The phone rang, it was the school calling. “Would you please come and pick up Brandon? He seems to be sick.” What could be wrong, I wondered? I drove right over to the school and picked him up. We drove home and he went upstairs to lie down. Brandon slept for a long time, but woke up very sick. It was now quite late and nothing was open; I wasn’t sure what I should do. I called my husband Bill. Bill told me I should take Brandon to the Kaiser Clinic by the mall.

We had just recently moved and I wasn’t familiar with the area. We hadn’t even gotten our insurance cards yet. This was before we had GPS. I had a vague idea where the mall was, but I had no idea where the clinic could be. I headed for the mall. I could see Brandon was feeling worse and worse; I had to find this clinic fast. I found the mall, then started to drive down the side streets. There it was, the Kaiser sign! “Thank you Lord,” I whispered.

We walked into the clinic. Since it was late, no one was in the waiting room and we were taken right back to a room. The doctor examined Brandon, then looked at me and said, “You’ll need to drive Brandon to the hospital yourself. He needs surgery right away. We don’t have time to wait for an ambulance.”

Wait a minute, I have no idea how I even found this clinic, now I was supposed to find a hospital, at night, when I had no idea where I was going? The nurse wrote out some directions. “I have no sense of direction, so drawing me a map is useless,” I franticly tried to explain to the nurse, but all she said was, “You can do it, there’s no time to waste.” I started off not knowing where I was going.

While Brandon was moaning and trusting me to get him to the hospital, I told him that we needed to pray. As I drove in what I thought was the right direction, but feeling lost, I prayed, “Please Lord, help us find this hospital. We need someone to show us the way.”

There was no one on the streets; everything looked deserted. It appeared we were in a bad end of the city. We pulled up to a stop light on the one-way street we were on. An old beat up car pulled up next to us. The people inside of the car looked rough. I felt uneasy at first. But then I remembered that I had prayed that the Lord would send someone to help; I had to trust Him. I looked over at Brandon and said, “I’m going to roll down the window and ask these people for help.” Brandon gave me a look like he seemed to think it was a good idea. I rolled down the window. “We’re lost–could you please help us find the hospital?” I said half crying. “No problem, just follow us,” was their reply.

I felt I had no choice but to follow them. However, as we went up and down one street after another, I started to wonder if these were the people the Lord had sent to help us. I felt we were on a wild goose chase. After what seemed to be a long time and many turns, I could see the hospital sign. I was so relieved! I kept following this old beat-up car right to the emergency room door. With a wave of their hand out the window, they were gone, back into the dead of night.

I rushed Brandon into the emergency room. After several doctors had examined him they agreed he needed surgery right away. Even though we didn’t have our insurance cards yet, the bill was completely paid and Brandon came through the surgery with flying colors.

To this day, I’ve often wondered who those people were who came to our aid that late night years ago. To Brandon and me they were angels that the Lord sent to help us find our way.


By Kay Heitsch



Once upon a time there was a leafy tree in a field. Leaves grew densely on the tall branches. The roots were deeply into the ground. The tree was the most remarkable among the rest.

The tree then became the home for some birds. They built their nests and they lived on his branches. The birds made holes on him, and they hatched their eggs within the greatness of the tree. The tree felt so delighted because he was accompanied as he walked through his long lasting days.

People were grateful for the presence of the tree. They often came over and sheltered under him. Under his branches, they sat down and opened their picnic baskets. “This tree is very useful,” that’s what the people said everytime they went home from shelter. The tree was very proud hearing those compliments.

However, time went on. The tree was beginning to be sick. His leaves and twigs were falling, then his body became thin and pale. The greatness he used to have was fading away. Birds felt reluctant to build their nests there. No one would come to sit under the tree to shelter anymore.

The tree wept, “Oh God, why is it so hard for me? I need friends. Now no one would come close to me. Why do you take all the glory I used to have?” The tree cried loudly, so it echoed throughout the forest. “Why wouldn’t you cut me down, so I don’t have to bear this suffering?” The tree kept on crying, and his tears were running down his dry body.

Seasons came and went, but his condition had not changed. The tree was still feeling lonely. His branches became drier and drier. Every night the tree wept and cried, until the morning broke.

“Cheep…chirp….cheep” Ah, what was that noise? Oh, it’s a little baby bird who has just pipped from the egg. The old tree woke up from his daydream.

“Cheep…chirp…cheep”, the noise became louder and louder. There was another baby bird. Not long after that, the tree became noisy because of the birth of new baby birds. One…two…three…and four baby birds have been born to this world. “Ah, He has answered my prayers,” exclaimed the old tree.

The day after, there were many birds flying to the old tree. They were going to build new nests. The dry branches have turned out to attract their attention to nest there. The birds felt warmer to stay inside the dry branches instead of their place before. The number of birds was increasing and there were more kinds of them. “Wow, now my days are brighter with their presence here”, murmured the old tree gladly.

The old tree was back to cheer again. And when he looked down, his heart was flowing with joy. There was a new little tree growing near his roots. The new tree seemed to smile at him. The tears of the old tree has grown a little tree who would continue his devotion to nature.

by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown


I was reading a book in my chair in the living room while my son watched an old comedy show on TV. Suddenly, I heard someone yell, “Go to your happy place! Go to your happy place!” I looked up to see the television characters panicking while my son laughed at the silliness of it all. Hearing those words, however, made me put my book down and think of all the happy places I have had over the years.

When I was a little boy my happy place was sitting on my Mom’s lap while we shared a freshly made bowl of popcorn. When I was in elementary school my happy place was a tree in the woods where I could sit and watch the leaves go golden and red in the Fall. When I was a teenager my happy place was my bedroom where I could lay on my bed and listen for hours to my favorite songs on the radio. As a young man my happy place was an old rocking chair where I could hold my newborn babies in my arms and gently rock them to sleep.

As I got older, though, I realized that the very best happy place of all was deep down within my own soul. It was there that I realized just how much God loved me. It was there that I saw that I could love too. It was there that I learned that my happiness was in my own hands and that I could create it one loving choice at a time.

When you have your own soul as your happy place then your happy place is wherever you decide to go. When your happy place lives in your heart then you get to give it to everyone you meet. When your happy place is the very life you live then you make the world around you a happier place as well. Create your own happy place then. Fill your heart with love. Fill your soul with kindness. Fill your days with joy. Take this glorious gift of life God has given you and live it, one loving choice at a time.

By Joseph J. Mazzella

Nothing like a good dog story and a cuppa coffee…. Gotta love “Shootin the Breeze…”

Shootin' the Breeze


We have a log bunkhouse on our ranch.  It was the original homestead cabin, but has been refurbished except for the logs themselves.  The roof, electrical, plumbing, and storm windows are all new.  It has a bathroom.  It has a sauna.  We advertise it on Air B&B.  Our guests seem to like it.  My wife, Sugar, goes overboard in the hospitality department.  She is a wonderful cook.  It is more than “bed and breakfast.”

This past weekend we had guests from another state.  They were recently married.  Both husband and wife are engineers.  Smart couple.  Supposedly.

For engineers, they failed to foresee obvious dangers.  They failed to account for our dog, Beau.  Big mistake!

Beau is, as loyal readers recall, a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He retrieves items whether or not he has been requested to do so.  Hence the problem.

The young couple took advantage of the opportunity to relax…

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Today I heard a story about the game Monopoly. I remembered playing the game many times in my life. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was not. Very much like life! It’s not always fun!

We all gather around the table and set the board up. Someone is the banker and they hand out the money. As the game goes on we can buy and sell property. It’s a great feeling to own Boardwalk, Park Place and to trade in those tiny green houses for red hotels. Since the hotels were red you know that’s what I wanted.

As the game goes on it’s fun if you’re the one buying the red hotels and winning the game. But the game comes to an end at some point. It isn’t very long and it’s time to put the game away. As the story I heard this morning was told, the game ends, and it all goes back in the box.

How true that is in life. It doesn’t really matter how much stuff we accumulate in life, because in the end, it all goes back in the box. Life is much more than stuff. We have no idea when the game will end. It may be today for all we know.

I’ve learned a few things over the years. I know it’s not stuff I’ll take with me when the game of life is over. I’ve learned three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

By Kay Heitsch 


As a group of frogs were traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that they’re was no hope left for them.

However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying and they proceeded to try and jump out of the pit. Despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of he pit were still saying that they should just give up. That they would never make it out.

Eventually, one of the frogs took heed to what the others were saying and he gave up, falling down to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die.

He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?”

The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

By Dan Western


Vintage Dilbert September 24, 2016

Vintage Dilbert
September 24, 2016

There were a hundred hints of Autumn in the wind when I took my dogs outside this morning. The air was cooler and drier than it had been for months. The Queen Anne’s Lace and Black Eyed Susan’s seemed to be shivering in the September Sun. Our puppy, Fluffy was carrying around a freshly fallen leaf in his mouth. Overhead a flock of ducks seemed to be debating whether or not it was time to head south. I breathed in deep and smiled. This was my favorite time of the year. I closed my eyes for a moment and was amazed when a thousand Autumn memories mixed and mingled in my mind.

I was a four year old carrying an armful of colorful leaves into the house to give to my Mom. I was a young boy riding my bike down a hill with the wind whistling past my face. I was standing on the football field before practice laughing with my friends. I was riding the school bus watching the changing leaves with my lunch box on my lap. I was walking in the woods wondering why some leaves turn a rich red, while others turn a brilliant yellow and still others turn an awe inspiring orange. I was a young dad pushing my son and daughter on the swings at the school yard on a Saturday afternoon. I was raking a crunchy carpet of Maple and Oak leaves into a pile in my Dad’s front yard so my niece and nephew could jump in them. I was walking around a local lake with my children taking in the Fall colors and wondering why the prettiest season seemed to be the shortest. I was sitting on my back porch drinking tea, thanking God for another glorious Autumn afternoon and wondering if in Heaven it was Autumn all of the time.

As I bathed my mind in these memories I looked forward to another wonderful Autumn here and thanked our Heavenly Father for this special season. I remembered what Ralph Waldo Emerson had once said: “Beauty is God’s handwriting.” I wondered too if God had a special pen just for Autumn.

We are all traveling through time in this world. We are all strolling through sweet seasons in this life. We are all creating memories every moment of everyday. May we always take the time then to appreciate all of God’s wonders. May we always take the time to add our own love, joy, and beauty to them.


Author - Joseph J. Mazzella
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