Take these stories, for example—each of which was either shortlisted for or won an award.
- To her mother’s consternation, a four-year-old girl invites a disheveled old man to come into the house. The result in unexpected blessing for everyone.
- As his wife loses her battle with Alzheimer’s, her husband of more than 60 years wonders how their love will survive when she no longer recognizes him.
- A woman whose parents were from Switzerland identifies from childhood with First Nations people.
- After losing touch for many years, a successful businesswoman reconnects with a childhood friend from the other side of the tracks.
- A man recalls how his mother not only tracked down but then took charge of some needy children who had stolen the money from her wallet.
- A woman who was adopted as a young child faces the imminent death of her still-controlling mother, who has never let her forget how much her daughter owes her.
- A young bride questions her decision on the morning of her wedding day.
- A second-grade student hides in the bathroom to read a book, but she is found by the intimidating fourth-grade teacher.
These and 59 other stories will inspire and encourage you to look for (and show) love in unexpected ways.
We hope the stories in this book will encourage you to make a difference in the lives of the people around you by showing love toward them, even when you don’t feel particularly loving.
We also hope they’ll help you recognize those times when someone else shows love or appreciation for you, even though it might be done in an unexpected way.
“There were contributors with backgrounds from Africa to Europe to the Philippines, from Atlantic Canada to British Columbia to Attawapiskat. It was not long before I was drawn into experiencing the expression of God’s grace through challenges of autism, adoption, or abuse; the joys of forgiveness and friendship; and even the setting of priorities with ice cream bars. Some pieces tugged at my heartstrings, others encouraged and some made me smile, even chuckle aloud—thank you Champ! I was reminded that, no matter our background or circumstance, our struggles and victories are universal and we need one another. This is a book to share with a cup of hot apple cider and cinnamon, but it’s also good with a glass of cold lemonade.” —Dawn Loucks, member, Bayview Glen Church
“I commend these delightful, heartfelt stories from fellow Canadian authors. They are worth your time to read. The Hot Apple Cider series is a great Canadian treasure.” —The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, author of Restoring Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit
“Uplifting, heart-warming, and invigorating. Life—real life! Precious, diverse, thought-provoking, worth every minute of it. A pure jewel!” —Claire de Burbure, MD, PhD, Medical & Environmental Health Teacher
“There is a line in a Joni Mitchell song that says, ‘the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses.’ That’s how I felt reading this book. These are tender stories of joy and sorrow, raw and poignant reminders of all that it means to be alive.” —Ali Matthews, singer-songwriter
Table of Contents
“The ‘Other’ First Prize” by Martin Smith
“Angel at Our Door” by Heather Rae Rodin
“Unto Us a Child is Given” by Catharina den Hartog-Terry
“A Grandmother’s Promise” by Connie Inglis
“Dancing on the Bus” by Lynne Collier
“Breaking Alvin’s Fast” by Marcia Lee Laycock
“Storm Stayed” by Shelley Norman
“My Father’s Tree” by Mario Dimain
“A Different Dad” by Bobbie Ann Cole
“My Mother’s Gift” by Carol Ford
“The Girl from the Other Side of the Tracks” by L. June Stevenson
“An Extraordinary Visit” by Ramona Furst
“Honey for a Woman’s Heart” by Judi Peers
“Why I Went Away Sorrowful” by Violet Nesdoly
“Chapter Book” by Bobbi Junior
“Here, Mommy, This is for You” by Ruth Waring
“A Small Pot of Nasturtiums” by Rose Seiler Scott
“Finding Shelter in the Storm” by Christiana Flanigan
“My True Love” by Maureen Fitzpatrick
“Not the Love I Was Looking For” by Laureen F. Guenther
“Father’s Arms” by Beverly G. DeWit
“Hidden Treasures” by Heather Rae Rodin
“Her Mother’s Things” by Vilma Blenman
“A Flower for Mother’s Day” by Linda Jonasson
“Undeserving” by Patricia Anne Elford
“From Heartache to Heart Restored” by Sally Meadows
“A Touch of Sun” by Angelina Fast-Vlaar
“Real Love” by Kelsey Greye
“Love Uncovered” by Ruth Smith Meyer
“Old Ladies’ Perfume” by Glynis M. Belec
“Notes from a Sacred Journey” by Bill Bonikowsky
“Mother, Go Gently” by L. June Stevenson
“The Eye of the Beholder” by Wendy Dewar Hughes
“Champ!” by David Kitz
“My Legacy” by Brian C. Austin
“Thanks, Dad!” by Doris Fleming
“Lobster Love” by Vilma Blenman
“Going Home” by Darcy Elizabeth Neal
“The Promise in My Hatbox” by Heidi McLaughlin
“The Cat We Didn’t Need” by Ruth Ann Adams
“Trapped” by Maureen Fitzpatrick
“Learning to Love by Letting Go” by Lisa Elliott
“Alone, Again” by Carolyn R. Wilker
“Weighted Down: A Widow’s Lament” by Brenda J. Wood
“Love from Beyond” by T. L. Wiens
“A Second Chance” by Frieda Martens
“Love in Alignment” by A. A. Adourian
“A White Piano Bench” by Rose Seiler Scott
“Twice, for Good Measure” by Laura Aliese Miedema
“Of Sparrows and Children” by Marianne Jones
“From Poison to Passion” by Grace K. Chik
“Reconciliation” by Janet Sketchley
“The Handshake” by Beverlee Wamboldt
“Mary’s Dream” by N. J. Lindquist
“A Baby Named Hope” by Carmen Wittmeier
“Until Death Do Us Part” by Ray Wiseman
“The Launch” by Heather McGillivray-Seers
“Loving Enemies” by S. M. Shigemitsu
“Such a Cute Face” by Elizabeth Kranz
“Kosovo Canteen Concert” by Adele Simmons
“Passing by the Father’s House” by Violet Nesdoly
“My Mother: My Hero” by Les Lindquist
“Carlos” by Rob Harshman
“Miss Gardiner’s Birthday” by Joanna Clark Dawyd
“Your People Will Be My People” by Christine Kenel-Peters with Marguerite Cummings
“The Letter” by Nikki Rosen
“On Drowning” by Connie Inglis