Streamline - Winter 2017 - 37

ThrowingMyLoop
BY MICHAEL JOHNSON

Christmas Lights on the Barn!
best Christmas? I certainly remember mine like it was yesterday.
I had experienced some rather trying years back then and let's just say the "Christmas spirit" hadn't
been around for some time. Spent the last few years alone. No gifts exchanged, no Christmas tree,
and no Christmas lights. Then something happened. The phone rang, and I said...
WHEN WAS YOUR

©CHUCKRASCO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

And round and
round we went
from one end
of the arena to
the other, with
Tacey laughing
all the way.
A sunny,
crisp, cold,
starched shirt
of a winter
day. Round
and round
we went.

"Hello?"
"Dr. Johnson? This is Patsy Bolton. Do you
remember me?"
"Certainly I do, Mrs. Bolton. I never forget
impressive people."
"Remember when you came to our school and
I bought your audio books for my granddaughter?
I took a deep breath and said to myself, "How
could I ever forget that."
On that day, Mrs. Bolton, the Superintendent
of Sulphur Springs, Texas ISD had appeared
before my booth with an armload of audio CDs.
"My goodness," I said. "Why so many? Are
you buying those for the school?"
"No," she said. "I'm buying them for me granddaughter. She's nine years old and she loves audio
books. She's blind, you see."
Her words slammed into me like a hollowpoint. That was the moment in my life when I
knew what it must feel like to be shot. The child
had "retinoblastoma" and in her case, was left
with a family that had to decide to take her eyes
because of the cancer or let her die.
"We chose life," said Mrs. Bolton.

And now on this day, Mrs. Bolton continued,
"Of course we have all sorts of presents for
Tacey, but when we asked her what she wanted
Santa to bring her, she said, 'More than anything
else in the world, I wish I could talk to Little
Blue on the phone.' She has fallen in love with
that horse in your book who speaks so rapidly with his speech impediment that prevents
him from saying "R's". So we were wondering if it might be possible to "hire" Little Blue
to give that precious child a special gift from
Santa? Would Blue do that - and what might
he "charge" us?"
"Yes, he would, Mrs. Bolton," I said. "But let
me suggest something that I think Blue would
want to do even more for no charge. Why don't
you bring that child to our farm and let her not
only talk to Blue...but she could ride him!"
Shortly before their arrival, I had a Christmas
tree in the den and found myself furiously stringing Christmas lights all over the barn. I was a bit
worried when I saw them coming up the lane to
the farm because I didn't know exactly what I
would do when I met Tacey. She stepped from
the back seat holding her grandmother's hand -
a beautiful child not deformed from the illness.
And her grandmother said, "Here's Michael,
dear." She didn't say hello, she didn't giggle,
she just looked so intently at me and said, "You
know that story you wrote about going to the
North Pole and roping on those reindeer with
Santa and Mrs. Claus - and how you rode those
reindeer and they were so warm and fuzzy that
you weren't even cold? You 'member that?"
"Yes," I said. "I do."
"Well," she said, "I just want to ask you
something, and I want you to tell me true...was
that real?"
www.vrwa.org

37


http://www.vrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2017

From the President: Ammonia-Nitrogen
From the Executive Director: Your Most Important Tool
VRWA’s 2017 Expo
How to Pass a Certification Test – The First Time
Slips, Trips and Falls – Winter Safety Tips
Looking Forward to Being of Service
Floodplain Management
No Wipes in the Pipes
Going Green?
Need Cash? Check the Meter!
The Rate Setting Results…Are In
Introducing JumpStart – A New App for Operators to Test Their Skills Before Testing!
Throwing My Loop: Christmas Lights on the Barn!
VRWA Member Corner
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Benefits for VRWA Members
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Intro
Streamline - Winter 2017 - cover1
Streamline - Winter 2017 - cover2
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 3
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 4
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 5
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 6
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 7
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 8
Streamline - Winter 2017 - From the President: Ammonia-Nitrogen
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 10
Streamline - Winter 2017 - From the Executive Director: Your Most Important Tool
Streamline - Winter 2017 - VRWA’s 2017 Expo
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 13
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 14
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 15
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 16
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 17
Streamline - Winter 2017 - How to Pass a Certification Test – The First Time
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 19
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Slips, Trips and Falls – Winter Safety Tips
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Looking Forward to Being of Service
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 22
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Floodplain Management
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 24
Streamline - Winter 2017 - No Wipes in the Pipes
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 26
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Going Green?
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Need Cash? Check the Meter!
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 29
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 30
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 31
Streamline - Winter 2017 - The Rate Setting Results…Are In
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 33
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 34
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Introducing JumpStart – A New App for Operators to Test Their Skills Before Testing!
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 36
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Throwing My Loop: Christmas Lights on the Barn!
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 38
Streamline - Winter 2017 - VRWA Member Corner
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 40
Streamline - Winter 2017 - eLearning Benefits
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Membership Application
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Benefits for VRWA Members
Streamline - Winter 2017 - 44
Streamline - Winter 2017 - VRWA Committees
Streamline - Winter 2017 - Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Winter 2017 - cover3
Streamline - Winter 2017 - cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/VRWQ/VRWQ0119
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/VRWQ/VRWQ0318
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/VRWQ/VRWQ0413
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/VRWQ/VRWQ0313
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/VRWQ/VRWQ0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/VRWQ0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/VRWQ0412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/VRWQ0312
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http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com