Friday, December 25, 2009

Well, as much as I prayed for it not to come…the snow is here. Not a lot, but enough for me to sigh big. The trees are coated with a heavy wet snow which took down some nondescript tree in our front field and ripped out a power line that had a direct feed to the neighboring transformer. The line lay over our driveway just low enough to not be able to get out. Of course we did get out due to the ingenuity of my husband Jorma. I won’t reveal how he did it for fear that someone from AEP might be reading. Not sure if it was our tree that was the culprit but 160 families near us were without power all day. Thankfully a few years ago we were smart enough to buy a generator. The praying for no snow, the praying for electricity became obsessive at first, and then I remembered what a friend of mine said years ago to me. Little prayers are over loading the circuits to God. So, I moved on and tried to be grateful…and I was. I made it out, took my daughter to dance class, managed to grab a bite to eat with her at our favorite eatery, then spent the rest of the afternoon in a salon chair before heading back to the farm. The power was out until 8pm…

It got me thinking about all of the little prayers that are out there, floating around, perhaps not being answered the way that we would like. I was always told that you get what you need, not necessarily what you want. This, for the most, part has settled well with me over the years. But there are people that need our that neighbors, friends and strangers can offer. Every year like most companies, it was time to set the date for our holiday/year end get together at the ranch. Once we set the date and make sure everyone knows it’s a potluck, someone (usually me) decides what the gift giving procedures would be for this year. I always say, ”no gifts... I have everything that I need." There is always an exchange of gifts though. We just can’t help ourselves. I really wanted this year to be different. I wanted all of us to experience giving in a different way. The moment we set the date, we put all of our employee’s names, including mine and Jorma’s on little pieces of paper. Then, Brett, John and Kelly helped me organize the list as the names were picked. We went down the list of everyone who works at the ranch, then picked a name randomly from the little pieces of paper. It was unanimously decided that each person (the giver) who got another (the receiver) as their vehicle for giving, could choose any organization to give to however near or far. We set a specific price limit and then waited for December 16th to share.

When everyone gets together at the ranch the food exchange is something else. Kelly’s noodles, John’s famous beans and more. This year we had potatoes, spiral ham, salmon, oriental salad, green beans, kale, pies, homemade candy, appetizers and more. Truly, more food than we could eat. And to top it all off, the organizations that everyone gave to in honor of another employee were just so creative and meaningful. Collectively, we gave to, Wounded Warriors, Alzheimer’s Foundation, American Farmers Association, Guitars in the Classroom, My Sister’s Place , Passionworks, Hillel Foundation of Athens, Ohio, American Jewish Federation to save Darfur, Norml, and local food banks in our area. I hope I remembered all of the organizations....

A big salute of gratitude goes out to my staff for agreeing to give in a special way this year……Happy Holidays everyone, may all of your wises come true.



  1. Now that's what Christmas is about.
    I love you V and am brimming with tears.
    I am blessed to be reconnected with your kind, generous and wise spirit, wrapped up in humor and realness.
    Hugs to you and your snow bunnies.

  2. Peace Be With You and all the wonderful staff at FPR. Thanks for doing your part to create positive energy in the world. It is greatly appreciated.

    Much love!


    p.s. How cute does Izzy look in that NF jacket and tobaggon. Many blessings for the new year.