Columns

2009.11.25 Thankful for a warm body

on . Posted in Midnight Musings

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I slipped into bed at 3:30 a.m. Sunday night and as soon as my freezing cold leg hit David’s delightfully warm skin, he gasped in shock as I sighed with content. One of the greatest things about David is the warmth emanating from his body on a cold fall night.

But more than that is his willingness to put up with me easing my cold body into bed at all hours of the night. As he shivered and made involuntary noises a la Curley of the Three Stooges, I sighed again and again—this time in gratitude for his presence in my life. 

I wondered, like I always do, why I can’t train my body and mind to go to bed at the same time he does—think of all the extra hours I’d spend next to his warm body.

It’s only somewhat like my experience of getting into the shower on cold mornings. I put it off with dread, but once I get in I don’t want to get out. Now, I don’t dread going to bed with David, it just takes me a long time to get there. 

So many things need to be done and I’m not even half done when he climbs the stairs at 10 p.m. On nights when I go to bed at the same time he does, I just end up spending more hours in bed. Whether I go to bed early or I go to bed late, I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

My shortcomings in life are many—taking my husband for granted is a major one of them. Another, over which I flog myself daily, is not writing thank you notes in a timely fashion. If I were still a practicing Catholic I would be in the confessional daily.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned...” but all the Hail Marys and all the Our Fathers would not absolve me of that sin. I carry the guilt, I wear it like a heavy winter coat and I cringe when I see the people I should have sent a thank you card to.

Thanksgiving has become another one of those holidays that has lost its meaning, replaced by a frenzy of cooking and eating, a feast of food and football, with gratitude often left out of the picture. I’m as guilty as anyone of not stopping to appreciate and be thankful for what I have—I lay claim to the Guiltiest Woman in America trophy—but I’m even guiltier of not expressing it.

And, the guilt I am carrying at the moment—and for many moments since this summer—is for not writing thank you letters to the people who helped run our library’s Summer Reading Program. My gratitude is deep and abiding, but I’m like a miserable sot at expressing it quickly in the written word.

I’m especially grateful to Jim Yatzek. What would our Summer Reading Program be like without the ever-gracious Jim Yatzek allowing us the use of the Morenci Bible Fellowship church building when we have performers scheduled? 

For several years now, Jim has accommodated us so that 150, and sometimes up to 200, people can enjoy the Saline Fiddlers ReStrung or Ann Arbor’s Gemini, for example.

But it’s not just Jim; his wife, Deb, and Kathy Farley and Les Robertson also devoted time to us this summer when we used the church. 

And, I’m eternally grateful to our wonderful and willing group of VolunTeen kids. These students are the backbone of our Summer Reading Program. This summer, Barbara Hollstein, Brooke Bovee, Chloe Molitierno, Lizz Gautz, Erin Vanderpool, Jacob Mock, Jericha Schmidt, Josh Namyslowski, Julie Terry, Kaitlyn Bovee, Katie Cox, Ken Dillon, Kira Beroske, Kyle Wilson, Mary Margaret Hollstein, Michaela Merillat, Nathan Grieder, Nick Hunt, Sam Majahrowski, Taylor Schisler, Tommy McVay, and Travis Zuvers collectively donated hours and hours of their time in service to the children of our community.

That gratitude extends to others—among them Joyce Woerner and Sharon Bruce for volunteering to read to the summer pre-school group and Liz Stella for supplying snacks and support all along the way.

These people—and all the many others I need to write thank you notes to—could be flogging me daily for my sins of omission.

But they’re like Mother Mary...chock full of grace.

Thank you, one and all.

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