Herald Journal Columns
March 18, 2002

Reeling in the chimes, in search of spring


I reeled in that wind chime I bought two weeks ago, in search of spring.

The last snowstorm knocked it senseless.

No sense in arguing, so I brought it inside to protect my $15 investment.

Darn spring. It just doesn't want to come.

Changing the subject, here's more goofy antics of my children for those who follow that sort of thing. . .

They pretended they were puppies "expecting" last week, complete with a waiting room and nursery.

They walked around with their shirts packed full of stuffed animals, and had a regular doggy hospital ward going.

Keep in mind they are completely innocent at the age of 6 and 10. (Let me say it plainly ­ I didn't witness a "live birth" or anything.)

My daughter affixed a sign on the door that read: QUIET. Pregnancy dogs need rest. Only dogs (allowed) who will not fight, dogs that will not bark, and dogs that are not smelly.

(This warning was for the sole purpose of kicking out our miniature daschund, who is all three of these things at different times).

A simple gesture

The following is an awesome reprint from Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The excerpted portion is written by John Schlatter.

A simple gesture.

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped, and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove, and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles.

Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden.

As they walked, Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball, and history, that he was having a lot trouble with his other subjects, and that he just broke up with his girlfriend.

They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some small talk. Then Mark went home.

They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school.

They ended up in the same high school, where they had brief contacts over the years.

Finally, the long-awaited senior year came, and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark to talk.

Bill reminded them of the day, years ago, when they first met.

"Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" he asked.

"I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and was going home to commit suicide.

"But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow.

So, when you picked up my books that day, you did a lot more. . . you saved my life."

Still busy in the loo

Just a reminder that the Federal Trade Commission is asking for public input about the national "do not call" list for telemarketers.

Let's protect our right to privacy, away from telemarketers, so we can go to the loo in peace, without the phone ringing with a telemarketer asking if we need life insurance or clean carpets. Make the telemarketers find a different, less intrusive, way to disturb people.

The web site is www.ftc.gov for more information. I think there are some hoops to jump through, but you should be able to get an email off to someone.

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