A Christmas Story-‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

by Dr. Carrie Wachsmann

(inspired by a true event) Originally posted December, 2015. Some stories are simply worth repeating.

“It came upon a midnight clear, that glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.

‘Peace on the earth, good will toward men’,

from heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.” 

Christmas music gently filled the little coffee-house. Unlike the carol heralding a ‘midnight clear’, this night was everything but. Snow fell fast and thick.

In the corner, a young man sat alone.


The young man © 

He looked out the window and watched as the last patron of the night plowed their way out of the parking lot.

“Young man, we’re closing.”

He nodded, put on his coat and made his way to the exit. He looked to be about fourteen, fifteen at the most.

As the door closed behind him, the cold quickly bit into his face and hands.  He pulled his collar up close to his face.

“Do you have a ride?” a voice called to him.

The young man turned to see someone standing in the shadows of the building.

”No, I’m good,” he answered firmly.

The man persisted. “I’m not so sure about that. It’s Christmas eve. Shouldn’t you be home with your family, sitting by the fire and enjoying hot chocolate, or something?”

The lad shrugged his shoulders as if to say… yah, so what. Who cares anyway.

The man stepped out of the shadows.


The old man © 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 2 – Carrie  ©] 

The young man saw that he was an old man. Old enough to make him wonder what someone this old was doing out in a snow storm at this hour of the night.

The old man continued. “Where you’re headed… it is not worth it… You do have options you know.”

The young man was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable. He stared at the old man not sure what to make of the encounter.

“How do you know where I’m headed?” he finally asked.

“I know that place, under the bridge.” The old man continued.  “You won’t find what you’re really looking for out there. Running away isn’t the answer.”

Now the young man paused.

How did this old man know that he was going to that “homeless place” where he might make it through the night?

Maybe if he was lucky someone would share their Christmas “spirits” with him.

And how did this old man know that he was running away?

The old man smiled knowingly and said. “I’ve been young and now I am old…but I have never seen God’s children forsaken”… The old man talked so strange…and yet he was most compelling.

“I know a place.  A place where you can get a hot bowl of homemade soup, and a good night’s sleep.”

“Follow me,” the old man continued.


The mysterious old man leads the way © 

“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” 3 – Carrie  ©

The old man began to make his way through the deep drifts of snow. The young man hesitated but only for a second or two. “Man…what do I have to lose,” he mumbled.

He began to follow in the old man’s footsteps.

After some time, the old man stopped at a building with a sign that read, “The Welcome Home Centre”.  He turned to the young man. “They will take care of you.  You can stay as long as you wish.” Then he paused, looked the boy in the eyes and added, “God loves you, you know. He’s got plans for you”.

The young man did not know what to think. No one had ever talked to him like this before.

They stood in silence and waited.

Eventually a pleasant sort of man answered the knock on the door. The young man’s last bit of resistance melted away as he breathed in a blast of warm fragrant air. He smelled something wonderful.

“Come in… welcome,” the man said sincerely.

“I…ah..need a place to hang till this storm’s over,” the young man said, hesitantly.

“You’ve come to the right place then,” came the reassuring answer.

The young man sighed.

He turned and started to thank the old man but no one was there.

“That old man, who was here with me. He brought me here. He was just here,” the bewildered young man exclaimed .

“I didn’t see anybody but you, lad,” came the answer.

“But he was here, I followed him here. He told me about you…he knew stuff about me…he…”

Bewildered, the young man took one last look out into the white night. He saw only lonely, empty  streets and a fast disappearing single set of footprints that lead to The Welcome Home’s front porch.

footprints in the snow

Putting a kind hand on the young man’s shoulder the man at the door said, “It’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened son. “I do believe you.  Come…I want to hear all about it.”

It’s now midnight and that brings our 2015 Christmas eve story to an end.

Yes, this young man’s life was changed forever that Christmas eve.

What will this Christmas bring you?

Will you let God’s love bring you a miracle this Christmas?

I wish for you, a life-changing kind of Christmas.

One that you will remember forever because it was…well…life changing.

You can find me on Facebook here:  – Carrie Wachsmann – Storyteller 

& here: Roadblocks to Hell – book

A Horse Whisperer Who Rescues Percherons

 

 

Horse whisperer, Mel and his wife Irene, live on a farm near Steinbach, Manitoba.

This is the story of the Percheron draft horses they rescue. 

 

The Rush’s farm is a sanctuary for these large magnificent draft horses. There is little use for these horses in our day and age, and so they are often left unattended in the farmers’ fields. Lack of care and attention results in a very powerful, wild and unmanageable animal.

Mel is a true horse whisperer. He rescues Percherons and takes on the challenge of taming these powerful beasts. With both patience and love they become useful and gentle creatures.

On several occasions over the Christmas holiday season, I’ve had opportunity to visit the farm. Each time I am treated to a old fashioned sleigh ride drawn by two powerful draft horses. The first time it was Silver and Dollar who were hitched to the sleigh.

Rescued Percherons - Carrie ©
Oh what fun it is to ride, in a two-horse open sleigh… – Carrie ©

That day Mel told me of the latest acquired two-year-old Percheron named Diamond.

Diamond had spent his entire life out in some farmer’s field. He was wild and tough and full of fire. No one could touch him. Without attention his life would be a short one. With great difficulty they were able to catch him and have him transported to the Rush’s farm.

When I first saw Diamond, he was running free and wild in the fields at his new home. Mel stated that at this time, all attempts at getting near the horse were futile. The horse had been with them for several months.

A year passed and I once again visit the farm.

Mel hitches up two beautiful black Percherons to the sleigh and we are ready for another ride through the acres of fresh snow and bush land.

He hands ME the reigns!

I take them… and feel the thrill of the ride in a whole new way.

Mel tells me that the horse on the left is Diamond.

 

Diamond & Silver - Carrie ©
Diamond & Silver – Carrie ©

Diamond!

I am astonished. This horse was gentle and intelligent, attentive and eager to work – and loving every minute of pulling the load behind him. Diamond was transformed.

“How did you do it?” I ask.

Mel tells me how they had finally lassoed Diamond and then wrapped the end of the rope around a large tree trunk. Seemingly effortlessly, Diamond pulled the tree and dragged it around the field until he was exhausted.

The battle of the wills had been won. Now they were able to bridle him and lead him quietly to the barn. Soon Diamond’s natural gentle nature and love of companionship rose to the surface under the kind and expert hand of the horse whisperer, Mel.

 

Come along for the ride …

This is Sedra.

 Rush’s beautiful 6 month old Bernard. She was a delight to have on the ride with us. She’d race ahead, then sit patiently for our sleigh to catch up.

Waiting for the sleigh - Carrie ©
Waiting for the sleigh – Carrie ©

 

Sedra rescuing someone who fell off the wagon…

Sedra rescuing one who fell off the wagon - Carrie ©
Sedra rescuing one who “fell off the wagon” – Carrie ©

 

Do you know what this is called or what it was used for?

Antique in the snow - Carrie ©
Antique in the snow – Carrie ©

I think it’s a manure spreader.

 

Looks like a Chevy under that blanket of snow…

Antique car snow bound - Carrie ©
Antique car – snow bound – Carrie ©

 

Back at the farm…

Looking for sugar cubes - Carrie ©
Looking for sugar cubes – Carrie ©

 

For more inspiring stories of hope, check out my author’s Storyteller site.

 

You can find me on Facebook here:  – Carrie Wachsmann – Storyteller 

& here: Roadblocks to Hell – book