Sharing HeARTs, Snow, Coins

Sharing HeARTs
Pea at Pea's Corner says, "Inspired by Sandy at Art Tea Life I am doing a Valentine Giveaway."

What a neat idea, I thought, so I am going to give away something as well. I will draw three names from my February 5 post and send each a St. Valentine's Day ATC to each one. I am in the process of creating them right now...just put on the first coat of Twinkling H2O's.

I challenging all my arty friends to do the same...let's share the love!

It's hard to believe, but it's snowing in Texas. I just talked to an old friend , and we agreed that we have never seen this sort of weather before...and she's in her 80's, so she's been here a while. That snow and sleet storm of a couple of weeks ago was amazing, and now this. The snow flakes, as you might be able to see in the photos, are huge, and it is beautiful. I realize if I lived in the North I probably wouldn't be this excited about it, but I'm like a kid. I love to see it!! Also, we have lots of junco today...the most this winter, and the sharp shinned hawk is back, and we just have tons of birds.

As you can see from this photo, Raf and Gus and the computer are keeping each other warm. This is Gus' favorite position.
One of my most long-time friends, Jack (Di's brother), sent me this. It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful. Thank you, Jackson!

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the
dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty
his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they
were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar
was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar
was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and
silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured
through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the
kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly
in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the
seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill,
son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to
hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the
counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These are
for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone.
I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice
cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled
in his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again." He
always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get
to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you'll
get there. I'll see to that"

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.
Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and
noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had
been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where
the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never
lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.

The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the
most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife
Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life
as a boy In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad
had loved me.

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his
coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill,
and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime
was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over
my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever
to make a way out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his
eyes glistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the
holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other
on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began
to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms.

"She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my
parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room,
there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into
the room. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the
floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been
removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins.
I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a
fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins
into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped
quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same
emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we
are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you
can change a person's life, for better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.

The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched! - they must
be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

- Happy moments, praise God.

- Difficult moments, seek God.

- Quiet moments, worship God.

- Painful moments, trust God.

- Every moment, thank God.


AnnieElf said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnnieElf said…
what a wonderful photo. Our Gus kitty does the same thing with Don who like Raf is remarkably tolerant.

Sign me up for the drawing too. Hugs, Annie
Sheila said…
Thanks for the pickle jar lesson Sioux..xx
Tammy said…
that was a most touching story!!
and my kitty Clarence has mapped out a simular spot he likes to be while I am on the!!
PEA said…
Oh Sioux, I am so happy that you want to participate in the Valentine Giveaway also...bless your heart!! I will add your blog's link to my list so that others will see it:-) Everyone loves a giveaway! lol

I can imagine how excited you were to see's funny this year how many places are getting snow when they don't usually have it and here, where we usually have a couple of feet of it, we've hardly got any!

I had to smile at the picture...cats sure can find the coziest places to sleep on! lol

Loved the pickle jar story, so very touching...thank you for sharing it!

Hugs xox
Susie said…
Loved the story of the pickle jar!
Very touching!
Naturegirl said…
Sigh what a beautiful ending to this post! Sign me up and thank you for coming by nature trail..I have seen you out and about other blog sites!
nice meeting you!Oh look I see Annie here and Sheila oh and sweet Pea!I feel right at home!:)NG
Diane J. said…
Hi, Sioux, and thanks for visiting my blog. :-)

Yes, it's been snowing again this evening, but I think it's slowed down to only flurries now. Our snow did stick, but most of the roads had cleared until this last inch or so of accumulation. Most of it will probably melt off tomorrow and Saturday.

I see a lot of my friends in your sidebar, and I've seen your comments at a lot of the blogs I read. Somehow we've just never "met".

Please enter my name in your giveaway. I didn't know you were participating until I read it here when I came to pay back your visit to my blog.

I had gotten the pickle jar email some time back, and it has a great message.

2 Cats own me, so I know just what you mean about them making themselves comfortable! One of mine is beside me on the bed in my computer room right now, within reach.

Have a great Friday and weekend, Sioux. ;D
Terry said…
Dear Sioux...I am going to print out the poem that your friend wrote to you. It will be so much easier to read it that way and it sure is worth printing out anyway!!

I tried to ask you if I could use a picture of Turtle on my blog because I want to tell about some of my favorite blog cats.
I don't think the comment got through that time.
Could you let me know Sioux?
I would really appreciate it!
Love Terry
One Crabapple said…
I would love to be entered in your HeART Give Away ! TWinkling H2O's and Valentine ? That seems like a wonderful combonation. Thank you!
Anonymous said…
I liked the pickle jar story! It reminds me of a big water jug my husband keeps next to his dresser for his loose change each day...

Please enter me in your drawing and feel free to join mine (which ends tomorrow evening)
Dana said…
Thanks so much for your generous offer! I'd love to be entered in the drawing! I very much liked your pickle jar story! I LOVE the little bulldog off to the right, and his words of wisdom;)

Anonymous said…
This is my first visit to your blog, Sioux. Thank you for stopping my Carolina Cottage and commenting.

I think we have something in common! We got some rare snow over here yesterday ~ hope to have pix to post soon! I'm such a kid at heart about snow. I get positively giddy!

The pickle jar story was so touching and heartwarming. What a wonderful example ~ and tradition ~ to establish for one's children (and grandchildren). It sounds like such a simple thing, but when you think about how people rush out nowadays to spend-spend-spend, throwing their plastic all around the malls, I think it's quite extraordinary to see love demonstrated through a lesson in saving!

Darling picture of your napping cat. I sleep on my side, and my fur-baby, Rudi, likes to sleep on my side in the little scoop where my waist is. She's better than a comforter!

I'd be honored if you'd enter my name in your giveaway! Thank you!
Mrs. Goodneedle said…
The poem made me cry, my dad still does put his coins in a jar beside the bed! What a touching reminder of how God wants us to live for each other. Thanks for that, Sioux. Are you still sketching cats? Gus looks so comfy, not so much for Raf, though... he looks a little cramped!
Linda said…
Thank you so much for visiting Sioux. I'm so glad you did. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. That story is so moving. I guess it is human nature to think we have to do something BIG for God in order to make a difference. Truly the Lord takes our faithfully given "little" and makes wonderful things happen. That was a timely reminder.
Have a good weekend. Come visit again!!
altermyworld said…
Beautiful Sioux just like you.
PS add me to the list
Gail said…
What a loving story about the jar,and isn't it amazing how so little can go so far if we just remain faithful. I agree, the cat looks more comfortable...
zzop357 said…
Lovely hearts for a great holiday.
Please put my name in.I couldn't pass up a chance to win such pretty gifts.
Great blog btw,I will be back!!!
Susan said…
Hope I am not tooo late. Please include me in your drawing.. Happy Day!
dogfaeriex5 said…
lovely, just lovely for cold day..thank-you!

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