Christmas in May-Chaska

Volunteers for Christmas in May-Chaska put in a mulch bed at the home of Janet Nelson.

With all the bad things that we hear about every day on the news β€” wars, killings in the schools, politics β€” I am honored to tell you my story about a recent Saturday here in Chaska at my house, that I know many of you know nothing about, Christmas in May.

This volunteer group of all our great neighbors here in Chaska, somewhere around 100 this year, all got together and had breakfast at Guardian Angels Church, then broke up into four groups and went into four different homes that had been chosen from people registered to be picked. I was one of the lucky ones.

About 20 people showed up at 8 a.m. to work on my yard and deck and porch, and they worked their hearts out.

One of the groups was about eight girls from Southwest Christian High School. What wonderful young ladies they were. They had been at prom the night before, and still got up and came to my house and did so much work and never complained.

One was crawling under my deck, screwing in new braces, and never complained once. They were Claire, Avery, Callie, Laura, Samantha, Sarah, Leeze and Sophia. I sure hope I did not forget anyone. Hard to remember so many names when they were all over my yard.

The fire department showed up in their big truck and checked inside my house to make sure I was safe in there, and added one more smoke alarm.

Then the city showed up and checked all of my light bulbs and replaced them with safer, money-saving bulbs all through my house, inside and out. They also replaced the two light fixtures on my house that, after 28 years, no longer worked. They also are replacing my washer and dryer and air conditioner that are 28 years old and not very energy-efficient appliances.

I was so surprised to hear all of this. I just could not believe people could be so generous to a stranger.

There was a mother and teenage son, Lori and Max I believe, who tore up my back garden and rebuilt it. It looks just great. They dug up and then replaced all of my strawberries and raspberries nice and neat. Again, what a wonderful job they did.

Then there were all of the rest of the people who were working all over my yard. Digging and putting wood chips all over my flower gardens.

Put up a gutter on my garage side, so the rain does not come off and freeze in the wintertime where I have to walk β€” and I slip way too often.

Too many to remember all of their names, but they were all in Al’s (from Love INC) group, and of course Mary, my new best friend in the office. God bless all of you.

I also want to thank Mitch Gilbert, and his two sons Cameron and Chase for coming over and raking up all of the yard and gardens to help get ready for the Christmas in May gang. They were not able to come on Saturday, but wanted to help me like always. Love you all.

So when you see the banner in downtown Chaska next year, you will know what that is all about, and maybe volunteer or donate to this very worthy group.

I know I am going to try and do the things that I am able to do for them. Being 75 years old, I know it will not be the yard work, but there are lots of things we can all help with.

God bless all of the people that helped me out and made my house and yard safer and prettier than it was before they showed up that sunny and warm Saturday in May.

Janet Nelson is a Chaska resident and a participant in the Christmas in May program.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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