|706-Hunks in Heaven
304W-1960 Was a Tough Year (This Could Cause Tears)
Don’t read this now if someone else is present and you don’t want them to see your tears.
September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just
75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from
three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never
been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his
tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under
their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but
no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern
Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the
kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade
dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a
The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our
small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to
be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was
willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck.
The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old
Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop.
It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place
and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.
She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in
the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.
I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for
people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar
a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would
already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we
made a deal.
That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all
thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.
When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her
home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged
As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.
The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and
began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again
every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged
myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New
tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new
tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.
I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for
his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it
took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the
I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't
Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for
toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and
painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would
be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a
worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and
soon they would be too far gone to repair.
On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big
Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state
trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at
the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.
The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of
the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas
morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the
top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's
side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back
Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole
case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It
was full of shirts to go with the jeans.
I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and
bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking,
and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and
cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies
and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the
most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.
And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:
2. 'Not yet.'
3. 'I have something better in mind.'
281W-Ride With an American Indian
A woman from New York was driving through a remote part of Arizona when
her car broke down. An American Indian on horseback came along and
offered her a ride to a nearby town. She climbed up behind him on the
horse and then rode off. The ride was uneventful, except that every few
minutes the Indian would let out a 'Ye-e-e-e-h-a-a-a-a' so loud that it
echoed from the surrounding hills. When they arrived in town, he let
her off at the local service station, yelled one final
'Ye-e-e-e-h-a-a-a-a!' and rode off.
'What did you do to get that Indian so excited?' asked the service-station attendant.
'Nothing,' the woman answered. 'I merely sat behind him on the horse,
put my arms around his waist, and held onto the saddle horn so I
wouldn't fall off.'
'Lady,' the attendant said, 'Indians don't use saddles.'
287W-Socialism and Catching Pigs
THIS IS TRULY THOUGHT PROVOKING. TAKE THE TIME TO READ IT AND SEND IT ON TO THOSE THAT YOU THINK ARE WORTH SENDING IT TO.
There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some
exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab,
the Prof noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing
his back and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told
him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting
communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his
country's government and install a new communist regime.
In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked:
'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.
'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and
putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday
to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a
fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.
When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and
you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start
to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence
up with a gate in the last side.
The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again.
You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the
wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside
the fence, but they are caught.
Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that
they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they
accept their captivity.'
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees
happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Socialism
and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as
supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax cuts, tax
exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant
crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose
our freedoms, just a little at a time.
One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch.
If you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem
confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send
this on to your friends.
If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably delete this email.
But God help you when the gate slams shut!
|288W-New Edition Rednecks
1. You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.
2. You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.
3. Your boat has not left the driveway in years.
4. You burn your yard rather than mow it.
5. You think "The Nutcracker" is a vice on the work bench.
6. The Salvation Army declines your furniture.
7. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want it.
8. You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.
9. You come back from the dump with more than you took.
10. You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.
11. Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.
12. Your grandmother has "ammo" on her Christmas list.
13. You keep flea and tick soap in the shower.
14. You've been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.
15. You go to the stock car races and don't need a program.
16. You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.
17. You have a rag for a gas cap.
18. Your house doesn't have curtains, but your truck does.
19. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.
20. You can spit without opening your mouth.
21. You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.
22. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.
23. You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say "Cool Whip" on the side.
24. The biggest town you've ever been to is Wal-Mart.
25. Your working TV sits on top of your non-working TV.
26. You've used your ironing board as a buffet table.
27. A tornado hits your neighborhood and does $100,000 worth of improvements.
28. You've used a toilet brush to scratch your back.
29. You missed your 5th grade graduation because you were on jury duty.
30. You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65.
I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and
four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was
blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.
But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating
difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped
the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do
something about father," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled
milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,
Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a
When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a
tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had
for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper,
the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He
asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the
boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat
your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to
The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then
tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken,
both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took
Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the
remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some
reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork
was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad
it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've
learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she
handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and
tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt
on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if
you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work
and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did.
293W-The Thousand Marbles
This is cool....."3900 Saturdays"
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the
quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's
the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first
few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup
of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as
a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life
seems to hand you from time to time.
Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio
in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I
came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a
golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the
broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with
something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to
listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure
they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and
your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work
sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you
missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued; "Let me tell you
something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when
he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average
person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some
live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.
"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is
the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire
lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.
It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in
any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over
twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to
be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So
I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended
up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took
them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right
here in the shack next to my gear."
"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it
away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on
the really important things in life. There's nothing like watching your
time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take
my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last
marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next
Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing
we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your
family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is the 75
Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed
off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work
on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few
hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey,
I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she
asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time
since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop
at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.
A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.
And so, as one smart bear once said..."If you live to be a hundred, I
want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live
without you." - Winnie the Pooh.
Pass this on to all of your FRIENDS, even if it means sending it to the person that sent it to you.
And if you receive this e-mail many times from many different people, it only means that you have many FRIENDS.
And if you get it but once, do not be discouraged for you will know that you have at least one good friend:
And that would be ME!