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Vintage Dilbert March 1, 2011

Vintage Dilbert
March 1, 2011

Once all the villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s FAITH

When you throw a baby in the air, she laughs because she knows you will catch her.

That’s TRUST

Every night we go to bed, without any assurance of being alive the next morning but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s HOPE

We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s CONFIDENCE

We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children.

That’s LOVE

On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence ‘I am not 80 years old….I am sweet 16 with 64 years experience’

That’s ATTITUDE

 

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

Vintage Dilbert
September 14, 1994

Courtesy wasn’t really optional in my childhood home. I grew up with two sisters just older than me. If I wasn’t courteous to them, they would slug me.

Yes, I saw the irony (even though in those days I thought “irony” was a shirt that needed a lot of pressing). And no, I didn’t say anything about it. That would’ve been rude.

And – let’s face it – painful.

Kathy, my youngest sister, had a strange fascination with my eating habits. She felt it was her duty to point out to our mother that I was taking more than my share of mashed potatoes, or that I was hiding my parsnips under pieces of fat from the roast beef. And whenever we traveled and Dad bought hamburgers for us to eat on the way, Kathy would intentionally wait until after I had hungrily wolfed mine down before she would start eating hers. And then she would torment me with the deliberately long, slow, luxurious mastication of her hamburger.

I thought that was rude. She said it was just good manners.

And then she stuck her bun-and-burger-and-special-sauce-covered tongue out at me.

Wanda Lynne, on the other hand, was anxious to make me a kind and courteous Lothario. Never mind that I was still years away from actually dating. Wanda Lynne wanted to make sure I would treat the girls I dated better than the boys she was dating were treating her – at least, that was my theory. So she made me open doors for her and help her into her chair at dinner. And when we walked up the hill to church she taught me to walk on the inside closest to the road. She said it was courteous for me to do this so if a car came by and splashed water or snow it would hit me before it hit the girl I was with. But I always thought she was secretly hoping an inattentive driver would come along and pick me off.

Years later I went away to college, and I remembered the things my sisters had taught me. I assumed that was the way that grown up people act, and as an 18-year-old college freshman I wanted more than anything else to act like a grown up. So as I walked into the university library for the first time, I noticed an older woman – probably at least a junior – walking behind me, and I held the door open for her.

“What’s the matter?” she asked, glaring at me. “Do you think that because I’m a woman I’m not strong enough to open a door for myself?”

I was stunned … and speechless.

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Freshmen,” she muttered, brushing past me.

I stood there for a moment. My face was flushed and warm from embarrassment. I decided that there would be no more door opening or chair holding or closest-to-the-traffic walking for me. And if I wanted to eat the last of the mashed potatoes in the cafeteria, so be it!

As I stood there, however, another upperclassman approached the library door, her arms overloaded with textbooks. Instinctively I reached to open the door for her. I grimaced as soon as I realized what I had done, and I braced myself for the muttered invective that was sure to follow. Instead, I received a warm smile and a look of relief.

“Thanks!” she said brightly. “It’s nice to see we still have a few gentlemen around here!”

Of course, if I were REALLY a gentleman I would have offered to help her with her books. But I was still a little gun-shy, and I didn’t want to press my luck. Even so, I decided that the good feeling I got from performing an act of simple courtesy was worth the possibility of bluster. To do otherwise would be to go against a lifetime of training – not to mention rendering meaningless countless sisterly slugs. Three years later I met a beautiful freshman who actually appreciated my courtesy to her, and for 35 years we’ve been trying to out-nice each other.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, especially since September is National Courtesy Month. And I’ve noticed that while the world in which we live can be dark and sometimes foreboding, courtesy and kindness bring pleasant, refreshing light to our lives whether we are the giver, the receiver or just an interested observer. A teenager stands to give an elderly man her seat on a crowded bus. A motorist slows to allow another vehicle to merge onto the freeway smoothly and safely. A shopper with a week’s worth of groceries in his cart allows someone with only a few items to go ahead of him in the check out line. Such simple courtesies don’t necessarily change our lives, but they can certainly change the way we feel about them.

Even without the slugging.

 Author - Joseph B. Walker 
   Copyright © 2012 

 

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
July 21, 1991

It’s a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an  honorary doctorate from this great university. It’s an honor to follow my  great-Uncle Jim, who was a gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman. Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce. I have no specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage, talking to you today. I’m a novelist. My work is human nature, real life is all I know.

Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

You walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will  be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will  be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to  write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad or lonely or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not good.

Here’s what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life.

A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if  you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a  breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with  concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.

Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone.  Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad.

Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the  suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.

Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kids eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.

It is so easy to exist instead of live. I learned to live many years ago.  Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all.

And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not just the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.

I learned to look at all the good I’ve gotten and to try to give some of it back because I believe completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the backyard with the sun shining on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as if you have a terminal illness; because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.

Anna Quindlen 
Commencement Speech at Villanova... c2000
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 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 
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