Archive

Tag Archives: Gift

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
December 18, 2014

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted….”Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share,

HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care…

And may you always believe in the magic of Christmas!

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

Vintage Dilbert
December 10, 2005

In the very early 1800’s, a young boy about 14 years old named John lived in an orphanage in Old England along with several other children. Orphanages were dreaded. Orphan meant unwanted and unloved. The orphanage was administered by a master and his wife who were results of meager backgrounds themselves and were short on love but high on discipline. No childlike play, no expression of compassion, no understanding.

Every day of the year was spent working. They worked in gardens, cleaned, sewed, and cooked sometimes for wealthy children. They were up at dawn and worked until dark and usually received only one meal a day. However, they were very grateful because they were taught to be hard workers. John had absolutely nothing to call his own. None of the children did.

Christmas was the one day of the year when the children did not work and received a gift. A gift for each child – something to call their own. This special gift was an orange. John had been in the orphanage long enough to look forward with delight and anticipation of this special day of Christmas and to the orange he would receive. In Old England, and to John and his orphan companions, an orange was a rare and special gift. It had an unusual aroma of something they smelled only at Christmas. The children prized it so much that they kept it for several days, weeks, and even months – protecting it, smelling it, touching it and loving it. Usually they tried to savor and preserve it for so long that it often rotted before they ever peeled it to enjoy the sweet juice.

Many thought were expressed this year as Christmas time approached. The children would say, “I will keep mine the longest.” They always talked about how big their last orange was and how long they had kept it.

John usually slept with his next to his pillow. He would put it right by his nose and smell of its goodness, holding it tenderly and carefully as not to bruise it. He would dream of children all over the world smelling the sweet aroma of oranges. It gave him security and a sense of well being, hope and dreams of a future filled with good food and a life different from this meager existence.

This year John was overjoyed by the Christmas season. He was becoming a man. He knew he was becoming stronger and soon he would be old enough to leave. He was excited by this anticipation and excited about Christmas. He would save his orange until his birthday in July. If he preserved it very carefully, kept it cool and did not drop it, he might be able to eat it on his birthday.

Christmas day finally came. The children were so excited as they entered the big dining hall. John could smell the unusual aroma of meat. In his excitement and because of his over sized feet, he tripped, causing a disturbance. Immediately the master roared, “John, leave the hall and there will be no orange for you this year.” John’s heart broke violently wide open. He began to cry. He turned and went swiftly back to the cold room and his corner so the small children would not see his anguish.

Then he heard the door open and each of the children entered. Little Elizabeth with her hair falling over her shoulders, a smile on her face, and tears in her eyes held out a piece of rag to John. “Here John,” she said, “this is for you.” John was touched by her youth and innocence as he reached for the bulge in her hand. As he lifted back the edges of the rag he saw a big juicy orange all peeled and quartered. . . and then he realized what they had done. Each had sacrificed their own orange by sharing a quarter and had created a big, beautiful orange for John.

John never forgot the sharing, love and personal sacrifice his friends had shown him that Christmas day. John’s beginning was a meager existence, however, his growth to manhood was rewarded by wealth and success.

In memory of that day every year he would send oranges all over the world to children everywhere. His desire was that no child would ever spend Christmas without a special Christmas fruit!

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

 

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 2, 1997

His parents acquired the washer when John Claypool was a small boy. It happened during World War II.

His family owned no washing machine and, since gasoline was rationed, they could ill afford trips to the laundry several miles away. Keeping clothes clean became a problem for young John’s household.

A family friend was drafted into the service, and his wife prepared to go with him. John’s family offered to store their furniture while they were away. To the family’s surprise, the friends suggested they use their Bendix while they were gone. “It would be better for it to be running, ” they said, “than sitting up rusting.” So this is how they acquired the washer.

Young John helped with the washing, and across the years he developed an affection for the old, green Bendix. But eventually the war ended. Their friends returned. In the meantime he had forgotten how the machine came to be in their basement in the first place. When the friends came to take it away, John grew terribly upset — and said so!

His mother, wise as she was, sat him down and said, “Wait a minute, Son. You must remember, that machine never belonged to us in the first place. That we ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at it being taken away, let’s use this occasion to be grateful that we had it at all.”

The lesson proved invaluable. Years later, John watched his eight-year-old daughter die a slow and painful death of leukemia. Though he struggled for months with her death, John could  not begin healing from the loss until he remembered the old Bendix.

“I am here to testify,” he said, “that this is the only way down the mountain of loss…when I remember that  Laura Lou was a gift, pure and simple, something I neither earned nor deserved nor had a right to. And when I remember that the appropriate response to a gift, even when it is taken away, is gratitude, then I am better able to try and thank God that I was ever given her in the first place.”

His daughter was a gift. When he realized that simple fact, everything changed. He could now begin healing from the tragedy of her loss by focusing instead on the wonder of her life. He  started to see Laura Lou as a marvelous gift that he was fortunate enough to share for a  time. He felt grateful. He found strength and healing. He knew he could get through the valley of loss.

We all experience loss — loss of people, loss of jobs, loss of relationships, loss of  independence, loss of esteem, loss of things. When what you held dear can be viewed as a gift, a wonder that you had it at all, the memory can eventually become one more of gratitude than tragedy. And you will find the healing you need.

Story from TRACKS OF A FELLOW STRUGGLER,

by John Claypool

(Insight Press Inc., 1995).

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
February 17, 1997

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college.

For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible.

Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him.

He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible, and began to turn the pages.

As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words … PAID IN FULL.

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

Vintage Dilbert
January 29, 2000

Written by Regina Brett, 52 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short – enjoy it.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
  42. The best is yet to come…
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
%d bloggers like this: