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Day 16 Deb’s Advent Calendar

When the sun is scarce and the air too cold to breathe in, I do my best to ignore the dryness in my eyes and on the tips of my fingers.

I listen to more music,

I try to remember to take vitamin D,

I take walks,

all to help alleviate the seasonal depression that can set in during the long winter months.

So when my husband said it was a little warmer out that morning, I packed my heels, put on cross trainers and walked to work.

I heard the bell ringing as I crossed the intersection and noticed a man putting change in the red bucket. The Salvation Army lady said, “Happy New Year sir, and God bless you.” Then the path was clear for me. “God bless you and Happy New Year, ma’am.” The lady smiled, making eye contact.

On my walk home that night, I noticed the same lady still ringing the bell. I knew she had been there all day in the cold but I was tired and cold myself, and walked past pretending not to see her.

By the time I got to the intersection I turned back for a quick guilty glance, and headed into the Starbucks for a hot chocolate. But when I went back to give it to her, the bucket was gone and so was she. I had missed my chance.

I walked away disappointed in myself, still carrying the hot cup and noticed an old gentleman picking up a coin off the sidewalk. “Excuse me, sir,” I said, “I just picked up this hot chocolate for the Bell Ringer but missed her,” the words got caught in my throat but he didn’t seem to notice. “Would you like it?”

“You don’t want that?”

“No.”

“Sure, I’ll take it!” He smiled and reached for the cup as I noticed his bare, chapped fingers.

The next day on my walk to work, a man named Antonio was at the Red Bucket ringing the bell (his same was stitched into his jacket).

“Hi Antonio, I bet you’re cold. Would you like some hot chocolate?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I was given a second chance…

Isn’t that what the season is all about?

(Bell Ringer was originally posted on December 19, 2014.)

Photo: Chris Slupski, Unsplash

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