Jilly D.

This is the day Scrooge turns into Santa Claus

In Holidays on December 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Sam's babies

Sam started his holiday shopping on Christmas Eve morning. Before noon he’d drive into Ithaca and go to Northside Liquor. About 10 years ago he realized that all his gift purchases could be found in this one single store.  He’d select 12 bottles of Finger Lakes wines and whoever came in our cabin door selected their present from the viniferous varieties.

Sam didn’t know squat about wine. He picked out the bottles based on their labels. If he thought it was an interesting design and under $15, he’d grab it. One year he grabbed a bottle of Vermouth and didn’t realize what it was until it was the last bottle left standing and no one wanted it.

One year he returned from his annual expedition with a funny story. Sam had arrived in town on that cold and snowy morning wearing his old raggedy Carharts, boots caked in mud and manure, work gloves with holes in them, his felted dirty welding hat with ear flaps and hadn’t bathed for a couple of weeks. He took his time wandering the aisles until his glasses unfogged. Then he took more time looking up and down all the rows and racks, trying to figure out what to buy.

He had his grocery cart full of wine bottles and saw the boxes just past the registers. He strolled over to get one and from out of nowhere appeared two big bouncers and a police officer. They had evidently cased him when he walked in the door. Took him for a bum.

I looked at him smiling at me. I couldn’t help but smile back but I felt so angry at these other men assuming the worst about him.

He laughed and continued his story. 

“I told those guys who I was. I’m Sam Warren. I own a farm in Mecklenburg. Nice to meet you. Merry Christmas!” He backed up his cart full of wine bottle with an empty carton and got in line.  He pulled out his wallet and paid with one of a dozen hundred dollar bills in his wallet. “I made sure that got on their security cameras too!”

I loved him. The world was sometimes so cruel to such a hardworking farmer. Mistaken for an Enfield bum. In the enlightened big city of Ithaca.

Then I drew him a very hot bath. The cookstove had gotten warm enough to put the stuffed turkey in and we had the afternoon together when friends and family would drop by to share our special glow.

Christmas Eve was the time when his Scrooge front fell down with family. The weeks preceding the holidays he refused to get into a Jilly dither about it. Didn’t hold much truck for him. He told me one of the best days on the road for a trucker was Christmas. Everyone is so nice and you get free meals at all the truck stops. He often told me about the Christmas Eve he was in Buffalo at the home terminal and the owner himself came over and called him by name to thank him for taking a load to Maine before Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve holds many memories, joys, and expectations for miracles. The miracle I pray for this year is that Sam returns to me alive and unscathed. Hey, if Jesus could die, be buried and come back to life, why not Sam? He, too, was a son of God. He wasn’t perfect; but he was perfect for me.

I’m so happy to have known such love. It’s the best gift I ever received. Thanks Sam.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: