A Lifesaving Drop In

Three unexpected visitors showed up at my door. Just in time…

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front door of a house in the winter

It was one of those cold December evenings when there’s nothing better to do than cuddling on the couch, watching one of those heartwarming, made-for-TV holiday movies. That’s exactly the night my husband Kurt and I had planned. We live way out in the country with only our Springer spaniel for company, so it was quiet. Just the TV and the howl of the winter wind outside.

A ring at our door startled us. I glanced at the clock—8 p.m. Who’d be visiting after dinnertime on a cold night like this?  I opened the door a crack. John, Dana and their 10-year-old Carissa—our friends from church—were standing on my doorstep. Grinning wide.

“Merry Christmas!” they said. I welcomed them inside, bewildered.  It was three weeks till Christmas. They weren’t out caroling. What were they doing here?

“We were passing by on our way home and thought we’d drop in,” John explained, “Hope we aren’t intruding.”

Well, a little bit, I thought. So much for our quiet, cozy night. Ever the hostess, I put on a smile and helped them with their coats, offering to make more of the popcorn we’d been enjoying by ourselves moments before. Our Springer spaniel could barely contain himself – jumping and wagging his tail like crazy.  

“Mom, can I play with the dog outside?” Carissa asked.

“It’s freezing out there!” Dana said.

But Carissa wouldn’t give up. She begged and pleaded. Dana sighed and helped her bundle up. Carissa dashed out the door to play.

Before I could ask John and Dana if they wanted tea or cocoa, the door swung open again. Carissa ran back inside.

“Sue! There’s an old lady calling your name. I think she’s hurt!”

I rushed outside, not bothering to put a coat on. The cold stung my face, the darkness engulfed me. But I could hear a faint voice. I followed the sound and found Betty, my neighbor’s elderly mother, lying on the frozen ground.

“Call 9-1-1!” I yelled to the others.

I rode with Betty to the hospital. She’d been walking her dog when his chain caught around her ankle. She tripped and couldn’t get back up. The dog ran off. “I would’ve frozen to death,” Betty said. “I didn’t think anyone could hear me.”

No one would have…if not for our friends, dropping in on our quiet night at home.

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