After the April 2016 tax-day flood, Beth found herself living in the home of parishioners while her home, the church rectory, was being rebuilt. The family was living overseas for a number of years, and had left behind many of their belongings.

One of the left-behind items was a 4′ tall, frosty-the-snowman. Made of wire and strung with lights, and perched high atop stuff in the garage, we set about getting Frosty down from the heap. Adding blue Advent touches in the form of winter attire, Frosty took his place at the front door. He was both a symbolic and physical entity. His presence at the front door came to symbolize resilience.

On Christmas Day, his blue hat was removed so the red hat he was wearing could be seen and rejoiced.

This year there has been a second flood – Hurricane Harvey – and Beth has been displaced once again. Now temporarily housed in a townhouse, it’s the Advent/Christmas season once again. And just as last year, I’m here during Advent.

Yesterday we were out and about shopping for necessities and found ourselves in the Holiday section of a large box store. Seeing all the frostys on display, we knew one of them had to come home with us.

We settled on a moving and singing frosty who sings “the weather outside is frightful…”, while spinning around. I’ve been singing and spinning along with him. It’s provided a good deal of amusement and laughter.

Last night I tagged along to a gathering at a parishioner’s home. It was an auction fundraising effort for P.E.O. The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, is a need based grant program providing one-time financial assistance to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to complete a degree or certification. Doing so will improve their marketable skills for employment to support themselves and their families.

The auctioneer, the dad of one one the hosts, began the proceedings by telling us to think of what amount you wanted to give, and bid to that level. There was one thing I had my eye on. You guessed it. Frosty!

The bidding started at $40. I bid. Someone upped it to $45. Then $50. Then I called out the amount I had determined I wanted to give…”one hundred bucks!” SOLD!

Double joy. Support a women’s education opportunity AND bring Frosty to a place where his wave will give a smile. Now about that red scarf….

I recently was forwarded a piece written by a mental health counselor about a Joy Scavenger Hunt. It was about trying to find the joy in every day, especially while one is in a place or period of difficulty; to make an intentional effort to discover and hunt for glimmers of joy.

Advent a year ago, while not purposely seeking a glimmer of joy, it appeared in the face and form of Frosty.

This Advent was, on the other hand, a joy scavenger hunt – with great success!

While writing this blog today, I’ve been on a ride-along with Beth as she visited a newborn who was born a few days ago and is seriously ill. She held the baby to calm her, while praying and anointing her with oil. Our second stop was to visit a gentleman who has been in the process of dying. And during Beth’s visit he did just that.

Bookends. Life and death.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13

This frosty in the hospital waiting room.

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