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Good friends and neighbors are a blessing

Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the year 2009 ends I am constantly reminded of the blessings we have from our friends and neighbors. I could write a year's worth of columns about the kind acts of our friends, but I will concentrate on several recent events.

On a recent Saturday morning we discovered that one tire on our car was low. Lester aired it up and suggested that I take the car immediately to Wilson's to have them repair it. That was no problem for me. Wilson Liter is a good church friend whose mother-in-law had been my friend since childhood. I knew where his business was located.

When I pulled into Liter's parking lot I realized that this is not a tire store! The tire had become very low so I thought I would see if they could air it up for me somehow and direct me to what I now realized was Lester's suggestion -- Wilson Tires. Wilson said he would be happy to air it up for me from their compressor, but when he looked at the tire he realized it was beyond help. He called the correct store to be sure they had the tire I needed, took the wheel off, put it in his pickup truck, took me and the ruined tire to Wilson's Tires where they put on a new tire.

Back at his store he put the wheel back on and refused to be compensated for his time or travel. What a wonderful act of kindness!

On Christmas morning our daughter Shirley could not get out of the carport to get to work at 5 a.m. Her younger sister who was visiting from Texas couldn't help her either, so they had to call their older brother from across the field to come help. With a tractor he got her started three different times and she made it to work an hour and a half late. During the day the wind whipped the snow into drifts in our rural roads. Our son and grandson had already worked their way through the snow to get to a Christmas gathering in Butler, but they called to suggest that Shirley get someone to help her with a four-wheel drive vehicle when she left work. We knew she could come on U.S. Highway 54 to our road, but after that it would be too risky. We thought of our neighbors, the Millers and Mark suggested she just drive to their home and he would bring her here, leaving her car in their driveway. That was fine, except that when it was time to come home Shirley, even with the help of some other employees, couldn't get her car out of the parking lot behind Medicalodge. I told Mark that she wouldn't be able to bring her car there, and before I could say more he said, "Well, I will just go get her then," which he did. She got home safely, full of appreciation for a neighbor that took some time on Christmas to help out.

That doesn't end the story. Later that night our great-granddaughter's father was bringing Michaella to be with us for our family gathering the next day. He got stuck in the ditch about a half-mile from our house. They walked through the snow drifts to our house. In spite of attempts by our grandson working for an hour with the farm tractor, he couldn't get out and was an extra overnight guest here. In the morning. Another good neighbor, Gordon Halcomb, warmed up his much larger tractor to come pull him out, but it didn't work either. It finally took a wrecker to get the car out so he could return to Joplin.

Even though it was a very Merry Christmas because of the gifts of good friends, family members and neighbors it should have been Thanksgiving.

In this holiday season we can now have a Happy New Year knowing we are blessed by such good people around us.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus