Just a little note here. I just posted something on my Cheerful Stories blog some of you might enjoy. It's called My New Hobby. Hope you like it.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It was a long time coming. Actually, she'd given up a while back but something about giving up just seemed to ease her way a bit. She was no longer anxious and worrying about it and she just lived her life as well as possible.
It wasn't a complicated life but it was one that needed attention. She had to chop a little wood now and then. She had to carry a few things here and there.
It made her smile when she thought of that because she had heard this phrase once from a student. He was hitchhiking his way across the country and working odd jobs.
His name was Stan, as she remembered and every once in a while when she was doing her chores around the cabin he would stop and smile if he was helping out a neighbor and he'd say, "Chop wood, carry water." And she'd look at him kind of funny and after a while she began to think of him as Stan - chop wood carry water.
The last time she saw him he told her that it had to do with something that he'd read in a book once about understanding the way life worked. That you could think about things, though ultimately you still had to chop wood, carry water.
Meaning he had to get up in the morning, he had to go to sleep at night, he had to do the chores that he did. In short, he had to do what he had to do every day and he would say, "Chop wood, carry water" to her because it was really a compliment. She was doing what needed to be done also.
He liked to talk with her. That's what he said and when he would come around during the summertimes like that she was always grateful because her neighbors didn't always want to talk about things.
Sometimes they just wanted to grumble and complain but she never saw any point in that. She thought it would be worthwhile to do the work and to do it as well as possible what ever it was so that she could feel good about having done the job well whether it was something small or something bigger like repairing the cabin which she could do.
This year was different though. When Stan came around he seemed to be a little more mature. He didn't say, "Chop wood, carry water" to her anymore. Every once in a while he'd come by and just give her a flower and bow a little bit or smile a little bit and go on. She didn't know exactly what that meant but it made her smile.
It had been a long time since her mother and dad had passed away and she didn't really know that there was going to be much more in life for her but she still felt good that she had her health, she had her old dog who was getting on but still was a good companion and while not being much able to be a true watchdog would alert her to somebody coming around - even Stan.
He'd give a little woof - not a big one, just a little woof and when he would do that she'd always know that it was a friend coming. He could still give a loud bark if it was somebody that he didn't know. He was a good old dog.
This last time Stan came around he gave her a flower again and he said, "There's somebody I'd like you to meet." She asked, "Is it somebody local?" Stan replied, "Just down that trail that turns off to the right a piece but he said he hadn't met you." She thought about it and said, "I haven't been down that particular trail. I don't know why. I just go the way I've always gone and come back the way I've always come back."
Stan smiled a little and said that he'd been doing some work for this guy and the man had mentioned that he'd seen you coming and going and would it be possible for Stan to introduce the two of you.
After Stan said this and after all these few years talking to Stan she felt that he was a good person. A young man yes but had a good heart and a clear mind and she said, "Well, what do you think Stan? Is it alright to meet this person?" Stan answered, "I wouldn't have brought it up if I thought it wasn't."
Stan suggested, "How about tomorrow? I'll be coming by at the usual time and I could bring him with me." She paused for a moment and then said, "Well, I don't have anything special to wear." Stan said with a slight chuckle, "Well, he said the same thing to me but you know what - I think that you two could be friends and who knows. I don't think you need to do anything - just be yourself. That's what I said to the man too." She answered, "Okay."
Well, sure enough that next day came. She had slept pretty well although she woke up in the middle of the night thinking - what am I going to do. Oh my - but she went back to sleep. Stan came by and he brought him. He was a nice looking fella - right around her age. She had no idea he had been nearby. She thought to herself - I've never seen this man and I swear he looks like he could be my age or pretty close to it.
Stan introduced them. He said, "George, this is my friend Molly that I told you about." George said, "Pleased to meet you ma'am." Molly replied, "I'm happy to meet you George." George continued, "I have these nice flowers growing nearby in my garden where Stan has been doing a little work for me. I wondered if I could bring you a flower every day and take over that job from Stan." Molly said, "Well, I still like to see Stan but if you'd like to bring a flower, I wouldn't say no."
Thinking back on that now, Molly thought to herself, looking over at George dozing off a bit in his chair by the fireplace - him being a bit older now since they'd been married for - what was it - 23 years and still getting along fine - now living in George's cabin which was quite a bit bigger and nicer then her old place though she loved her old place as well.
She looked in the mirror and thought - my, my, we do get on but we're still strong for being in our 80's and looking back on it she thought to herself - I'm so grateful for Stan bringing George by that way.
She went over and she woke up George. "Let's go to bed, Honey." George smiled at her and said, "I was just dreaming how grateful I was to Stan for introducing us. He was a good boy, wasn't he. Yes, he's gone off now to do other things but he said he'd bring by the wife and kids this next spring. I'll look forward to meeting them." "Me too Honey," said Molly, let's go to bed now."
George got up out of the rocking chair and they walked off into the bedroom to enjoy each other and to live on for the time they had left.
As life went on they had another 7 good years together and one night they were in each other's arms and both just passed away together softly and gently into the night. Lived to their 90's they did and a very nice surprise later in life discovering that life wasn't over yet for either one of them.
Happy Valentines Day and remember, life isn't over for you either. You never know what good things life could bring down the road. A friend perhaps and maybe even a friend who is a messenger.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
It was coming on towards winter and Susie, a leaf, was still hanging on the old apple tree. She couldn't understand why she was still there. All the other leaves had fallen off a long time ago but she was still hanging there. She was kind of dried up and a little crinkly but she was still there and wondering what's it all about? There'd been plenty of breezes but she hadn't fallen yet.
Fortunately she had friends that came around and visited with her. Her best friends were Mortimer the mouse and Andre her bird friend. They would come around and talk to her when they had a moment because their lives were busy like every one else.
As it was starting to get cooler, Mortimer had taken to telling Susie about the nest that he was building and Susie got interested in that and at the same time Andre stopped by. Mortimer and Andre were friends too. And Andre said, "Yes, yes." That he was also helping to build a nest that had to be very warm but it was difficult because there were twigs and there were some old feathers that he found around and he needed something to be like insulation to make the nest warmer.
Susie perked up when she heard that and she said, "What about the leaves on the ground that have already fallen?" And they said, taking turns since they agreed and occasionally talking over each other when they would get excited, "Oh yes, we have used a lot of those but there's something special that's needed and we're just not sure what it is."
Susie wriggled a little bit and she said, "Maybe you need something personal, something friendly because a nest is a special place. It's your home. It's where you'll have your children. It's where everyone will grow up and look back on it fondly and say 'home' in that special way we say home. Do you know what I mean?"
Mortimer and Andre looked at each other and they realized that she was right. "How are we going to do that," they said. "It seems to me," said Mortimer who was a deep thinker, " that a leaf like that…," as he looked on the ground and there were hundreds, maybe thousands of leaves there from the old tree that Susie was attached to as well as all the other trees in the forest. "It seems that there needs to be some kind of personal feeling in that leaf so that the friendliness and the love is there in the leaf itself. Does that sound right," Mortimer said looking at Susie.
Susie was quiet. She was thinking but Andre chimed in, "Yes, yes. That sounds exactly right. How will we find such a leaf?" Susie realized - this is why she was still on the tree. She said, "Maybe I'm that leaf! You're my best friends and I'd love to be part of your nest Mortimer and your nest Andre. Is there any chance, I mean I'm still on the tree. I haven't fallen off. Maybe that's what I've been waiting for!"
Mortimer and Andre looked at each other, "Would it be alright? I mean you're our friend. We'd feel a little funny about that because - you know - well, I'd have to take part" said Andre and kind of trailed off a bit and Mortimer chimed in, "And I'd have to take part" and also kind of trailed off a bit. Susie said, "No no, it's fine, it's fine. I want to do that." So they settled in to wait.
Meanwhile Mortimer was continuing to build his nest and Andre was continuing to build his nest and one day when the three of them were gathered on the tree limb where Susie still seemed to be, they saw a few snowflakes coming. "Oh my," they said, "What are we going to do?"
And suddenly without any warning Susie fell from the tree. "Oh boy," she said all the way down, "This is going to be my chance." There was almost no wind so she fell almost straight down.
Mortimer rushed to the ground and Andre flew down to the ground and they were both there moving around under Susie as she was floating down and floating down and finally she hit the ground and she could feel herself crackle and break up a bit. Andre gently stepped on part of Susie to keep her from blowing away on a light breeze that just came up and Mortimer softly stepped on another part and they said, "Are you alright? We're not stepping on you too hard?"
"No no," she said, "You did just right. Oh this is great," she continued. "Oh, I feel myself beginning to fall apart. I didn't realize that's what happened when leaves touched the ground."
"Oh yes," Mortimer said speaking wisely after his several years of building different nests, "Yes, crinkly leaves often fall apart almost immediately when they hit the ground," as they did in the forest where they all lived.
"Oh, you better be quick then," Susie said, "Quick. Take some parts. I want to be part of your nest Mortimer and I want to be part of your nest Andre and maybe, maybe there's enough of me." She felt herself breaking up even before they had a chance to do that.
She didn't know quite what was happening but it's really just part of the natural way of the Earth that things move from shape to shape. Mortimer said, "We better do this quick," to Andre as he noticed Susie breaking up into smaller and smaller parts.
Andre and Mortimer gathered up all of the parts they could find and raced back to their nests. They worked for a couple of hours running and flying back and forth to their nests with each gathering as much of their precious friend as they could.
All the time Susie felt like she was kind of sleepy. She would be there and then she wasn't and then she would be there and then she wasn't. She wasn't sure where she was going but she began to feel that she was going some place else. She didn't realize that would happen. Her last memories though as a crinkled old leaf were of her friends.
Meanwhile Mortimer was singing and he said, "Oh, my nest feels so much warmer and everyone will be so happy and Andre was singing, "Oh everything feels so much more loving and friendly and cheerful with my dear friend here."
But Susie wasn't only there. She felt herself rising up and she wasn't sure where she was going. She wasn't in the form of a leaf anymore but she just knew she was going somewhere. She went way up in the sky and she wasn't sure where she was going.
Suddenly she heard a voice, "Susie," the voice said, "It's time for you to go someplace much warmer and they'll be lots of new friends there and you'll even be able to hear Mortimer's songs sometimes if you want to and Andre's songs too, if you're interested, from their nests while they're wintering." "Oh my," said Susie, "That sounds wonderful."
"But now," the warm and friendly voice continued, "it's time for you to go to a new place where it's only and always warm and comfortable. It's in a different part of the world in a forest where there's lots of rain and where there are lots of other types of life. You'll like it there."
Pretty soon Susie felt herself very small and she vaguely remembered being small before. She realized she was in a bud on a tree and pretty soon the sun was shining. She could tell because she was getting warmer and she felt herself opening.
She felt herself sprouting from the bud and pretty soon even though she was very little she could tell she was deep in a warm and wonderful forest where things were quiet but in the distance she heard birds singing their songs and not very far away she saw - who was that?
It was a little mouse in her tree and the mouse said, "Hi. My names Willy. What's yours?" And Susie knew she'd found her new home.
Love lives on forever in many ways. May you have a most loving and happy holiday now and forever. Goodlife to you all.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
She thought back to the days of when they first met every time that she looked at that old frame, even from the side, with the picture of them in their heyday - very young and full of spunk - and they loved each other so much - she felt a surge of that love again.
She wheeled over to get a little closer so she could see it better. The picture was in black and white because it was taken a long time ago. She remembered, "I think it was taken in the forties - yes it was the forties," she thought.
The picture frame wasn't very fancy. It was a wooden frame but it was carved nicely. Her husband had carved it and made it special to fit the picture. The picture was big for its day, a portrait - and he made a special folding bracket in the back so that it could either stand up or be hung from a wall. That was not widely available then, not as now.
Tilly got a little closer to the picture because she had to these days, and put on her special glasses for seeing things close up. She looked at it.
There they were, young as could be sitting on the rail of the corral and smiling. Inside the corral was her favorite horse. She remembered that horse very well. She wasn't her horse but she was a good horse and Tilly liked visiting with her.
That was the ranch that her family visited when she was younger, a teenager. That's where she met her husband. He was working at the ranch on a summer job and the two of them just clicked.
They stayed in touch over the years through school. She went to college and he went to trade school and became a Farrier - shoeing horses - and she didn't realize then that their friendship would grow into something that lasted her whole lifetime.
She didn't think he did either at the time but later on when they were married finally, she found out that he had always had his eye on her and had fallen in love with her - deeply in love when they had first met.
She, on the other hand, liked him very much as a friend initially but over the years through college and the hard work and the study and onward afterwards to getting her medical license and becoming a General Practitioner just like her father - she felt through those years of study and working and practice that there was something missing in her life.
She wrote weekly to her friend but the older she got and the more into her professional work she got, she realized that she didn't know anybody or appreciate anybody or really - by that time in her life - she admitted it - she didn't love anybody as much as she loved Bill.
So, after she completed her residency she decided that she owed herself a trip and she took that trip back to Duluth, Minnesota where Bill had his Farrier practice and she didn't tell him she was coming.
She figured that if she'd see him, if he was married, she'd smile and shake hands and shake hands with his wife and meet his kids and so on - she didn't know, she wasn't sure, she wasn't as confident as she got to be later - in his love.
She went to his place where he worked on the horses and there he was - and lo and behold - she couldn't believe it - there was a picture of her on the wall next to his tools.
He was working cleaning his tools when she walked in. Of course he was older and she'd seen a couple of pictures that he'd sent but he wasn't much into pictures although she liked photography very much.
Tilly made a little sound, "Ahem" and he turned around slowly and his face lit up and his eyes were wide and he walked slowly towards her and there were tears at the corners of his eyes.
He said, "I was afraid I'd never see you again," and she said, "I knew I had to come." They hugged each other and she said without shame very quickly, "Are you married?" and he said, "No." And he said just as quickly, "Are you married?" And she said, "No." And he said, "Well, let's do something about that." Within three weeks they were married and they were married for fifty years.
He had recently passed away and now a day didn't go by when she didn't wheel over in her chair and stop and look at that picture and know that true love lasts and sometimes it lasts even longer then you thought it would and sometimes it lives on forever.
Happy Valentines Day.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Charlie was kind of depressed. He was sitting on the edge of his bed and Christmas was coming. It was really right around the corner and he wasn't sure what to give people.
He'd given his friends and family gifts before, and while it was a happy occasion, this year he felt that he just wanted to somehow improve their lives so that they would feel better in some way - in some special way. He wasn't sure what to do.
That night just before he went to sleep he said his prayers like always but he added that he'd like his Guardian Angel to come and visit him and maybe give him some idea that he could remember in the morning for what special gift to get - and he went to sleep.
When he woke up in the morning he was hoping to remember something but he really didn't. After breakfast he came back into his room. It was Saturday and he had the day off which was nice. He looked over on the bench nearby his bed where he had taken out the Christmas decorations.
As he looked at the decorations he walked towards them - he wasn't sure why - and he started going through them one by one. He got to the box that held the Christmas tree balls that you hang on the tree. The red ones and the green ones and the other colors. He noticed that there was one in the box that he had never used.
It was clear and because it wasn't any of the traditional colors he had never used it on his tree but he had a feeling to pull it out. So he took it out of the box and he held it up over by the window. First light was just coming in, and when he held it up to the light all of a sudden he saw a dancing Angel inside!
"Is it possible," he said. He pulled it away from the light and he held it up close to his eyes and he examined it. He didn't see any Angel in it.
"What does that mean? Uh-oh," he thought. "Maybe I'm losing my marbles, just seeing things." But then he felt like he'd try it again and he held the ornament up again in front of the window where the first light was streaming in and there she was again! An Angel, and she was dancing.
All of a sudden she stopped and she looked right at him and he didn't know what to do. He just froze. He held the Christmas ball and the Angel was looking at him and he noticed that her lips were moving. Charlie thought, "Is she trying to talk to me? What's she doing?"
All of a sudden he heard a soft voice and the voice said, "This is what to give people this year. Look in the closet. You have another box of this kind of decoration that you bought a long time ago and you put it in the closet where you keep the Christmas things. You'll see. There's more in there."
Then her lips stopped moving, she smiled and she started dancing again.
He pulled the ornament away from the light again and he moved his pillow on the bed very carefully near where the light was and put it on the pillow so that it would be completely safe. It was made of glass. It was a very old decoration.
Charlie went to the closet where he kept the Christmas things and he dug around in there for a while and he did find that box of other Christmas tree balls. He pulled them out and then he remembered when he opened them up why he put them away.
He had bought them at an after Christmas sale without opening the box and when he got them home they were all clear, not the usual colors that he liked to put on the tree. He remembered that he was disappointed at the time and had put them away in the closet.
Now he pulled them all out and he held each and every one up to the light and inside every one was a dancing Angel. She'd stop dancing shortly after he saw her and smile at him and then start her happy dance again.
Charlie put them back in the box very carefully. The one he had on the pillow he was going to put on his own tree - and he had 10 friends and family he really wanted to give presents to. He'd give the 10 clear glass ball ornaments to them and he'd have two extras. He wasn't sure what to do with the two extras because the box held one dozen of those clear glass balls.
He'd give them to the people, he decided but instead of wrapping them up he'd give them before Christmas. Charlie lived in a small town so he walked over to everyone's house and he gave them the clear glass balls when the children were there. He had a feeling it was important for the children to be there when he gave them the gift.
The parents and the other adults smiled or laughed when he told about seeing the Angel dancing that they could only see in the morning light but the children all believed it. And sure enough, when the morning light came the children would hold the glass ball up and there would be the dancing Angel and they'd run to get their parents. Their parents then saw the dancing Angel and they believed.
Charlie decided he'd take the last 2 glass tree balls to the town square. Years ago someone had planted a pine tree there just because they thought it would be a nice thing for Christmas and over the years it had grown. People had watered it and kept it healthy and by now it was 50 feet tall. Near Christmas time people would come and put decorations on it and he decided he would do that too.
He took the last 2 glass ornaments over early in the morning just as first light was starting to begin - and by now Charlie's story about the Angels dancing in the glass balls had gotten all over town and many parents and their children and other people followed Charlie because they saw the glass balls and they had heard about the Angels but they hadn't seen them yet.
After Charlie carefully hung them on the tree, the people and the children lined up to see. There were grandparents, parents and children and many others.
One lady asked Charlie, "You can only see the Angel at first light?" And Charlie said, "That's the only time I've been able to see her."
Well, they all saw the Angel and they were so happy. They loved seeing her and were reminded that Angels are there for you whether you can see them or not.
Happy Holidays to you all and may you all happily discover your Angels dancing, or otherwise, nearby.
*If you want to hear me read it to you, click on the link. I hope you enjoy it.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
At this time of year it's about family and friends isn't it. And friends sometimes become very very important, more so than at other times of the year even. With that thought in mind, that was my inspiration for my holiday story here. I hope you like it:
Once upon a time there were two friends who lived in a cloud. One day they noticed that the cloud was getting wetter and wetter and they were happy because they were droplets of water themselves.
What do you think it means said one to the other. Jeffrey, who was one of the droplets of water said, "I heard that when this happens that we get to take that wonderful ride." "You mean whizzing down from the sky to the ground?" said Jenny who was the other drop of water.
"That's right," said Jeffrey, "It seems to be getting really cold though." "I know, said Jenny, "It feels good."
Well, the cloud got bigger and bigger and taller and taller and colder and colder and pretty soon Jeffrey and Jenny took on beautiful new shapes. They became snowflakes and looked like tiny crystals.
Suddenly something happened. Jeffrey said, "What is it. What's going on?" "I think we're moving," said Jenny, "Yes, yes we're definitely moving."
Now they were two snowflakes just fluttering down very slowly out of a large cloud.
Of course there were thousands and thousands - maybe even millions of other snowflakes but these two snowflakes were best friends.
They had a long way to fall and every once in a while the wind would come along and they'd fly way back up in the sky again and because they were best friends they held on to each other and stayed together.
They loved how many different shapes the snowflakes had, no two snowflakes being exactly alike, and how beautiful they were. They admired the unusual shapes and the different forms and they particularly enjoyed when a ray of sun would come through and there would be a snow-bow and the crystal-like snowflakes would all light up in beautiful different colors. Oh, it was so wonderful.
But slowly they were moving towards the ground with the winds swirling around them. Just a few hundred feet before they got there it was so blustery they were afraid they might be separated so they kissed each other goodbye and Jenny said, "I'll see you later on the ground." They both hoped that would be so.
And sure enough even though they separated, because they were such good friends and because the angels felt kindly towards them they landed next to each other right on top of a big snowman that two children had built.
It was very cold there, being on top of a mountain, and do you know that for the whole winter that snowman was there because it was very chilly high up in the mountains.
Every once in a while one of the children would come along and put another piece of coal into the mouth of the snowman so that it would have a bigger and then even bigger smile. And once somebody put a carrot in so that that snowman would have a big jolly looking nose and everyone who walked by would smile and enjoy the cheerful looking snowman.
But the two snowflakes were close and they talked to each other and they slept together and they dreamed together and they enjoyed the whole winter together.
Happy holidays to you all and to your best friends too.
Monday, October 24, 2011
"So, what… you're just going to lie there?" Fred asked slightly annoyed.
"What do you mean by that?" George asked.
"Well, you're just laying there and you're not making any expression," Fred continued.
"Well, what do you expect me to do? I'm a pumpkin. What do you expect?"
"Well, I'm a pumpkin too but look at me," Fred said proudly.
"Okay, I'm looking at you," George answered wondering what this was all about.
"Can't you see the expression?" Fred demanded.
"Well… kind of but you keep changing it."
"Well… see - you can see it. Why don't you do that?" Fred explained.
George didn't really know how to answer and said, "Well uh, I really uh…"
"Here's the thing. You know, we're growing out here for a reason," Fred continued, "not on our own really. I mean someone planted us."
"Okay, that's true," George acknowledged.
"And really, the reason is that human beings like to have fun. They're not just serious all the time," Fred explained.
"Yes," George responded, "I like that about them."
"Well, we're going to get our chance to be expressions," Fred said.
"Expressions?" George asked.
"Yes, y'know the way I'm showing you," Fred demonstrated. "Look, here's another."
"Wow! I like that one," George exclaimed responding to Fred's dazzling display of a large toothy smile.
"Oh yeah. See," Fred continued, "so here's what you do. You go through all the expressions that you can think of, that you've seen human beings have and that we have for ourselves - right?"
"Okay," George listened very interested now.
"And then," Fred continued, "you decide on what is your favorite expression."
"Yes?" George responded.
"That's right," Fred continued, "and when you've decided that you focus on that expression very strongly but only when human beings are coming around to trim us off the stem - especially if they're youngsters see - they're coming around to trim us off the stem. They're going to take us home. They're going to put that expression onto our faces. They're going to light us up from the inside…"
"How are they going to do that?" George interrupted.
"Oh, they use a candle or a flashlight or something," Fred explained patiently.
"Oh, I see," George nodded with understanding.
"And then, that expression that we thought of that we like - because they'll feel it, they'll imagine it themselves - see - that's the expression they'll put on our faces," Fred said smiling happy with his explanation.
"Wow, I like that," George responded, "I didn't know that was possible."
"It is!" Fred said smiling in his usual enthusiastic way.
"How does that work?" George asked.
"Well you know, it works best with young humans - the children because they can feel what is around them. You know they're just like…," Fred paused until he thought of just the right word, "… like little antennas. They feel things around them and when they look at us, they just love us. Don't you remember the stories you heard before we came here - before we showed up from seeds to pumpkins? Don't you remember the stories?"
"Oh yes, y'know you kind of forget about that when you start growing here." George began to recall the old stories from when he was very young - just a seed really.
"That's right," Fred continued, "and you know one of the main stories is that human beings, when they're little - they can feel things and they have so much love and they'll pick us and they'll literally hug us - the children see - and if they feel that expression they'll describe what they're seeing on us and somebody else will do it for them - see? They'll put that expression onto us."
"Gosh," said George, "I like that. I'm going to start practicing now."
"That's good," Fred responded, "because Halloween's coming up soon and we don't have that much time."
"Thanks for reminding me," George said gratefully.
"You're welcome," Fred responded getting into his favorite toothy smile expression and glancing around looking forward to a child coming to the pumpkin patch who would love that expression. I wonder if they smile like that?" Fred wondered to himself.