Every once in a while, people will come across stories that make them smile and make them think, “That was pretty cool.” Such is the case in today’s story. It is a story of an old man and his tomato garden. I hope it brings a smile to your face and a little joy to your life.
An old Italian gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard and dry. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. So, one day, the old man decided to write a letter to his son and described his predicament.
I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I am just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know that if you were here my troubles would be over. I know that you would be happy to dig the plot for me…like in the old days.
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
Don’t dig up that garden! That’s where the bodies are buried!
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant your tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
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A short time ago, I came across a story, which was posted by MumbaiiteAnuletter, about a letter that a daughter had written to her father. As a dad myself, I just couldn’t imagine the millions of thoughts that went through this father’s mind as he read it. I also believe that I would have felt the same way that he did by the time he finished reading the letter!
A father passing by his teenage daughter’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was neat and tidy.
Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the center of the pillow.
It was addressed “Dad”. With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you, but I’m leaving home. I had to elope with my new boyfriend Randy because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.
I’ve been finding real passion with Randy and he is so nice to me. I know when you meet him you’ll like him too – even with all his piercing, tattoos, and motorcycle clothes. But it’s not my only the passion Dad, I’m pregnant and Randy said that he wants me to have the kid and that we can be very happy together.
Even though Randy is much older than me (anyway, 42 isn’t so old these days is it?), and has no money, really these things shouldn’t stand in the way of our relationship, don’t you agree?
Randy has a great CD collection; he already owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. It’s true he has other girlfriends as well but I know he’ll be faithful to me in his own way. He wants to have many more children with me and that’s now one of my dreams too.
Randy taught me that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone and he’ll be growing it for us and we’ll trade it with our friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Randy can get better; he sure deserves it!!
Don’t worry Dad, I’m 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I’m sure we’ll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.
Your loving daughter,
At the bottom of the page were the letters ” PTO” (Please Turn Over).
Hands still trembling, her father turned the sheet, and read:
“Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at the neighbor’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that’s in my desk center drawer. Please sign it and call when it is safe for me to come home.
I love you!
Your loving daughter,
Our children are precious to us. Let’s take the time, each day, to spend time with children and let them know how much we honestly love and care for them!
A Merry-Go-Round..back in the days when life was simple.
“I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which looked as if it had been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.” For two years the little girl had saved for this offering of love.
When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying the note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there…
Soon afterwards, a newspaper learned of the story and published It. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered the church a parcel of land worth many thousands of dollars. When told that the church could not pay much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.
Soon church members were making large donations and checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00, which was no small sum at the turn of the century. Her unselfish love had paid huge dividends.
When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church. It currently has a seating capacity of 3,300. Be sure to visit the Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at the Sunday school building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school again.
One of the rooms of the Sunday school building features the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr.Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, “Acres of Diamonds”.
When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and often do, happen!
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.
He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”
“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”
He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.
Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, and then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.
She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:
“Paid in full with one glass of milk”
Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.
Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. No act of kindness is EVER wasted. Smile. Be Kind to someone today!
How many of us take our lives and the everyday things we do for granted? Today’s story will touch your heart and hopefully, give our lives, proper perspective.
Generally, for most of us, life is good. We have healthy bodies, we can walk, talk, hear, see, and feel things. We can exercise, eat, drive our cars, live in a nice house and having loved one who care for us. On the most part, we have all been blessed, beyond measure. If you think about it, even on our worst days, we can still do all of these things…we should ALWAYS be thnkful for EVERYTHING that we have.
But what about the people that have to deal the unfortunate situations such as mental and physcial handicap? Terminal diseases? Lifelong sicknesses or deformities? Have we ever sat back and wondered about the immense amount of dedication, love, and endurance that millions of people have to have EVERYDAY just to help these people?
How many of us complain because of silly little things…zits…a sore muscle…a headache, etc. ?
It has always been very inspiring to me to watch people who have suffered hardships and unfortunate circumstances, use their determination and willpower to overcome their disabilities.
The video that I included in this story, really has two sweet messages…a father coming back from military duty and the heart touching moment when the father sees his son, who has Cerebral Palsy, walk for the first time!!
LIFE IS PRECIOUS..
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1904:
– The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
– Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
– Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
– A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
– There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
– The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
– Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
– The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
– The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
– The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
– A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a
veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000
– More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
– Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical
schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as
– Sugar cost 4 cents a pound. Eggs were 14 cents a dozen. Coffee was 15 cents a pound.
– Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
– Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
– The five leading causes of death in the U.S were:
– The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t
been admitted to the Union yet.
– The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30 !
– Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.
– There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
– Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated
– Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.
According to one pharmacist, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,
regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
– Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
– There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
– And I forwarded this from someone else without typing it myself, and sent it to you in a matter of seconds! Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years…it staggers the mind.
What a difference a century makes!
While taking a vandalism report at an elementary school, an officer was interrupted by a little boy about six years old.
Looking up and down at his uniform, he asked, “Are you a cop?”
“Yes,” he replied and continued writing the report.
“My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” he told him.
“Well, then,” he said as he extended his foot towards the officer, “would you please tie my shoe because i dunno how?”
Some calls take priority
If you had the chance and could turn back the hands of time…what would you change from your past??
Life is precious. It goes by so fast it’s amazing. I just turned 50 earlier this year and I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. My grandmother used to say “the older you get…the days get longer and the years get shorter.” How true it is!! I have also realized something else, I am beginning to think to myself more and more…what could I have done different in my life.
What would I have changed?
It has always been interesting to me to walk through a graveyard and see all the tombstones. The thing that has always intrigued me is this…when I see the engraved tombstones of people who have passed on, most of them have two dates inscribed on them…the birth date and the date of their death separated by a hyphen…what did their “hyphen” represent? The hyphen represents their ENTIRE LIFETIME. This is when I ask myself, what kind of life did this person have? Did the person regret things that they had done? Did they have a good life? Would they have changed things during their lifetime if they could? Would they have thought that their life was successful or a failure? etc. Interesting thoughts…
Anyway, I recently came across a story written by a lady, Erma Bombeck after she found out that she was dying from cancer (truthbook.com) which allowed me to think about areas in my life that I can control now. There is no healthy reason to dwell on the past regarding things that I can no longer do anything about. So, I am moving on and focusing on ways that will make my life more positive, whole, and enjoyable.
Here is Erma’s story…
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more of “I love you” and more “I’m sorry.” But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it…and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us.
Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let it pass you by.
So, what are YOU going to do with your life to makes things better? Help others? Demonstrate your love to your loved ones? Take time each day to REALLY enjoy your surroundings and the world around you? The choice is yours.
What would you do?
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place..
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, “isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?”
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s twenty, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.
Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
____________ __________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about 20, medium height, and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And the best for last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No .
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Be strong. Stand for truth. Live for eternity.
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