“Joy to the World”

Frost-021We had such a mixed up day yesterday. My emotional roller-coaster was all over the place.  Had a little family drama, did some schooling and laundry (that is a daily thing), spent some time researching on some future blogging ideas, sent my youngest son off to his brother’s house, and then I got ready to attend a Christmas Concert.  Off we went into a new storm that is supposed to combine with two other storms, to give us 8-12 inches of snow in the next two days.  It started early on Friday, however, and so we were driving in pretty amazing conditions.  Beautiful and yet, cold, too!

Carolers.darkThe music was amazing!  This was at a public high school and the kids sounded like professionals. In addition to that, the songs they chose were actually Christmas songs.  They mentioned Christ, and Jesus, and the Wise Men; there was even a song about the Blessed Virgin Mary!  I wept through a couple of them, I was so happy to hear authentic Christmas music in a public forum.  These days, everyone is so afraid of offending someone, we barely say “Merry Christmas” anymore, preferring the non-offensive, “Happy Holidays.”  There were a couple of songs that just sent goose bumps across my arms.  And it was over far too soon, complete with an ugly sweater contest with the upper-classmen!  We laughed and made our way out into the snowy weather.  It was so beautiful.

snowphot-66We left the concert, rounded up dinner for the menfolk (the concert was a girl’s night out event!!) and headed back to my son’s house.  We had a wonderful chat and my men headed home, while I stayed in “grandma heaven,” as my son said.  I was feeding my newborn granddaughter, when my grandson climbed up next to me.  Ahhhh….I loved that moment.  My daughter-in-law and I then headed back out into the snow to take me home.  She and I giggle a lot together, because we are so much alike.  We drove and saw a poor German Shepherd puppy running around, scared, and we tried to get him someplace warm, but he was just too frightened.  Poor dog.

snowphot-46We got home and she dropped me off. I entered the house, chatting to the guys and noticed my mini-Schnauzer was missing.  We all looked for him and he was nowhere to be found.  And so began the second leg of my evening.  I called my daughter-in-law, still on her way home and she came back.  My husband set out on foot with a flashlight. I had already canvassed the upper blocks on foot when my daughter-in-law showed up.  We then spent about 2 hours looking for my little dog in his blue sweater.  We did not find him.  My daughter-in-law went home (it was after 11pm by this time) and made posters.  She then went back out in the snow to hang posters on light poles and stop signs.  I went to bed and just cried.  I was so afraid for my little dog.  He’s about 14 years old, has not aged well having lost all his front teeth, and he does not have street smarts.  In addition, it was snowing and about 20-degrees outside.  For a SoCal dog in a sweater, the conditions were not good.

I prayed, as did so many wonderful friends, and our dog was returned to us this morning. It seems a family saw him as he approached their front porch and just brought him inside. They got him dry and warm and cuddled up in a doggie bed with a blanket, and he went to sleep.  They were out this morning and saw the poster on a stop sign.  Turns out we all missed each other by moments, out in the snow.  They were looking for people looking for a dog, and we were looking for our dog – but we never saw each other.  This morning I cried and just held my little dog.  He is such a pain, so independent, and stubborn – but I love the little guy!

I was trying to put all this together this morning, as my husband and I are off to Christmas shop.  It was so hard to be “in the mood” when the dog was missing. But now that he’s back, I am a different person.  Abbot Tryphon wrote a blog post today about the place animals have in our hearts and I know my pets fill a space God meant just for them. They give me peace, comfort and love – and all they ask is a warm bed, good food, and my company.  Unconditional love.  It is so rare these days.  But Christ gives us unconditional love – He actually loves us in spite of ourselves.  We often get in our own way. I know my dog gets in his own way quite often and running off in a snow storm is certainly proof of that.

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