Christmas in My Soul #03
When Tad Remembered Minnie Leona Upton Mary Merivale turned, peered eagerly down the length of the quiet elm-shaded street; then the expectant light faded from her tired eyes. She had done this a full five thousand times--but still no Bobbie....
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When Tad Remembered Minnie Leona Upton Mary Merivale turned, peered eagerly down the length of the quiet elm-shaded street; then the expectant light faded from her tired eyes. She had done this a full five thousand times--but still no Bobbie. That was bad enough, but where was Taddy--Taddy, her beloved dog? This story dates back about a hundred years ago, to a time when diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, scarlet fever, cholera, tuberculosis, influenza, and so on, came--there being no known antidote--they wiped out entire families; when you add in death because of childbirth complications, you were lucky if half your children survived to adulthood. It was a mighty tough and heartbreaking time in which to live. This is an old story, and I have loved it ever since I first heard it, growing up. I have never been able to find anything about the author. In fact, this is the only one of her stories I have ever found. What a pity! It was closing time for a little notion shop that shyly besought the scant patronage of a sleepy, shabby old side street in a great city. The little notion shop lady sped a last lingering patron with a cheery but decided good-night, then following her outside, closed the snow-burdened blinds with tremulous haste, and, turning, peered eagerly down the length of the quiet, elm-shaded street. One long look, then the patient eyes from which the expectant light had suddenly faded turned for a moment to the remote keen December stars, and a tired little sigh accompanied the clicking of the key in the lock. Full five thousand times had Mary Merivale done this, and nothing more interesting than Sandy Macpherson the cobbler, putting up his shutters, or old Bettina the apple woman, ambling homeward with empty basket, had yet rewarded her searching gaze. But it was part of her day, of her life: and the warm thrill of unreasoning hope had never failed to come. Next time--who could tell? Especially at Christmastime! She hung the key on its nail, and limped back into her low-ceiled sitting room, dining room, kitchen. With resolute cheerfulness she opened the drafts, and woke the slumbering fire in the shining stove, lighted the rose-shaded lamp, drew the curtains, and filled the diminutive teakettle. She was beginning to spread a white cloth on the wee round table (having removed the Dresden shepherdess, and the pot of pansies, and the crocheted doily, and the cretonne cover), when her operations were interrupted by a vigorous scratching on the door opening into the backyard. The little lady's face broke into a welcoming smile, deepening a host of pleasant wrinkles. She drew the bolt, the door burst open, and in bounded a little rough-coated, brownish-yellow--or yellowish-brown--mongrel, yapping joyously, and springing up, albeit somewhat laboriously and rheumatically, to bestow exuberant kisses upon the beloved hands of his lady. "There, there, Taddy--there, there--that'll do," she said. But there was not a marked firmness in the prohibition, and it was several minutes before Tad subsided, and sank, with asthmatic wheezes, upon a braided rug that looked as if it might have been made from Joseph's coat of many colors. "Been watchin' for the rat, Taddy?" Tad thumped the mat with his happy, lowbred, undocked tail. He took no shame to himself that a year's efforts had failed to catch and bring to justice the canny old rat that, under the wastebarrel house, made carefree entrances and exits through a hole that led to regions unknown. He knew nothing of the countless times when the bold bandit had skipped nonchalantly forth while he was taking forty winks. Once the villain would not have escaped him so arrogantly, nor, indeed, at all! But almost twenty conscientiously active years, with asthma and rheumatism, had stolen away, bit by bit, his alertness of observation and elasticity of muscle, though not one i
The third volume in Joe Wheeler's popular series brings readers seven heartwarming tales of Christmas cheer. ^There are dozens of Christmas traditions that bring family and friends together. One of the most beloved is the sharing of stories, and Joe Wheeler has helped to preserve and perpetuate this wonderful tradition in the classic Christmas in My Heart" "series as well as the new Christmas in My Soul" "volumes. His extraordinary talent for finding stories that embody the Christmas spirit sparkles again in "Christmas in My Soul, Volume 3." ^The seven stories here reveal the true meaning and hope of Christmas. Selected with care by Wheeler, a veteran English professor, a father, and a grandfather, each one rings with a message that is both honest and inspiring. Whether read to a child or enjoyed in peaceful solitude, they will make readers smile, bring tears to their eyes, and touch their hearts. Delightful antique woodcuts add to the old-fashion look and spirit of the book and
Joe Wheeler, Ph.D., chaired the English Department at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland, before he retired in 1996 and moved with his wife to Conifer, Colorado. A Senior Fellow for Cultural Studies at the Center for the New West in Denver, Colorado, and Executive Director of Zane Grey's West Society, he has edited and published "Zane Grey's West." In addition to the popular "Christmas in My Heart "volumes, his other publications include "Remote Controlled" and "View at Your Own Risk."