Monday, December 12, 2005

Who Wears the Pants

Mike was going to be married to Karen, so his father sat him down for a little fireside chat...

He says, "Mike, let me tell you something.
On my wedding night in our honeymoon suite, I took off my pants and handed them to your mother and said, 'Here - try these on.' "
She did and said, "These are too big, I can't wear them."
I replied, " 'Exactly! I wear the pants in this family and I always will!'
Ever since that night we have never had any problems."

"Hmmm," says Mike. He thinks that might be a good thing to try.

On his honeymoon, Mike takes off his pants and says to Karen, "Here try these on."
She does and says, "These are too large, they don't fit me."
Mike says, "Exactly! I wear the pants in this family and I always will,and I don't want you to ever forget that!"

Then Karen takes off her pants and hands them to Mike and says, "Here you try on mine."
He does and says, "I can't get into your pants."
Karen says, "Exactly!"

Then she added, "And if you don't change your smart ass attitude,
you never will!"

100 years ago...

Maybe this will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!

The year is 1905 hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1905 :

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.
Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.
Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico,Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.
According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." (Shocking!)
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years ... it staggers the mind.

A Glass of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he washungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.
Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said.... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled! They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day on he gave special attention to her case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for a approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room.

She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words.....

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes.

There's a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the waters comes back to you.

The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time.

If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place -

And, after all, isn't that what life is all about?

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.....

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Yellow Shirt

The baggy yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets
trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from
years of wear, but still in decent shape. I found it in 1963 when I
was home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags of
clothes Mom intended to give away. "You're not taking that old thing,
are you?" Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt. "I wore
that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!"

"It's just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class,
Mom.Thanks!" I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object. The
yellow shirt became a part of my college wardrobe.I loved it.
After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment
and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned. The next year, I married.

When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days.
I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and
they were in Illinois. But that shirt
helped. I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was
pregnant, 15 years earlier. That Christmas, mindful of the warm
feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in
holiday paper and sent it to Mom. When Mom wrote to thank me for her
"real" gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never
mentioned it again.

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad's to
pick up some furniture. Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen
table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!
And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad's
mattress. I don't know how long it took for her to find it, but
almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our
living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now
while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced. With my three children, prepared
to move back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep depression overtook me.
I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a
job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort.

In Ephesians, I read, "So use every piece of God's armor to resist
the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be
standing up."

I tried to picture myself wearing God's armor, but all I saw was the
stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me. Wasn't my mother's
love a piece of God's armor? My courage was renewed.
Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to Mother.

The next time I visited her, I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer.
Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I
discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet.
Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green across the
breast pocket were the words "I BELONG TO PAT."

Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an
apostrophe and seven more letters. Now the shirt proudly proclaimed,
"I BELONG TO PAT'S MOTHER." But I didn't stop there. I zig-zagged all
the frayed seams, then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom
from Arlington, VA. We enclosed an official looking letter from "The
Institute for the Destitute," announcing that she was the recipient of
an award for good deeds. I would have given anything to see Mom's
face when she opened the box. But, of course, she never mentioned it.
Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold
and I put our car in a friend's garage to avoid practical jokers. After
the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached
for a pillow in the car to rest my head. It felt lumpy. I unzipped
the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt.

Inside a pocket was a note: "Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother."
That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses:

"I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the
peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So
don't be troubled or afraid.
Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to
you again.

If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can
go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these
things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in

The shirt was Mother's final gift. She had known for three months
that she had terminal Lou Gehrig's disease. Mother died the following
year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I'm
glad I didn't, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game
she and I played for 16 years. Besides, my older daughter is in college
majoring in art.
And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets.