Mornng Stoy and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 15, 2015

He was just sitting there.  Almost motionless, he looked off into the distance, blinking periodically and looking very much at peace.

“Ah, he drives me crazy,” the woman next to him said.

I was visiting a local nursing home early one morning and came into the great room, a large room with a high ceiling and huge windows.

The residents often gather there right after breakfast. There are no televisions, no music, just quiet reflection.

Visitors often spend time with their loved ones in this spot away from all the traffic in the hallways.

I introduced myself to the only two people there.  The woman smiled and said hello and the man barely raised his left hand to acknowledge me.

“He does this every morning,” she explained. “We hurry through our meal so that he has time to sit here quietly before the rest arrive.”

I discovered that they were married and decided life would be easier for both of them if they lived in a residence where someone would always be around.

“Well, I guess he…” I was interrupted by the woman.

“He calls it “A. F. I” she explained.

“A.F.I.? What is that?” I asked.

“Awaiting further instructions,” she said.

There was an awkward silence.

Then suddenly he sat up, looked at me and smiled.

“I know what you’re thinking. No, I’m not an alien from space,” he said and began laughing.

“You are to me,” his wife added.

“It’s like prayer time. I don’t like to get into my day without checking in with the Big Guy,” he said.

“Sitting quietly helps me to better understand what my day ahead will be like.”

“So, God wakes you up, and then you wait for further instructions,” I said.

“That’s it,” he replied.

“What did He tell you today?” I asked.

“He said some nice man would visit with us this morning.”

“Ah, you’re crazy!” his wife added with a smile.

“He said you’d say that, too!” the man added.

We all laughed and had a wonderful talk about growing up in faith.

Think about how significant that idea really is and try it this week. Find a time early in your day to just sit quietly and listen.

All too often our conversations with God are like a grocery shopping list of things we want.

Why not listen to what He wants and has planned for your day?

If anyone asks what you are doing just tell them, ” AFI… Awaiting Further Instructions.”

“I wish you enough!”

Bob Perks
http://www.bobperks.com/hellos.htm
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 16, 2015

A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he saw a dog coming inside the shop. He shoos him away. But later, the dog is back again.

So, he goes over to the dog and notices he has a note in his mouth. He takes the note and it reads “Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please. The dog has money in his mouth, as well.”

The butcher looks inside and, lo and behold, there is a ten dollar Note there. So he takes the money and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing it in the dog’s mouth. The butcher is so impressed, and since it’s about closing time, he decides to shut up shop and follow the dog.

So off he goes. The dog is walking down the street when he comes To a level crossing.

The dog puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the button. Then he waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to turn. They do, and he walks across the road, with the butcher following him all the way.

The dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable.

The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks out the times, and then sits on one of the seats provided. Along comes a bus. The dog walks around to the front, looks at the number, and goes back to his seat.

Another bus comes. Again the dog goes and looks at the number, notices it’s the right bus, and climbs on. The butcher, by now, open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus.

The bus travels through the town and out into the suburbs, the dog Looking at the scenery. Eventually he gets up, and moves to the front of the bus. He stands on 2 back paws and pushes the button to stop the bus. Then he gets off, his groceries still in his mouth.

Well, dog and butcher are walking along the road, and then the dog turns into a house. He walks up the path, and drops the groceries on the step.

Then he walks back down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself against the door. He goes back down the path, runs up to the door and again, it throws himself against it. There’s no answer at the house, so the dog goes back down the path, jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks along the perimeter of the garden. He gets to the window, and beats his head against it several times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door.

The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts abusing the dog, kicking him and punching him, and swearing at him.

The butcher runs up, and stops the guy. “What in heaven’s name are You doing? The dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for the life of me!” to which the guy responds: “You call this clever? This is the second time this week that this stupid dog’s forgotten his key.”

Author Unknown  -  Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 15, 2004

Garage sales are a peculiar pastime. I am not one of those people who enjoy rummaging through other people’s unwanted items. My mother was, and she convinced me to accompany her one cool and dreary morning. I jumped at a chance to hand off my new baby to Grandpa and spend some adult time with my mother.

We went to several garage sales and finally stopped at a pleasant cottage in the woods. The elderly owner told me that he and his wife were moving into a retirement complex. His wife had been a teacher before she had a stroke and retired. She missed teaching with all her heart.

As we were perusing the sale items, I heard the gentleman’s small, frail wife say her name to someone, and I immediately realized who she was. She looked at me and said, “You are Lisa Miller.” I stared at her in awe, for it had been nearly thirty years since I had been in her class.

My mother immediately apologized to her for any trouble I might have caused. She did that routinely now after learning that my brothers and I were not the sweet little angels she thought. She assumed that if this woman remembered me after so many years, I must have really done something horrible. My teacher looked at my mother and softly said, “Oh no, she was very good,” and my mother stared at her in disbelief.

My teacher explained that during the last week of school, I brought her a plant from my mother’s garden. It was a Lamb’s Ear, a small plant with leaves that look and feel like a lamb’s ear. She said it came to her roots and all and was probably pulled out that morning as I ran out the door. (My mom knew that it was probably a peace token, and I had in fact done something that needed some sort of atonement.)

My teacher took us to a patch of plants and told us that she planted the Lamb’s Ear in her garden, and over the years it spread. As I looked down her driveway, I was taken aback at the site of Lamb’s Ears lining both sides of it. She looked at me and said, “Every day when I leave my house and drive up the driveway, I think of you. And when I come home these plants greet me, and I think of you.” Tears welled up in my eyes. There at her home, among all her belongings, was a piece of my life that she had nurtured.

In that moment, she taught me more about life than I could imagine. We give pieces of ourselves every day without thought or expectation. We rarely envision the effects that we have on others’ lives. That piece may grow and spread, becoming an integral part of a life. In the end it is not the big things that matter, but the small things that make all the difference in the world.

This is the lesson that I take with me to my classroom every day, and the lesson that got me through lymphoma and chemotherapy. I never had a chance to thank her, but I hope she took a Lamb’s Ear with her to her new home.

Garage sales are a peculiar pastime — you just never know what you will find. Every item has a story. A lot of those stories have a life lesson attached, if we will listen. I found my calling.

Lisa Miller Rychel
Teacher Tales
Chicken Soup for the Soul
http://www.chickensoup.com/
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 11, 2011

“Meg, we need to talk.”

“Sure thing, Dad.”

My father and I had been sitting on the couch watching TV together and I knew he meant business when he muted the TV.

“As you know, I have been to the doctor several times over the last few days, and well Meg, I have a brain tumor.”

“Okay,” was all I could say.

“Just okay?”

“Yep, just okay.”

Of course he proceeded to explain to me the generalities, to which I offered only a nod. Looking back on that conversation, I didn’t know then what a big impact that moment would have on my life.

At the time I thought to myself, “Brain tumor — no biggie for Dad. If Mom can beat cancer, he can beat this.” Now I look back, thankful for my innocence.

It was the second half of my senior year, that time in a girl’s life when all the really big exciting events are happening.

My Senior prom, my final play performance, my eighteenth birthday, [and dad’s fiftieth], baccalaureate, and graduation were all scattered about in just two short months. My parents were in and out of the hospital, and I was in and out of the house.

Sure, I went to see him — like five times — but I was busy and I had all my events to go to.

By senior prom Dad was bald; he couldn’t really concentrate on my final performance, but he was there. He gallantly sat through both of our birthday dinners even with his nausea and he fought the doctors, to get out of the hospital for my graduation.

During those months, we both were concentrating on the same thing… me;  but dad was about to teach me a lesson that would serve me for life.

His doctor said that by focusing on all my future events, it kept my dad alive longer. I guess they really do know what they are talking about because nine days after my high school graduation, my father died.

For the next two weeks after his funeral, I didn’t leave my room, not even to shower. Finally, my mom stormed in, opened my blinds and said, “Enough is enough, Megan. ”

“Get up. I have something for you to read.” My father’s doctor had sent my mother a letter. It contained the typical “I’m sorry for your loss” sentiments.

But this one was far from typical. It was tear-stained. I could physically see the pain this loss had caused him. In his letter he wrote about how my father inspired him to change his life and the way he worked.

My father had not been just a patient to him; for the first time he actually saw the person he was treating.

He said dad cared more for the people around him than he did his own pain. The doctor said, “I have never met someone who put everyone else first. ”

“He was the type of person I desire to be. In his short time here, he touched everyone that worked with him and quickly became the eighth floor’s favorite patient. His memory will forever live on in the hearts of doctors and nurses here at Saint Thomas and my life will never be the same.”

After I finished reading it, I went and found Mom. With a steady and level gaze, she told me, “Go and get out of this house. Your father is gone. We all miss him, but living in the dark of your room will not bring him back. Live your life. Get a job, get a life; hang out with your friends, do something, anything, but don’t waste the life you have been given. That is the best way to honor your father.”

I took her words to heart. Two weeks and three days after my father died, I got a job as a summer camp counselor. I worked from the time I got up to the time I went to bed every day that summer.

I was giving everything I had to these little kids, and slowly they helped to heal me without even realizing what they were doing. Their innocence had helped me rediscover some of mine.

Too soon, it was the end of summer and I sat in the middle of my bedroom floor packing my things to start college. I began to think back over the last few months and all the changes that had taken place in my life.

I thought of my father and how he wouldn’t be able to help me move into my dorm room, but also about my summer spent as a camp counselor.

Then out of nowhere I remembered the letter his doctor had written. That’s when I realized the biggest change that had occurred in my life that summer. I had honored my dad.

My summer mirrored parts of the life my father led in his last few days. I had spent the summer months giving of myself to children.

It was not the senior summer I had always envisioned. It wasn’t all about me. I had learned the final lesson my father was teaching me, that in order to lead a fulfilling and happy life, you must learn how to give of yourself to others.

By helping them, you are giving yourself focus, purpose and a reason for being. You really are helping yourself. It is the paradox and enigma of life I was not able to grasp until I put my dad’s last lesson of life into practice.

His Final Lesson Megan Tucker-Hall
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad
http://www.chickensoup.com/  Changing Lives One Story At A Time
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 10, 2000

Teachers strive to care equally about each of the students they teach. For most of us however, some students just stand out and profoundly influenced our lives.

Years ago, I had a young Hispanic boy in my first year chemistry class who I will never forget. Our experiences together impressed upon me the tremendous influence that just a few minutes of attention and affirmation can have on a young life.

Juan came from a very poor, single parent home. Hardship had made Juan’s mother disinterested in his education and in his life in general. All of her time had to be  devoted to a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Throughout the year, I noticed that Juan had an unusual ability to solve equations and to correlate abstract relationships between concepts. Juan picked up new ideas as fast as any student I’ve ever had; maybe faster.

I was shocked when he approached me after school one day to tell me that he liked chemistry, but did not think he was smart enough to attend college. He did not feel that his mother would be interested in helping him with school. What should he do with his life?

I explained to Juan that he was one of my very best students. His face lit up with excitement and he looked at me incredulously. I proceeded to explain to him that he could apply for scholarships, loans and federal grants to pay for college.

I told him I would be glad  to help him find a way to get his degree as it would be a shame to waste such a brilliant mind.

Finally, I told Juan that I would be teaching advanced placement chemistry next year and I was really hoping that he would take the class.

Juan looked as though he would need to re-think his entire life. He told me that he would consider what I had said.

The next morning, I went out for my daily jog around the block. I was startled when Juan appeared from nowhere on my front lawn.

“Hi, Mr. Johnson,” Juan said cheerfully. “I have been thinking about what you told me yesterday and I am going to take your advanced placement class. Did you know that I live just across the street?”

I hadn’t known that Juan was my neighbor. I invited him to jog with me and from then on, Juan would join me before school several mornings each week for a half-hour jog. What I noticed more than anything about Juan was that he was searching for affirmation; that his life had value.

We got to know each other quite well. We were both Dallas Cowboys fans, we both liked the outdoors and we both liked math and science. He was no longer just a student; he was a young life I was given the opportunity to help mold.

Soon, Juan was joining my family for evening games of Monopoly, or Hearts. When I took my own two children fishing, we invited him along and he caught his first fish.

Juan was my best student that year in advanced placement chemistry. His skills and abilities continued to grow and he never tired of mind-bending calculations or homework.

His confidence increased and he literally blossomed before my eyes. Other students wanted to be Juan’s lab partner and he developed into a popular outgoing young man.

As the end of the year approached, Juan stayed after school one day to thank me for my interest in his life. I was profoundly moved when he told me that I had changed his life. He told me that I, more than anyone else, had given his life-value, purpose and direction. [I cried. ]

He got a 5 on the advanced placement chemistry exam and he was awarded enough scholarship assistance that he was able to attend the local university.

I was very proud of him and not surprised when he graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

We stayed in touch over the years and eventually, Juan moved into the top management level of an international corporation.

I have often wondered how both of our lives would have been different had our paths not crossed. I maybe would have never learned the true value of a teacher. I have applied it many times since.

When I thought of leaving the teaching profession for a career in medicine several years later, I had a choice to make. I knew I could make a good living in medicine; but would it pay the dividends that teaching did? Juan stood out in my mind.

How important had my encouragement and affirmation really been to him and to the path he would follow?

The life of a teacher is often a life of poverty in the material sense. However, teachers have the unique opportunity to inspire their students to reach for the stars.

What could be a more worthwhile pursuit? Who could have known the importance of such a small investment in the life of a young man?

I was so thankful that I took the time to encourage Juan to reach; to be all that he could be.

My experiences with Juan [and many others since] contributed to my decision to remain in the classroom. My love for my students and for the subject I teach has continued to grow over the years.

I consider myself most fortunate to be a teacher and to have been a part of so many young lives; to encourage their hopes and their dreams.

I may not drive the nicest car on the block and I may not live in the nicest house, but I consider myself very rich in the things that count the most. I get to have a small part in the dreams of the next generation.

A Few Minutes of Kindness By Steve Johnson
[2009 Nevada State Teacher of the Year]
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales
http://www.chickensoup.com/ Changing Lives One Story At A Time
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 8, 2015

One afternoon I had the chance to meet a couple of friends on the course for a quick nine. We were paired together for a scramble at our church the next weekend and we admittedly needed the practice.

As I was driving to meet them, I started reflecting on my marriage. After seven years, we had become too predictable. No itches mind you, but more than enough rashes and hives from the children.

With the kids, the mortgage, the bills and, of course, the job to pay for all of the above, we had landed in a sand trap.

In college, it seemed like everything enjoyable in life centered around our time together. People always said that we were the ones who lit the fires, but lately it seemed like we had forgotten the matches.

Golf was an escape for us. I’d chase that stupid white ball around a deep green golf course and would never get any better.

My wife drove the electric golf cart, always wearing a shorts-and-tank-top set, dark sunglasses, and a white golf visor. For ten yards in either direction, you could smell the unmistakable scent of cocoa butter. The only reason she went was to get a suntan.

If the truth were known, the only reason I went was to watch her.

One afternoon, she studied my golf swing more intently than ever before. Finally, on the seventeenth hole, she came out with her notion.

“Let me try to hit one.”

At first, I thought it was a novel idea. Then I changed my mind. Golf was a man’s sport, or so I thought. “You? You can’t hit a golf ball. You’re a girl.”

“Thanks for noticing. Just the same, I think I can lose golf balls as well as you can.”

A very true observation.

I handed over my 3-wood and dug the tee into the hard clay at the tee box. Without even a practice swing, she promptly knocked the ball straight down the middle of the fairway.

When we got to our balls, her drive was five yards further than mine. From that day on, she started playing golf.

Some of the best times we shared early in our marriage were on the golf course. We’d go in the mid-morning before the temperature would climb.

The time we spent together laughing and teasing under the sun cemented our relationship. As I pulled into the parking lot outside the clubhouse, I realized how much I missed seeing her on a golf course.

All the guys at church looked forward to playing our annual tournament. Mike and Danny, a couple of fellow church members, were going to play on my team along with a mystery partner.

Hopefully someone who could drive and putt, our collective shortcomings.

Every team invited someone outside our church to play. Sort of a community involvement thing.

What I always found amazing was how all these strangers could hit the cover off the ball and always straight down the middle!

Let’s face it, there are more ringers in a church golf tournament than in the children’s bell choir.

When I got to the practice green, I saw Danny and his wife, Beth, pulling out Danny’s clubs. A second golf bag was resting on the side.

“Whose clubs are those, Danny?” I asked, expecting him to say that next week’s mystery golfer was already inside the clubhouse, paying for our tickets.

“Why, they’re mine,” said Beth as she threw them across her shoulder.

“Yeah, she’s my secret weapon today. She tees off from the women’s tee box, you know. With her drives, we are guaranteed at least a good one.”

I snickered at the thought of a woman playing golf… then I caught a whiff of cocoa butter.

The three of us spent the afternoon chasing balls, hitting horrible iron shots and missing almost every putt.

Danny and Beth didn’t care. They enjoyed playing golf together in a way that I suddenly recalled.

It’s not the winning but the losing together that matters most.

As we were starting to leave, the conversation came to the tournament. Danny asked, “Well, do you think you can find a fourth player by Saturday?”

“Yeah. Playing this afternoon reminded me of the perfect partner.”

I came home to find my wife in the kitchen. She smiled and asked, “Did you play well?”

“Nope. Just as hopeless as usual.”

“How did the others play?”

“Hopeless as well. We need a fourth player for the tournament and I think I found one.”

She looked up at me with those bright eyes and asked, “Really, who?”

“You.”

Surprise grew across her face. “Me? I haven’t played golf in years. I can’t help you win.”

“Can’t help us lose either. But it sure would be nice to see you out there again.”

That next Saturday, the four of us played golf on perhaps the most beautiful spring day that I can recall.

We laughed and teased all over the course as shot after shot missed the mark.

On the last hole, we finished with a score of 79, seven shots above par, buried deep in last place.

Afterward, the awards were handed out and we got the prize for having the roughest day, a kind way to say we lost.

Each of us received a sleeve of shiny pink golf balls for our hard day’s work.

On the way back to our table, I put my arm around my wife’s waist and whispered to all four of us, “These guys just haven’t figured out who really won…”

Harrison Kelly
Chicken Soup for the Soul: [Tales of Golf and Sport]
http://www.chickensoup.com/  Changing Lives One Story At A Time 
Vintage Dilbert July 24,  2004

Vintage Dilbert
July 24, 2004

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils.

But you woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.

Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man’s life.

I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully.

Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart.

His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support man as the rib cage supports the body.

You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtue in your heart. Your eyes – don’t change them. Your lips – how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose so perfect in form your hands so gentle to touch. I’ve caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I’ve held your heart close to mine.

Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me. Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support. You are special because you are the extension of me.

Man represents my image – woman, my emotions. Together, you represent totality of God. So man – treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you hurt me.

What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart, the heart of your Father and the heart of her Father.

Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
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