Sunday, December 24, 2006

5AM - Wow! Chito Fund zooms!
Yesterday I asked you to help out. And Wow! Did you help!

Barci the electrician will complete every single electrical thing in the house for $2,850, material and labor. As of this morning, we have this morning, $637 in the Chito Fund.

All we need is $2,213US more. Would you help?

Thank you soooooooo much,

Chito Family Help Fund.

You don't know about the Chito Fund? Click here, OK?

8:30AM - Fun day at Hill Camp.
This is going to be a special fun day at Hill Camp in the Pueblo of Santa Rosalia. Jorge has been invited to Christmas dinner at the new home of his friend Raymundo. But that is this evening. There is more fun today.

The chamacos, Victor, Ana Karen and Alejandra are going to bake a Christmas cake in MsTioga's kitchen. And Jorge is going to bake gifts to bring to Alejandro's. A batch of cookies and cupcakes too!

Mr. Onan [generator] is going to crank up so that Mr. Breeze [vacuum] will be able to vacuum MsTioga's carpet, and clean things up for this special day.

We are sooooooo excited about what is happening today!

9AM - Vacuuming MsTioga's carpet.
Victor walked into MsTioga just about the time that carpet cleaning was supposed to begin. It was clear by his face, that Victor wanted to operate Mr. Breeze. Almost without instructions, Victor knew what to do. Jorge was surprised!
Victor is the perfect size.

Victor performs the carpet cleaning with Mr. Breeze like a pro. All by himself he cleans all of MsTioga's carpet. Afterwards, Victor and Jorge negotiated payment for the job. Jorge wanted to pay $5 pesos, Victor wanted $10 pesos. Finally they settle on $7 pesos [65 cents US].

Victor rushes out of MsTioga with his earnings. In five minutes he returns with candies that he bought at Loli's grocery store in Colonia Bella Vista [neighborhood down the road]. Later on, Jorge finds that Victor has left a candy for him on MsTioga's sink.

10:30AM - Christmas presents.
Jorge has all of those presents for the chamacos. They are hidden inside MsTioga's cabinets. It is not a secret. Somehow, chamacos always find out about presents. How do they do that?

Victor tells Jorge about the little Christmas tree in his house and the presents under it. That is when Jorge decides now is the time to put his presents for the chamacos, under the tree.
Victor and his Christmas tree.

12 Noon - Christmas cake.
It is Sunday, and the two sisters Ana Karen and Alejandra are in church at misa [mass]. For some unexplained reason, Victor did not go to misa today. When the sisters return home, they are very happy to see the new presents from Jorge under their tree.

After fussing over the presents and finding the ones with their names, the chamacos come over to MsTioga to prepare the Christmas cake. The chamacos are experienced cake makers now, because as you may remember, this is their second cake making experience inside MsTioga.
Mixing the cake batter.

After the cake is in the oven, everybody dives into the bowl.
Caught with cake battered faces.

4PM - MsTioga tells a story for Christmas & Chanukah.
Those of you who tuned into Poor George's Almanac blog, know that there almost was no Tioga and George. Because life nearly ended for George one bleak day back in 1993.

A few months after that bleak day, George was burning leaves in the front yard. His home was called, "Little Cabin in the Woods" and was located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in the town of Arnold.

If you asked George today what actually happened that afternoon while burning leaves, he would tell you that he knows what happened. But you have to decide for yourself. Anyway, here it is.

The smoke from the fire wafted itself up thru the trees, going this way and that. There was a light breeze in the air, and the smoke from other pine needle fires made a good fragrance of burning pine needles everywhere. Then George noticed that the smoke stopped going this way and that. Suddenly it was going straight up into the sky. Like a needle of smoke, up it went. Up, up, thru the trees until it disappeared into the sky.

George could not believe what he was looking at, and walked around the fire at the smoke now rising like an arrow. The breeze was still there, but the smoke went straight up.

That is when the voice came, low and soft, but clear as a bell. "If you always believe, all will be given back to you." George looked around for who was speaking, there was nobody there. Now mind you, "Little Cabin in the Woods" is way out in the forest. Only another cabin here and there. It is easy to see if somebody is close, but there was nobody.

George asked the voice what it meant? And again the voice came, "If you always believe, all will be given back to you." Over the next several minutes, the voice repeated, and then slowly the voice got softer and softer and was gone. Then, as quickly as it had begun going straight up into the sky, the smoke was now wafting in the breeze again. And with it went the voice.

Over the years since that day in 1993, George has thought about what he heard when the smoke from the fire began to go straight up through the trees. "Did it really happen?", he has thought to himself a thousand times.
George burning pine needles on an ordinary day in 1993.

George never doubted that things would improve in his life. And of course they did improve. Amazingly so. The life of Tioga and George is almost too wonderful to be true. But it is absolutely true. Some would say that Tioga and George are a miracle. But what about the promise of the voice and the smoke?

George did not know the answer to that promise until this afternoon, when he was thinking about the chamacos, the Christmas presents and the Christmas Cake. All had been given back to him. His lost family. His lost money. His lost business.

And even more!

Now George had the gift of understanding who he was, and the mysteries of his life have been solved. "If you always believe, all will be given back to you." George does not know why tears come to his eyes when he thinks about those words. But they do.

And today as MsTioga tells this story to you, George is crying like a baby. He is sooooooo happy.


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