“Hey, I’ve been talking with Nick,” our neighbor Josh said over the phone, “and we’ve decided to put your roof on for you tomorrow. You don’t need to be home, as long as all the supplies are there. It’s supposed to rain in a few days and we want you to have a roof on your place.” Mr. Open Sky got a most amazing phone call on Thursday the 22nd of December. We were apparently the topic of conversation between two of our neighbors who decided to take our non-roof situation into their own hands. Maybe because they have more time on their hands, what with Josh working as a part-time teacher and Nick taking the winter off to build his own house down the hill. Maybe because they feel sorry for us. Maybe because they were in the giving Christmas spirit. Maybe because they are kind folks. Or maybe because out here in the sticks most of us adopt a “neighbors-helping-neighbors” mentality. I don’t know. I just know two of our neighbors offered to get our roofing plywood up the following day.

Mr. Open Sky told his boss, who allowed him to take the following day, the Friday before Christmas off, even though they are super busy. We got up early and stopped by Spenard Builders Supply to pick up the plywood we would need. Just after sunrise, it was -4* out and we were out trying to get the roof on in one short Alaskan day. Fortunately it wasn’t a windy day, so it was just the cold air we had to contend with. Throughout the day Mr. Open Sky, Josh, and Nick were able to get our last two rafters up, all the plywood, and the tar paper on top of that. It was 5 pm when they finished and the sun had set nearly an hour earlier. But they did it.

My heart is still, days later, filled to overflowing with humbleness, thankfulness, and appreciation. Those guys didn’t need to do that for us. But they did and saying thank you just doesn’t seem like enough. We feel so blessed and cared for. Words can’t express. I will talk later about the whole roof project at a later date, when we get the upstairs walls done, but I just had to share our Christmas story. Right now, today, I feel hope again. We can get down and depressed in the long dark winter, but this was just what we needed to get through a little longer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, indeed!