My husband and I purchased an old home in Northern New
York State from two elderly sisters. Winter was fast approaching and I
was concerned about the house’s lack of insulation.
“If they could live here all those years, so can we!” my husband confidently declared.
One November night the temperature plunged to below zero, and we woke up to find our interior walls covered with frost.
My husband called the sisters to ask how they had kept warm in the winter.
After a rather brief conversation, he hung up. “For the past 30 years,” he muttered, “they’ve spent the winter in Florida.”
First time in history we can save the human race by laying in front of the TV and doing nothing. Let’s NOT mess this up!
Feels like we’re only 3-4 weeks away from learning everyone’s real hair color.
If you bought 30 rolls of toilet paper, then you owe your church 3 rolls. Tithing is not cancelled.
A rookie drill instructor escorted his first batch of
new recruits to the mess hall. He told them, “There are three rules in
this mess hall: Shut up! Eat up! Get up!”
Checking to see that he had everyone’s attention, he asked, “What is the first rule?”
Much to the amusement of the other instructors, 60 privates yelled in unison, “Shut up, Drill Sergeant!”
A Tad Polish
A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patty Whack.
“Miss Whack, I’d like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday.”
Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it’s okay, he knows the bank manager.
Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.
The frog says, “Sure. I have this,” and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.
Very confused, Patty explains that she’ll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.
She finds the manager and says, “There’s a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral.” She holds up the tiny pink elephant. “I mean, what in the world is this?”
The bank manager looks back at her and says, “It’s a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a Rolling Stone.”
(You sang it, didn’t you? Yeah, I know you did.)
A census taker walked up to a woman who was sitting on a porch. After introducing himself, he said, “How many children do you have?”
The woman answered, “Four.”
The census taker asked, “May I have their names, please?” The woman replied, “Eenie, Meenie, Minie, and George.”
Confused, the census taker said, “May I ask why you named your fourth child ‘George’?”
“Surely, because we didn’t want any Moe.”
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.
“You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little fella.
Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful.”
The boy looked up, “Really?” “Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”
The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”
A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town, and on this special occasion, a local newspaper reporter paid them a visit. He inquired as to the secret of their long and happy marriage.
“Well,” explained the husband, “it all goes back to our honeymoon. We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon by pack mule.”
“We hadn’t gone too far when my wife’s mule stumbled. My wife quietly said ‘That’s once.’ We proceeded a little farther when the mule stumbled again. Once more my wife quietly spoke: ‘That’s twice.’ We hadn’t gone a half-mile when the mule stumbled a third time. My wife promptly removed a revolver from her purse, hopped down off the beast, and shot the mule dead.”
“I started to protest over her treatment of the mule when she looked at me and quietly said, ‘That’s once.’”
Carl was a quiet man. He didn’t talk much. He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake. Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.
Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning. The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us. He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WWII. Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs and drug activity.
he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the
gardens behind the minister’s residence, he responded in his characteristically
unassuming manner. Without fanfare, he just signed up.
He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened. He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him. Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, “Would you like a drink from the hose?” The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, “Yeah, sure,” with a malevolent little smile. As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl’s arm, throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl’s assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.
Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg. He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running out to help him. Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn’t get there fast enough to stop it. “Carl, are you okay? Are you hurt?” the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet. Carl just passed a hand over his brow and signed, shaking his head. “Just some punk kids. I hope they’ll wise-up someday.” His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.
Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, “Carl, what are you doing?” “I’ve got to finish my watering. It’s been very dry lately,” came the calm reply. Satisfying himself that Carl really was alright, the minister could only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place.
A few weeks later the three returned. Just as before, their threat was unchallenged. Carl again offered them a drink from his hose. This time they didn’t rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water. When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done. Carl just watched them. Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.
The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him. He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected attack. “Don’t worry old man. I’m not going to hurt you this time.” The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl.
As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl. “What’s this?” Carl asked. “It’s your stuff,” the man explained. “It’s your stuff back. Even the money in your wallet.” “I don’t understand,” Carl said. “Why would you help me now?”
The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. “I learned something from you,” he said. “I ran with that gang and hurt people like you. We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink. You didn’t hate us for hating you. You kept showing love against our hate.” He stopped for a moment. “I couldn’t sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back.” He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say. “That bag’s my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess.” And with that, he walked off down the street.
Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.
He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather. In particular, the minister noticed a tall young man that he didn’t know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church. The minister spoke of Carl’s garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, “Do you best and make your garden as beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden.”
The following spring another flyer went up. It read: “Person needed to care for Carl’s garden.” The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister’s office door. Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer. “I believe this is my job, if you’ll have me,” the young man said. The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl. He knew that Carl’s kindness had turned this man’s life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, “Yes, go take care of Carl’s garden and honor him.”
The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community. But he never forgot his promise to Carl’s memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.
One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn’t care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, “My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she’s bringing him home on Saturday.” “Well, congratulations!” said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. “That’s wonderful! What’s the baby’s name?” “Carl,” he replied.