I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Carpenters deliver surprise Christmas gift

A few weeks before Christmas I called our contractor. He’d been doing work on our house for the last couple of years. I was glad to find him because our house is almost 40 years old and has been showing wear and tear. Thinking about how many years we’ve lived in this house always shocks me as I remember this house as brand new when my brother Paul built it especially with my special needs in mind. We moved in December of 1979 just before the new year. 

Our children were born in Kearney and grew up in this house. It was exciting to finally finish paying off the mortgage last January. Our house has known a lot of living and seen our son’s kids, our three older grandchildren, visit often for a week or more in the summers as they grew into teenagers. Our daughter married in 2015 and now has two little ones. One-year-old Zeke is starting to climb and Cassie was concerned that our bookcases in the living room were not bolted to the wall. Also Cassie’s old room now serves as a partial junk room and sometimes as a guest room. The bed in the room is low and I wanted it on blocks to get it a little higher. I want the bed available with ease of getting up and down for our aging bodies.

The job shouldn’t take too much time, I figured. or too many of his crew. I called the contractor and asked if he would put it on his schedule for this year yet. He agreed. A week before Christmas he and, I think, his whole crew showed up. They were in a cheery mood. I showed them what I wanted and left them to work. I heard tapping on the wall of the living room. 

A couple of times, or more, I heard the front door, but otherwise didn’t pay much attention to who came in and out, as they went to their truck for one thing or another. I heard the buzz and a drill. A few entered Cassie’s room and I knew they were figuring out how to get the bed onto the blocks. 

It really didn’t take them long. The men came into the dining room where I was working (I keep my laptop on the table) and that also serves as the entrance to the house. I asked, “How much do I owe you?” –expecting to write a check. I heard soft chuckling and smiles. The contractor shook his head. “You don’t owe anything.” 


“You needed it done and we did it. Consider it a Christmas gift.” He paused. “Merry Christmas!” 

I thanked these seemingly tough young men who echoed the sentiment as they exited out the door to their van. The generosity brought tears to my eyes. 

Their unexpected gesture brought home the key to Christmas–the giving of gifts not receiving them. I am forever grateful for such a sweet memorable surprise.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub, Scheidies’ column 1/13/2020

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