Like many retired householders in this down economy, I have dawdled this year over home improvements. But the week before Christmas I was feeling energetic and determined that I needed to bite the bullet and take care of some long overdue tasks.

I went over to Harold K. Smith Materials and asked Keith if he might be able to bring in a scoop of gravel and distribute it on my woefully rutted long driveway.

“Would it be possible by … Wednesday?” I wheedled. Keith said that he had to let his gravel dry out but he thought it might be do-able. I left with a sense of my task fulfilled.

Wednesday came and Keith never showed up. I was rushing about preparing for an evening event. It puzzled me but I figured it was a busy season and I knew Keith had a lot of responsibilities on and off the Hill. I decided I would let it wait and would call him in the new year.

I went north to spend Christmas with family and returned on Dec. 29, when I was picked up by one of my sisters-in-song from Local Color.

As she drove me down an amazing new driveway, graded and graveled, she said, “Merry Christmas from Local Color.”

Local Color had arranged for the road a long time before and through a series of misunderstood travel dates on my calendar had finally been able to bring the gift to fruition, leveling some of the gravel themselves at the final delivery.

Not only had Keith colluded on this Santa secret, but so had my generous and kind neighbor, Larry Bishof, who helped to pre-grade the driveway with his tractor. It was a gift that was so generous, so practical and of benefit to so many, I was bowled over.

I love surprises. This one was an Idyllwild community best! I was impressed and touched that so many would work so hard to “pave the way” for me.

Anna Ancheta
Mountain Center

“Only in Idyllwild” may be sent one of four ways: e-mail to [email protected], call 659-2145, fax to 659-2071 or drop off at the office, 54295 Village Center Drive.