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December 19, 2009

“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.” ~ Gloria Naylor

Most people spend much of their time in a horizontal thought process. We move along connecting the dots of one moment to another, on cruise control, until something happens that causes us to stop. I used to think of this as a roadblock. I know now it’s God’s hand. We are forced to be still. We lose ourselves in the familiarity of something that stirs our senses – the shrill of a child’s laughter, the scent of fresh lilac, watching a snowflake drift — and follow the memory home.

Snow ShovelIt was a Saturday morning in February and everything on the New Jersey shore had come to a halt, the aftermath of the worse blizzard we’ve seen in years. I was in bed somewhere between sleep and consciousness, content in the knowledge there was no need to move.  Mother Nature had spread a thick, white comforter over the winter uglies, giving the dead, gray leftovers of the previous seasons life and beauty of its own. I was the only one in the world and it was at peace.

My euphoric moment was short lived. I was jolted out of bliss by the sound of steel on concrete. Begrudgingly, I walked to the window to spy the thief robbing me of my pleasure. Below was an older man, in a plaid jacket, silver hair peeking from beneath a navy wool hat. It was evident from the amount of walkway cleared that he had been there for some time. It was also evident from the clouds of smoke created from his hot breath hitting the arctic blast that he was tiring. My first instinct was to tap on the glass, pull on my jeans and go out to assist him. But I hesitated and stood silently watching as he continued to dig through several feet of white powder to my front door.  When he was finished he returned his shovel to his trunk and took out a bag of rock salt, tossing it over the freshly cleared path and porch. I expected a knock at my door, to share a cup of hot coffee. Instead he turned, got into his car and drove off without announcing he was ever there or crediting himself for all the work he just did.

I remained at the window for a long time afterward, frozen not by the cold weather but by the warmth of a father’s love, wondering how many things my father had done for me while I wasn’t looking.


Linking to:

Walking in His Grace

30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 6:24 pm

    Amazing post! Now if you’ll excuse me, thanks to your sweet message, I’m going to go call my Dad. 🙂


  2. December 20, 2009 7:29 am

    Hello and Good morning! Lovely blog my dear! Thank you so kindly for your kind words and I hope that you’ll become a follower soon.

    I’ll post your feed on my blog and a wee button if possible.

    I’ve only read the first post.. yet I yearn for more already! Hubs is from NJ area (Upper Montclair) and so does enjoy the south.

    Lovely lovely lovely.. yes I can’t wait to explore more of your blog!


  3. December 20, 2009 5:26 pm

    Deborah, you are an artful writer and that is a gift! Have a great Christmas week and a Merry Christmas with your family.

  4. December 21, 2009 7:55 am

    I popped over via Olivia’s and I am glad I did what a lovely post.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family,

    Gill in Canada……..

  5. December 21, 2009 9:21 am

    I was directed to your post from Olivia and Me. What a blessing I received! And how blessed you are to still have your dad with you, especially at this time of they year. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

  6. December 21, 2009 9:24 am

    My dad is still alive at 98, living 2 doors from me. I love him dearly

    Your blog story is beautiful

  7. December 21, 2009 9:45 am

    Things like that are why I am making my Dad a quilt. I won’t get it done by Christmas, but he will understand. Dads are like that. Your story is beautifully written about a beautiful relationship. Aren’t we lucky! Karmen

  8. December 21, 2009 1:40 pm

    Thank you so much for your visit…welcome to a whole new world of wonderful have a nice blog!

  9. December 21, 2009 8:38 pm

    What a beautiful stoy. thank you so much for your comment!!!

  10. December 21, 2009 10:08 pm

    What a wonderful post…you’ve got a good dad for sure!

  11. December 21, 2009 10:15 pm

    That was inspiring and beautiful. It has me wondering about the things my dad…my mom…my husband…etc. have done for me when I “wasn’t looking.” Thank you for opening my eyes and challenging me to be aware of the blessings in my life.


  12. December 21, 2009 10:34 pm

    what a beautifully profound post. You write so eloquently!

    Thanks again for the wonderful comments on my bathroom- and thank you for the prayers sent for my father. At this point I will take all the help I can get. I hope your relative pulls through as well- I will send good thoughts their way as well. 🙂

    I think the colors on the walls is called ‘desert sand’ by Valspar. Its actually in the National Historic Registrys approved colors list. The color (for some reason) looks a like it has more red tint to it in the photos then it does in real life. Its actually a pretty warm room, thanks to that color.

    Theres actually a company in Tampa that will re-enamel for 300.00. But I know you can buy DIY kits online for 150$ plus shipping. That might be one project best left to a professional since its pretty toxic stuff.

    You keep on writing missy, you have amazing writing skills that shouldnt go to waste or get rusty. Happy Holidays and keep warm!

  13. Jennifer permalink
    December 22, 2009 8:04 am

    Oh beautiful Deb! I feel all warm and rosy now. 🙂 What a wonderful memory! And Merry Christmas to your sweet family! I’ve learned more from your emails than any DIY site could teach me. Thanks so much!

  14. December 22, 2009 8:07 am

    Thank you for the lovely comment, Deborah. I zipped right over here to return the visit and the compliment. I’m enjoying your posts – dads are wonderful, aren’t they? I miss mine, and my mom, every day. Keep on sharing your thoughts and insights. They’re a treat to read.

    Happy holidays!

  15. ain't for city gals permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:30 am

    What a lovely ending….took me by surprise. Merry Christmas.

  16. December 22, 2009 11:06 am

    You really have a way with words! That is so sweet, I’m a little teary eyed!

  17. December 22, 2009 7:48 pm

    Hi Deborah…
    Thank you so much for stopping by. I so love it when you do. I love visiting and I have to tell you this story today just so touched my heart. How wonderful is this? You Daddy still coming and shoveling the snow because he worries about his baby being out in it, and wants you safe. How sweet is it that he loves you, and just loves doing sweet things for you.

    I wish I lived close enough for Daddy to do things for me. I live about 1400 miles from home, in the desert to boot. At least he wouldn’t have to shovel snow here hu?

    Oh sweetie…Have just the merriest of Christmas’ and stop by again soon. I will do the same.

    Country hugs and so much love…Sherry

  18. December 23, 2009 5:59 am

    What a beautiful story about the love of a Father and Daughter. I am glad I thanked my Father for the many things he did before he passed away.

  19. December 23, 2009 6:01 am

    I forgot to mention, thank you for stoppping by my blogspot. You are welcome there anytime, coffee is always hot, and so is the tea! And from the looks of things here, I will be stopping by to say “hi” to you!

  20. December 23, 2009 9:13 am

    Beautiful story. My dad is in Iraq right now and my mom is home alone up in AK. The other day she looked out the window and she didn’t recognize was plowing her driveway. After watching him for a few minutes she realized it was a friend’s son she hadn’t seen in years. He had heard of my dad being gone and wanted to help in some way. I love hearing stories like yours and hers. 🙂

    Thanks for your comments on our blog! Hope you guys didn’t get hit too hard with the storm last week!

  21. December 27, 2009 10:55 pm

    What a sweet, sweet memory! My dad is and always has been a rock in my life, and your story made me tear up at all the selfless things he’s done for me.

    Thanks so much for stopping by our blog and letting us know you were there!

  22. December 28, 2009 5:02 pm

    That is a well written post about Christmas. It is easy to get caught up in all of the decorations and details that we forget what we’re doing it for. Great reminder. And that star you purchased from Etsy is gorgeous.

  23. December 29, 2009 1:19 pm

    I am having so much fun reading your past posts. I do so love the after Christmas quiet that allows me to do this.

    Your comment today made me and my husband laugh outloud. Sigh, at least dreams are free. 🙂

  24. January 1, 2010 9:54 am

    I am catching up on your past posts and boy this one really made me all misty. Sniff!

  25. Susan (Gorringe) Hetherington permalink
    January 1, 2010 3:37 pm


    Reading this beautiful post has pulled my mind back 23 years to a Christmas which Dad did not quite make, having died just a few short days prior. As tears fill my eyes now, as they did many times that Christmas long ago, I am reminded of the beautiful gift he had so painstakingly chosen for me earlier in the fall season. It lay under the Christmas tree on that beloved morn. He always loved giving gifts for the kitchen as he knew my hearts place was there, cooking for family and friends as he did for 52 short years. The gift was a set of bone china I had been longing for. I was told by my step-mother he had purchased it when he knew he`d be gone before the blessed day came and went. He wrapped it and printed a beautiful card and attached it to the package. After reading the card with my eyes drenched in tears, I found it almost impossible to tear the paper from the box knowing he had lovingly wrapped it. My family including my siblings and my very young children encouraged me to finally open the package. (I believe my heart stopped beating for a moment as I recalled the moment we both eyed this china set together early on in the summer.) I felt so much love at that moment and such a warm sense of presence…..he was there with me then as he is to this day….in my heart and in my mind….
    Dad`s are forever…and ever…and ever…
    Thank you for such a beautiful post and for reminding me to give the gift of myself today without acknowledging myself to the bearer.

  26. January 3, 2010 12:28 pm

    This is so awesome!!!!! My Daddy was just like this! I miss him soooo much.

  27. January 26, 2010 8:55 pm

    Your words are true and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this and for the goosebumps!

  28. February 10, 2010 5:43 pm

    Again, you’ve looked into my life….
    Someday I’ll share my story also.
    I love your style of putting it on paper.

  29. March 10, 2010 8:28 am


    Thank you so much for suggesting I read this post. I can’t wait to read more of your writing. You are an incredible writer and I had tears in my eyes at the end of this (and then even more after I read many of the comments!). Keep up the inspiration. It’s refreshing.

  30. July 17, 2011 8:08 pm

    That was a beautiful post! Thanks so much for stopping by my linky party. I’ll hope you’ll come back soon!

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