“[whether] dramatic or fairly common - what have been/are your lifesavers (If it helps, try the phrase 'life giving' instead.)”
1) Your lifesaving food/beverage.
Way back in the summer of ‘73, Onkel Hankie Pants and I wanted to see a little of Germany besides Berlin before his return to the States (and mine soon to follow). Among other things, we took a boat trip up the Rhine from Mainz to Koblenz, seeing the Lorelei and ending up at Das Deutsches Eck, the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. It was a hot, sunny day, and being on deck all day gave me a rip-roaring headache. When we disembarked at Koblenz we quickly found a Gasthaus mit Fremdenzimmer. I couldn’t face my usual Zigeunerschnitzel but knew I needed food. Ochsenschwanzensuppe to the rescue! A bowl of oxtail soup and a Brotchen were just what I needed as a restorative. I’m almost inspired now to ask our butcher for some oxtails to make some myself.
2) Your lifesaving article of clothing.
I think I’ve written about this before as “best gift” – some years ago my sister-in-law The Traveller made me a down-filled parka from a kit as a Christmas present, but gave it to me at Thanksgiving. That year had unusually cold pre-Christmas temperatures in City of Lakes, so I think the gift may literally have saved my life.
3) Your lifesaving movie/book/tv show/music.
It’s hard to pick just one, but Sara Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs was very helpful to me at one time; it was a time when I needed escape from my life and my surroundings to a more peaceful place, and I could go there by reading her gentle tales of turn-of-the-century Maine.
4) Your lifesaving friend.
I have been so fortunate; there have been more than one of these in my life. Today I’ll mention Pastor Bob, who was our minister for over 25 years in City of Lakes, and his wife. Only five months after my mother died, I got the news that my father had died on his 65th birthday. Not only did Bob drive me to the airport, but they had made up a little traveling CARE package for me which included not just gum and candy, but a book of Ole and Lena jokes. It was just what I needed. That was only one of many lifesaving moments for me and others in a long ministry.
5) Your lifesaving moment.
When I was expecting Sisterfilms, our third child, I was worried and nervous. I worried about money during the time I’d be at home, how a new child would fit into the family and our small house, and of course whether the child would be healthy. I also kept working at my part-time (five days in each fortnight) job downtown, and riding crowded buses with sciatica is no fun. Plus, the due date was December 25th and there was all the Christmas preparation to do as well. One day I was riding the bus home down the Nicollet Mall when we approached Peavey Plaza, outside Orchestra Hall, where a small skating rink had been set up. As I looked out the window, I saw someone in full Santa Claus regalia approach the rink, stop to put on skates, and glide out onto the ice. Somehow this magical moment let me know that everything would be all right. Sisterfilms did indeed make her appearance on Christmas Day and has been a joy ever since.