The Wooden Bowl
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 wooden bowl.
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 work.
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 just did.
Thanks to Helen Gregory for finding this one
Who's Your Daddy
A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg , TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, 'I hope he doesn't come over here.' But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.
'Where are you folks from?' he asked in a friendly voice. ' Oklahoma ,' they answered.
'Great to have you here in Tennessee ,' the stranger said.. 'What do you do for a living?'
'I teach at a seminary,' he replied.
'Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you.' And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.
The professor groaned and thought to himself, 'Great .. Just what I need ....another preacher story!'
The man started, 'See that mountain over there? (pointing out the restaurant window). Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your daddy?' Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'
He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. 'When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?'
But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast that he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.
Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son, who's your daddy?'
The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?'
'This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy.. 'Wait a minute! I know who you are! I see the family resemblance now, You are a child of God.'
With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'
'With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them , 'I'm a Child of God..''
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, 'Isn't that a great story?'
The professor responded that it really was a great story!
As the man turned to leave, he said, 'You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!' And he walked away..
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over & asked her, 'Do you know who that man was -- the one who just left that was sitting at our table?'
The waitress grinned and said, 'Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's governor of Tennessee !'
Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they're one of God's children!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believed in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
When Insults had Class
He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- - Groucho Marx
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one."
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
Winston Churchill, in response
"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
"He had delusions of adequacy."
"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
Jack E. Leonard
"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
Thomas Brackett Reed
"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."
James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination."
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:
'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?'
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'
Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact...
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!
Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!
Shay, run to third!'
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team
'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.
May your day, be a Shay Day.
Thank you to my friend Betsy Kleist for sharing...
SERENITY OR SENILITY
Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
'How old was your husband?' '98,' she replied.
'Two years older than me.'
'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented.
She responded, 'Hardly worth going home, is it?'
Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
'And what do you think is the best thing
about being 104?' the reporter asked.
She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'
Three old guys are out walking. First one says, 'Windy, isn't it?' Second one says, 'No, it's Thursday!'
Third one says, 'So am I. Let's go get a beer.'
I've sure gotten old!
I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement,
new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes.
I'm half blind,
can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
take 40 different medications that
make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.
Have bouts with dementia.
Have poor circulation;
hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.
Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.
Have lost all my friends.
But, thank God,
I still have my driver's license.
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,
so I got my doctor's permission to
join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.
But, by the time I got my leotards on,
the class was over.
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and
told her preacher she had two final requests.
First, she wanted to be cremated, and second,
she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
'Wal-Mart?' the preacher exclaimed.
'Why Wal-Mart?' 'Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.'
My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turned to the other and said: 'Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?'
Slim said, 'I feel just like a newborn baby.'
'Really!? Like a newborn baby?'
'Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.'
Know how to prevent sagging?
Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.
A man was telling his neighbor, 'I just bought a new hearing aid... It cost me four thousand dollars, but its state of the art. It's perfect.'
'Really,' answered the neighbor. 'What kind is it?'
'Twelve thirty', he replied.
It's scary when you start making the same noises
as your coffee maker.
An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100%... He went back in a month and the doctor said, 'Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.'
The gentleman replied, 'Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!'
These days about half the stuff
in my shopping cart says,
'For fast relief.'
THE SENILITY PRAYER :
Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway ,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and
the eyesight to tell the difference.
Now, I think you're supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh heck, give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are!
Always Remember This:
You don't stop laughing because you grow old,
You grow old because you stop laughing
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:”
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's okay to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Have a wonderful day!
Written by Regina Brett (90 years old) of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most requested column I've ever written.
Live While You Are Alive
We all need to read this one over and over until it becomes part of who we are!
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Try everything twice. On Madams tombstone (of Wheelman's and Madam) she said she wanted this epitaph: Tried everything twice...loved it both times!
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches;)
3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4 Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8 Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
The Dead Cow and Vet School
First-year students at Texas A&M's Vet school were receiving their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.
The professor started the class by telling them, 'In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body.' For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck his finger in his mouth.
'Go ahead and do the same thing,' he told his students. The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it.
When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, 'The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger.' 'Now learn to pay attention. Life's tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid.
An Old Farmer's Advice:
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
Don't judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
CRABBY OLD MAN
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital
One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet
What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit with far away eyes?
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing, A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not lets you do as you will,
With bathing an d feeding The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse you're not looking at me
I'll tell you who I am, As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will
I'm a small child of Ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover he'll meet
A groom soon at Twenty, my heart gives a leap
Remembering, the vows that I promised to keep
At Twenty-Five, now I have young of my own
Who need me to guide. And a secure happy home
A man of Thirty, My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other, With ties that should last
At Forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me to see I don't mourn
At Fifty, once more, Babies play around !my knee,
Again, we know children, My loved one and me
Dark days are upon me, My wife is now dead
I look at the future I shudder with dread
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years, And the love that I've known
I'm now an old man and nature is cruel
'Tis jest to make old age look like a fool
The body, it crumbles grace and vigor, depart
There is now a stone where I once had a heart
But inside this old carcass, A young guy still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain
And I'm loving and living life over again
I think of the years all too few gone too fast
And accept the stark fact, that nothing can last
So open your eyes, people, open and see
Not a crabby old man, Look closer see ME!!
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush
aside without looking at the young soul within we will all, one day, be
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GROWING OLD WITH DOGS