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The Soldiers Life

The clues all made a trail leading toward the back door. Polly flipped the switch, bathing the backyard in light. Alarm and guilt made her eyes wide. Oh, yes, it was Mercy. She lay under her favorite tree in a fluffy nest of shredded wrapping paper, chewed-up boxes, and curling bits of ribbon. Presents, pawed from their packages, were strewn among tattered bows. Beautifully wrapped boxes had gaping holes. Fragments of tissue paper mixed with the last remaining evidence of gifts. Anything edible was gone, including cookies, chocolates, candy canes, and four pounds of Milk-Bones.

Nature took pity on Mercy, and she survived her midnight snack.

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My parents were so grateful, they laughed off the ruined presents. Only one problem remained. With all the gift tags destroyed, how could they send out thank-you cards? Mercy presented the problem, so Mercy provided the answer.

A few days later, Polly returned to her easy chair to find Mercy guiltily licking a plate where a doughnut had just been. Polly snapped a picture of the shamefaced pooch and used it to make thank-you notes. We all had to laugh. Mercy definitely deserves a spot on this list of adorable pets filled with Christmas spirit. So that January, I put three bikes on layaway. The Saturday before Christmas, my son Ricky asked how much I needed. When I told him, he asked if he could pour the pennies out of the penny jug we kept. It was as blessed a Christmas as anyone could ever have.

For some serious Christmas spirit, check out the best Christmas town in every state. Ice and snow pelted the window of the office where I was working. As the wind howled, I wondered how I would get home. The mile route took me up and down steep hills and around treacherous turns. I whispered a prayer for safety.


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My old green Blazer was doing well over the ice-crusted roadway, dodging the snowdrifts. But as I ascended one of the steepest and scariest hills, I noticed the tires were slipping, and my trusty SUV was having difficulty climbing the grade. I decided it was time to switch to four-wheel drive.

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I pulled the lever back, just like my husband had taught me. Slowly the tires gripped the road, and the top of the hill came within sight. But at the crest, the vehicle just stopped. I pushed and pulled the lever—nothing happened. I was stuck, with snow and ice pellets swirling.

Now what? Even though I had met no one on this lonely stretch of road, I silently asked that someone might come to help. After a few minutes, I spied an old, rattling pickup truck. I assured him that I did. He stepped into the wintery madness and showed me how to maneuver the four-wheel-drive shifting gear, locking it into place. In no time, I had the Blazer moving toward home. You betcha! At Christmastime, in , our family was on the way from Seattle to a new assignment on the East Coast, and we checked into a motel in Watertown, South Dakota. It was not the best time to travel with young children, who were concerned about Santa finding us on the road.

We headed into town to find a store, and as our car approached an intersection, there was a Santa right in the crosswalk! He held up his hand for us to stop, and we rolled down our windows. Naturally, the kids were thrilled to pieces. They made sure we told Santa which motel we were staying at so he could find them.

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The cartop carrier and out-of-state license plate might have been a giveaway, but whatever it was, that Santa really made Christmas a memorable one for our kids. Movies are another great way to experience Christmas miracles—these are the 40 best Christmas movies of all time, ranked. Michelle D. It was Inside, the house was full of sadness and quiet conversation. My year-old father-in-law, Jim Cravens, was gravely ill. The family had gathered to see to his care, to cook and to welcome visitors. Jim and his wife, Dorothy, were beloved pillars of the community.

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This curious visitor gave us something new to talk about, a wonderful distraction. Whose dog was he?

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Did someone drop him off along the road? Did he intend to stay? Either way, it would be dark soon, and he would be cold.

I'll be home for Christmas - Tribute to Soldiers

We called the radio station, animal shelter, newspaper, sheriff and several neighboring farms about a lost dog. Meanwhile, we made him comfortable on the porch with food, water, and a blanket. The days leading up to New Year brought no news, and we were all just content that our companion had stayed around. My father-in-law said he wanted to live long enough to see the new millennium, and he did. He passed away Jan. That was the day the black dog left.

Then the weather turned cold, and snow fell every day for the rest of the winter, it seemed. Some time later we heard that the black dog was a rescued dog living with a family about a mile and a half from the farm. They named him Bogart. The following summer Bogart returned to see us again.

When his owners came to pick him up, we told them about his angelic Christmas visit, how he had comforted our family with his cheerful companionship. We wanted them to know how much that meant. On Christmas Eve, at the bakery we had recently purchased, we counted the receipts, cleaned the shop and headed for home with our two sleepy children. Suddenly, we remembered we had not gotten a tree. We looked for a vendor who might have a tree left, to no avail. About a mile from home, we stopped for a red light.

Suddenly, a gust of wind blew, and something hit the front of our truck. My husband went out to investigate. The next thing I knew, my husband was throwing a good-sized evergreen into the back of the truck. He went into the mom-and-pop store at the corner where we were and asked the proprietor how much he wanted for the tree.

The massive casualties on both sides and the steady flow of people fleeing the technological destruction results in most of Earth's population either dying or leaving.

Centuries later, Earth is populated by a few hundred million people with most of its cities are abandoned and overgrown. Meanwhile, the name "Dabog" stands for defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, and the still-radioactive planet remains the silent monument to the fallen. Though the Independents would ultimately lose the battle due to massive Alliance air support, the browncoats were nonetheless able to hold the Alliance for far longer than anyone thought possible the fact that the Alliance had to call in the air support was a victory of sorts.

Unfortunately, it's implied that the "victory" in the valley was ultimately disastrous for the Independents, who surrendered not long after. Iraq will pretty much be over by the time you boys graduate. Two of them are leaving for service in Operation Barbarossa, one of them has volunteered to be a nurse on the front, another is an aspiring singer, and the last one is Jewish. They leave, hoping that by Christmas, Russia will be crushed and all of them will be reunited in that bar. The war ends four years later, Germany is defeated, and two of the friends don't make it back.

The Dominion found its hopes for a quick victory smashed by being cut off from reinforcements. Then after the Breen join, they again start to dream of a quick victory, but again the situation is turned around. On the other side of the battlefield, Gowron also kept thinking his incompetent tactics would lead to swift victory. There are a few examples of this in early episodes of Enemy at the Door , with the Germans fresh from rolling over France. When announcing the D-Day landings, the BBC assures those living in occupied Europe that " will be the year of your liberation!

At the end of the song he says "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams", admitting it's unlikely he really will be home by Christmas.