busied himself abruptly with tidying things that were already tidy) glanced over at me with wet eyes and red nose.

Merry Christmas to us, Sir. We honestly don't know how to thank you either.


pajama mom said...

"a little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference."

probably my most favorite-est character of all time.

great post. tissue, please.

Cristie Ritz King said...

sniffle, sniffle.
Well done Major and little man.
OSM-you've rendered me useless for the night as well.

Andy said...

We could use neighbors like you guys.. oh wait... you WERE our neighbors!


Seriously, it's always great to hear stories like that. Restores some faith in humankind.

Merry Christmas!

One Sided Momma said...

pj- even with that little rain cloud over him every second, eeyeore always has perspective. :)

cris- i happen to know you have a soft spot in your heart for the little gray haired guys too. :)

andy- merry christmas to you too. no matter where we live, you'll always be the "cool couple with adorable kids just down the street" to me. plus, rumor on the street is we just might get back there after this tour. not sure yet...never sure as you might remember but nice to think about!