Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

November 26, 2012

Hard-learned Christmas lesson was a great gift

Now that the holiday shopping season is underway, I am retelling this story because it is one of my favorites.

It may have been my sixth grade year. The University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball team was having another great season under Coach Adolph Rupp.

I was coming up on my 12th birthday and Christmas would be two days after that.

I had seen a couple of older guys in our town wearing bright, shiny blue jackets with “Kentucky” on the back. They were cool.

I later learned that the shiny material was called cotton sateen and it was pretty fancy stuff in those days.

I wanted one of those jackets so badly that I put it on my list for my birthday and for Christmas.

My mother loved Christmas but she had a rule that none of us were allowed to go searching for presents and spoil a surprise.

One of our big gifts would mysteriously show up late on Christmas Eve but we didn’t ask questions.

I knew mom’s rule about searching but I was obsessed with that shiny blue jacket. It didn’t show up on my birthday so it just had to be there for Christmas.

Mom was delivering food and gifts to a family in need and had left my brother in charge.

His head was buried in a book so I went searching.

Lo and behold, I dug into mom’s closet and found a shopping bag from a local store. As I pulled it down from the top shelf, the bag tore open and I could see white letters on shiny blue cloth.

I was excited as I reached into the bag. That’s when I noticed my brother and sister standing in the doorway, shaking their heads.

I threw the bag back on the shelf and tried to play innocent the rest of the day.

Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • 0425 OTT eagle stock photo Mahaska Co. man accused of killing bald eagle NEW SHARON — A Mahaska County man faces federal charges after allegedly beating a bald eagle to death and decapitating it. Jason John Thomas was arrested in New Sharon after being indicted by a federal grand jury. He is accused of killing the eagle i

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014