Inspiration AprilMay 2007

Shortarmguy's Emails To Make You Think

 May 27, 2007

Looking Back is Interesting and a bit scary!.. 

I do not feel old yet I am “old” compared to my kids and grandkids. But I can remember that I was born before any of these were popular.

  • I remember our first television. Little bitty screen which was round and about 10 inches in diameter and when you turned it a white spot would move toward the center of the screen and stay for a while! That was more interesting than the early shows!
  • Penicillin became popular and was truly a miracle drug for the common folks
  • I remember getting the first polio shots in the school district. It was pretty traumatic!
  • The use of frozen foods was booming but we used them sparingly at home… Mom preferred to cook everything fresh. without E-Coli
  • Xerox was the word used (and still used) for a copier.
  • When contact lenses came out and everyone rushed to try them. They were hard at first and no one could keep them in!
  • The Frisbees fad was like the Hula-Hoop… It was amazing to see everybody in the neighborhood play Frisbee
  • I never saw a credit card until I was married and got my first one!
  • Laser beams were talked about in Popular Science but did not exists yet
  • Ball-point pens were great because when I went to school we had ink wells (metal containers where we would pour ink for our pens) in our desks
  • Clothes dryer, ha! We used the power of the sun and the clothes lines were great to play with when empty.
  • we only read about the program that was going to the moon
  • Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, “Sir” and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, “Sir.”
  • Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense and Mom and Dads desire, willingness to make attitude corrections!
  • We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions
  • Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.
    • Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.
    • Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.
    • We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings
    • We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the Presidents speeches on our radios.
    • And I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.
  • If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan ‘on it, it was junk. It was funny to point at a hopped up car and yell “Made In Japan!”
  • We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
  • Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar or bus, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.
  • Candy bars were four-cents ~ there was 2 for a penny candy.
  • My first brand new Chevy Impala Super Sport was $1,900
  • Gas was 15 cents a gallon.
  • It was still safe to Feed our animals store dog& cat Food
  • The nakedest person you ever saw was on national Geographic Magazine.
  • The song lyrics never had a bad word in them.
  • No one was shooting up schools
  • We never heard of drug dealers on every other corner, or drive by shootings or carjacking!
  • Identity theft was only if someone just looked in your mailbox!
  • 17 people living at a resident was against the Law!
  • We found JOBS and got jobs. And wasn’t afraid of being Politically correct.

I was in the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap. There is a gap Ok and it called “NO MORAL VALUES” and “NO FAMILY VALUES”.

And we didn’t have to press 1 for English!

May 20, 2007

Support Our Troops!!


Positive Thoughts

1. Falling in love.

2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.

3. A hot shower.

4. No lines at the supermarket

5. A special glance.

6. Getting mail

7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.

8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.

9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.

11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)

12. A bubble bath.

13. Giggling.

14. A good conversation.

15 The beach

16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.

17. Laughing at yourself.

19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.

20. Running through sprinklers.

21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.

22. Having someone tell you that you’re beautiful.

23. Laughing at an inside joke.

24. Friends.

25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.

26 Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.

27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).

28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.

29. Playing with a new puppy.

30. Having someone play with your hair.

31. Sweet dreams

32. Hot chocolate.

33. Road trips with friends.

34. Swinging on swings.

35 Making eye contact with a cute stranger.

36. Making chocolate chip cookies.

37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.

38. Holding hands with someone you care about.

39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.

40. Watching the expression on someone’s face as they open a much desired present from you.

41. Watching the sunrise.

42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.

43. Knowing that somebody misses you.

44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.

45. Knowing you’ve done the right thing, no matter what other people think.


May 13, 2007

A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth Tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?” “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.”

God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”

Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”

God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“Who will protect me?”

God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it’s life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

“You will simply call her, “Mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!




 Lessons My Mother Taught Me


1.  My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
                “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside.  I just finished cleaning.”

2.  My mother taught me RELIGION.
                     “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3.  My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
                     “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4.  My mother taught me LOGIC.
                     “Because I said so, that’s why.”

5.  My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
                     “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6.  My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
                     “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7.  My mother taught me IRONY.
                     “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8.  My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
                     “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9.  My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
                     “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10.  My mother taught me about STAMINA.
                     “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11.  My mother taught me about WEATHER.
                     “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12.  My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
                     “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13.  My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
                     “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14.  My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
                     “Stop acting like your father!”

15.  My mother taught me about ENVY.
                     “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16.  My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
                     “Just wait until we get home.”

17.  My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
                     “You are going to get it when you get home!”

18.  My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
                     “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

19.  My mother taught me ESP.
                     “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20.  My mother taught me HUMOR.
                     “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21.  My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
                     “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22.  My mother taught me GENETICS.
                     “You’re just like your father.”

23.  My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
                     “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24.  My mother taught me WISDOM
                     “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25.  And my favorite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE.
                     “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”


Why My Lips Stayed Chapped on Mother’s Day

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died.
Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him
and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long
on this mat in our bathroom.

Well we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old,
3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves chapstick.
LOVES it. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. So finally
one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and how
he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back
in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother’s Day, we were having the typical rush around and try
to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys
are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little
one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and
everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and
the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and and the baby loaded in the car and I am
looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner
to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my chapstick
very carefully to Jack’s . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and
said “chapped.” Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right — their
little bottoms do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn’t seem to

And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the
FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat’s behind or the hundredth.
   And THAT is my favorite Mother’s Day moment ever because it reminds
us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures,
there will always be that day when you realize they’ve been using your
chapstick on the cat’s butt.

May 6, 2007


The Golden years

You’ve come to the annoying realization that your parents were right about almost everything.

The bag boy volunteers to help load groceries into your car-in the “ten items or less” lane.

You’ve stopped supporting your children, and started supporting your parents.

You’ve found yourself discussing rain gutters.

You remember your kid’s names, just not always the right one.

You have nightmares about forgetting to move the garbage cans to the street for the garbage collector.

Your high school yearbook is now home to three different species of mold.

You buy “age-defying” makeup and “antiwrinkle” creams and believe they work.

You’ve realized that all those geeky people in Bermuda shorts walking around Disney World include you.

You recognize Led Zeppelin songs that have been turned into elevator Muzak.

As a public service, you have agreed to never appear on the beach in a Bathing suit again

You’ve had three opportunities to buy every single Disney Animated Classic-“for the last time in a generation”

You’d pay good money to be strip-searched.

Wal-Mart and target seem to share your fashion sense.

The only way you know to stop a virtual pet from beeping involves the patio and a sledgehammer.

You can pack two suits, Five shirts,  five pairs of underwear, five pairs of socks, a pair of shoes, and half of your bathroom into a carry-on bag-in less than five minutes.

You know what Earth Shoes are.

You think if you hear “Stairway to Heaven” one more time your head will explode.

Your exercising program seems to have no effect on your muscles, but the veins on the backs of your hands are bulking up quite nicely.

  You remember laughing at your Grandma `s double Chin.! 

On Saturday night, when your hubby mentions “hot oil, a little friction, and squealing,” you tell him you’ll have the car looked at first thing Monday morning.



April 29, 2007

Hey ShortarmGuy,

 I have known you for several years and have had many conversations with you. Here is something I think we can both agree one but few have the courage to speak about (publicly). You might try posting this on your website, if you do we will chalk it up to “Daring to be Different”


 “We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other radical, self righteous, children of the entitlement age. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.”

 ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

 ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

 ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

 ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

 ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.

 ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

 ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

 ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.  

 ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

 ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (Lastly…)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!

Tit for Tat:

The title role of Dirty Harry, 1971, was originally intended for Frank Sinatra. After he refused, it was offered to John Wayne, and then Paul Newman, finally being accepted by Clint Eastwood. 

The characters of Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie were given the same first names as Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s real-life father, mother, and two sisters. 

Penny Marshall was the first woman film director to have a film take in more than $100 million at the box office – she accomplished this with the 1988 flick “Big”.  

In 1938 Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel sold all rights to the comic-strip character Superman to their publishers for $130.  

Comedian/actor Billy Crystal portrayed Jodie Dallas, the first openly gay main character on network television on ABC’s Soap, which aired from 1977 to 1981. 

Before Prohibition, Shlitz Brewery owned more property in Chicago than anyone else, except The Catholic Church. 

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television’s Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1

Smartest dogs: 1) Scottish border collie; 2) Poodle; 3) Golden retriever. Dumbest: Afghan hound. 

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing  

Barbie’s measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33 

Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. State capital without a McDonalds.  

The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn’t give her coffee. 

 About 10% of the world’s population is left-handed.  

Offered a new pen to write with, 97% of all people will write their own name. 

Potato chips were invented in Saratoga Springs in 1853 by chef George Crum. They were a mocking response to a patron who complained that his French fries were too thick. 

 The average child will eat 1,500 Peanut Butter sandwiches by high school graduation. 

The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments and one or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter. 

The sandwich is named for the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-92), for whom sandwiches were made so that he could stay at the gambling table without interruptions for meals.

There are more than 700 species of plants that grow in the United States that have been identified as dangerous if eaten. Among them are some that are commonly favored by gardeners: buttercups, daffodils, lily of the valley, sweet peas, oleander, azalea, bleeding heart, delphinium, and rhododendron.

Van Camp’s Pork and Beans were a staple food for Union soldiers in the Civil War.

Vanilla is the extract of fermented and dried pods of several species of orchids. 

When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable fruit.  

Oranges, lemons, watermelons, and tomatoes are Berries.  

Banana oil never saw a banana; it’s made from Petroleum.

Bananas are actually Herbs. Bananas die after fruiting, like all herbs do.

Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis sativa (marijuana) on their plantations. 

Until 1883, hemp was the world’s largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fabric, soap, paper, medicines, were produced.

 Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible. 

For Stephen King’s “Cujo” (1983), five St. Bernards were used, one mechanical head, and an actor in a dog costume to play the title character. 

 Every known dog except the chow has a pink tongue – the chow’s tongue is jet black. 

  Prairie dogs are not dogs. A prairie dog is a kind of rodent.

German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.

April 22, 2007

Test For People Who Know Everything

(Answers below once you have completed)

(1) There’s one ‘ sport’ in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. What is it?

(2) What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

(3) Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

(4) Name the only sport in which the ball is always in possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?

(5) What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

(6) In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

(7) Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ‘ dw.’ They are all common. Name two of them.

(8) There are fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name half of them?

(9) Where are the lakes that are referred to in the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers?’

(10) There are seven ways a baseball player can legally reach first base without getting a hit. Taking a base on balls-a walk-is one way. Name the other six.

(11) It’s the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked.  You only ever eat this fresh.  What is it?

(12) Name six things that you can wear on your feet that begin with the letter ‘ S.’



1. Boxing.

2. Niagara Falls. The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.

3. Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. Baseball.

5. Strawberry.

6. The pear grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the whole growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

7. Dwarf, dwell, and dwindle.

8. Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

9. In Minnesota. The team was originally known as the Minneapolis Lakers and kept the name when they moved west.

10. Batter hit by a pitch; passed ball; catcher interference; catcher drops third strike; fielder’s choice; and being designated as a pinch runner.

11. Lettuce.

12. Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, snowshoes, stockings.

Well, now you know! Feel any smarter?


April 15, 2007

Random Facts of Life:

– Wal-Mart’s annual income is nearly equal to that of Russia.

– The world’s population increases by 237,748 people every 24 hours.

– Lake Mashu, Japan has the world’s clearest water. Its transparent to a depth of 136 feet.

– The common housefly only flies at 4.3 miles per hour.

– American soldiers in Vietnam sometimes used Slinkies as radio antennas.

– There are exactly 216 noodles in every can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

– The B.F. in B.F. Goodrich stands for Benjamin Franklin.

– Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning. 

– Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button. 

-People do not get sick from cold weather; it’s from being indoors a lot more. 

-When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart! 

-Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.

– Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

– Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until they are 2-6 years old. 

– The average person over 50 will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

– The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

– The average housefly lives for one month.

– 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

– A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

– The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

– Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day.

– Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water. 

– The only two animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads are the rabbit and the parrot.

– John Travolta turned down the starring roles in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Tootsie.”

– Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem. 

– In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

– Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash. 

 The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor. 
Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are used in vein transplant surgery. 
Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins. 
If coloring weren’t added to Coca-Cola, it would be

– 95.7% of all paperwork filed in an average office will never be seen again.

– Exxon spent over $100 million on market research before changing its name from Esso.

– Sheep will not drink from running water.

– Every year over 600 residents of Paris are hospitalized after slipping on dog shit.

– Mississippi did not ratify the 13th Amendment (which outlawed slavery) until 1995.

– Fleas jump at 140 times the force of gravity…20 times that of a space shuttle during launch.

– Davey Crocket never wore a coonskin cap (Disney made that up).

– Christopher Columbus’s ship, the Santa Maria, weighed less than the Titanic’s rudder.

– In 75 years, the human heart pumps enough blood to fill an oil tanker 46 times.

– The liquid inside a Magic 8-Ball is a mix of water, anti-freeze and blue dye.

– It takes a Twinkie on average 45 seconds to explode in the microwave.

– It takes an hour and a half to cremate the average adult.

– When threatened, a bombardier beetle can expel a blast of 212F-degree air from its arse.

– At last count, ten countries have the nuclear capability to destroy the world.

– Only a third of the world’s population eats with a knife and fork.

– Today`s solider are using Silly String to spray and look for trip wires Bombs.

– The @ symbol is over 500 years old.

– The flashing light on the Capitol Records Tower spells out HOLLYWOOD in Morse code.

– Junk mail received by Americans in one day could provide enough fuel to heat 250,000 homes.

– Ben & Jerry got their start in 1977 after taking a $5 correspondence course in ice-cream making.- 

  The average person will forget 80% of what they learned today.


April 8, 2007

In September of 2005, a social studies school teacher from Arkansas did
something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with
permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building
supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom.

The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks.
They obviously looked around and said, “Where’s our desks?”

The teacher said,

“You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn them.”

They thought,

“Well, maybe it’s our grades.”

“No,” she said.

“Maybe it’s our behavior.”

And she told them,

“No, it’s not even your behavior.”

And so they came and went in the first period, still
no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period.
By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in the class to
find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the
class room. The last period of the day, the instructor gathered her class.

They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room.

She said, “Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn
the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily.  Now I’m going to tell you.”

She went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did
27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom,
each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks in
rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished
placing the desks, those kids for the first time I think perhaps in
their lives understood how they earned those desks.

Their teacher said, “You don’t have to earn those desks. These guys did
it for you. They put them out there for you, but it’s up to you to sit
here responsibly, to learn, to be good students and good citizens,
because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don’t ever
forget it.”

April 1, 2007

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. “Jack, did you hear me?” “Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over on ‘his side of the fence,’ as he put it,” Mom told him. “I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said. “He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” Jack said. “I wouldn’t be in the business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” he added.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture … Jack stopped suddenly. “What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked. “The box is gone,” he said. “What box?” “There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack answered.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. “Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.

The small package was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser,” it read. Jack took the package out to his car and ripped it open. There inside was the gold box and an envelope.

Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside. “Upon my death, please forward this package and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filled his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the gold box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, thanks for our time! Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most … was … my time,” Jack thought.

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” Jack said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, … thanks for your time!” 

Inspiration from the past

On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day.  So email the best stuff you get.  Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster.  I’m hoping this page may accomplish that.  After you read a few of these,  you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!”  If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!