Happy New Year!

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

It’s been quite a year! So much has happened in the last 12 months, it’s hard to keep track.

First, there was the rekindling of Bradford and Miss Ulily Mae Willow’s long-lost love. I suspect wedding bells are in the near future.

In fact, Bradford has been doing some subtle hinting that it’s time for him to retire from butler service and “settle down.” And Miss Willow has been not-so-subtly hinting that an engagement ring “sure would look good” on her finger.

I got tired of all the hinting—which is just normal talking in a bad disguise, really—so yesterday I flat out asked them: “When should I expect a wedding invitation?”

“The thought hadn’t even occurred to me,” Bradford said.

“Really?” Miss Willow asked while arching an eyebrow in suspicion.

“Well . . . not today, anyway,” he said with a grin. “At least not under a dozen times.”

Miss Willow chuckled and said, “I think he’s afraid that if he gets down on one knee to propose, he won’t be able to get back up.”


River, the unsinkable cat, has been getting along swimmingly with Sam. It’s like they’ve been buddies their whole lives.

He’s been a great addition to the household and keeps Sam company when I’m out delivering the mail.

They’re both, along with Bradford, acting as unofficial supervisors in the rebuilding-the-dilapidated-barn project.

Ah, the barn. I told you how much I love that old barn, and it’s looking fantastic! All of the sanding has been finished, and it’s ready to be reassembled on my property this weekend.

It’s really great to have so much help from my friends at church. Once I shared with them my plans for it and explained that it was a gift to Odyssey, they were all the more eager to pitch in.


You know, I learned a big lesson this year. I learned that it’s OK to ask for help. There’s really no need to be secretive about it.

It would be silly to write Help! on a piece of paper, put it in a bottle and release it out to sea, wouldn’t it? (Unless you were shipwrecked, I guess. But it’s pretty hard to get shipwrecked in Odyssey.)

In the same way, God wants us to ask Him for help in our time of need. We don’t have to feel shy or embarrassed—He wants to help us! That’s food for thought.

Speaking of which, Sam and River are interrupting my thoughts right now by barking and meowing for food.

This is a brand-new year with a brand-new beginning, and I have a feeling that something good is headed my way. In fact, next month I will be unveiling a whole barn full of new beginnings!

This article first appeared in the January 2012 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.