A bottle of cold milk warmed my heart.

This Christmas season arrived with more than the usual amount of stress. With a new job and a new house on top of our family's regular hectic schedule there wasn't much energy left over to deal with the refrigerator's loss of power.It was 10 p.m. and I'd just settled down with my computer so I'd have something to show for my day's work. The phone rang. A young girl's voice said, "Look on your porch."

I guess I was still in the interrogation mode, or maybe years of living in an apartment with only one door left me thinking two porches represented too many choices. "Which porch?" I asked.

This required a whispered conference on the other end of the line while I'm telling myself how stupid I was to ask which porch. And I'm getting a little bit excited. There might be a SURPRISE outside! The little girl said "the front porch," without even adding a comment about the stupid question. Wonderful child. I thanked her and was off up the stairs to be greeted by a basket of homemade cookies and milk on my doorstep.

Homemade cookies are a rare thing in this household. They were devoured with reverence. But the milk was like a gift from heaven.

That morning I'd discovered the refrigerator was not doing its job. New fridge. New house. Of course I panicked. For the first time I had a problem I couldn't call the landlord to fix.

It turned out to be the breaker switch. No problem, except that the perishables in the refrigerator had perished. All day my mind said "Hurry, hurry, get done, hurry to the store, hurry, hurry, get milk." I hurried but it was one of those days.

Both daughters performed in separate concerts that night at slightly overlapping times. My husband's playing bass for Ballet West's Nutcracker left me to juggle the rest of our schedules. By the time we headed home after two concerts and a fast-food meal, I couldn't face the grocery store. The no-milk-for-breakfast problem would have to wait for morning.

But it didn't. The little girl called me and there was milk on my doorstep. And I learned it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Thanks, little girl.