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April 17th, 2008


I watch them–the other old folks. Even the most able-bodied looks around for something to hold onto when confronted with a flight of stairs. They are grandparents and great-grandparents but often have trouble remembering the names of all the kids and certainly not all the birthdays. They are always complaining about how time flies. “It’s like toilet paper,” they will say. “The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”

They are familiar with funerals. Oftentimes the deceased is younger than they are. They feel like they are on borrowed time. This friend has had a triple bypass. That one is having chemotherapy. Worst of all, another one just lost a son or daughter. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” they say. “We old folks are supposed to go first.”

When one of the old folks does “go,” they say things like, “It was time; he suffered enough,” or “Thank God it was fast.” Then they join the party and note that everyone is chatting and eating and laughing, seemingly having a good time. “This is how it will be when I go,” they think. “They’ll miss me briefly and then get on with their lives.”

And they wait.

April 17th, 2008


We are all familiar with the smiling housewife in the TV commercial who says, “I use new HAPPY detergent in my automatic Whing-Ding washer because when I first opened up my new washer there was a big box of HAPPY packed right inside of it. In fact, HAPPY is recommended by the manufacturers of nine out of ten automatic washers. Now, with HAPPY, Monday is fun-day!”

We would think Mrs. Housewife pretty silly if she didn’t try her box of HAPPY, since it came so highly recommended. The manufacturer should know what detergent is best for his appliance. If she just threw out her HAPPY and forever after washed her clothes with bar soap that she pulverized each day in her HANDY-DANDY blender we would suspect that she wasn’t quite up to par when it came to common sense.
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April 13th, 2008


“I think I need a hearing aid,” I said to my internist. “Whom would you recommend I go to?”

He has been seeing me for years and I had no apparent hearing difficulty. “Why do you think you need a hearing aid?” he asked. So I explained. Sometimes at a prayer meeting someone to my left will pray aloud, but softly. That was OK with me. I figured God knew what she was praying about and I could say ‘Amen’ to it. Then I realized someone to the right of me could understand every word she was saying.
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April 12th, 2008


The story stuck in my mind. It seems a young couple always wanted to visit Italy. They made reservations, bought guide books, learned a little Italian. Finally the long anticipated day arrived and their plane landed at at the airport. In Holland!!! “But this wasn’t our plan,” they cry! “We weren’t prepared for this!”

They cannot go back so they buy new guide books, struggle with a new language, meet new people. It is not what they had expected at all. They look around and eventually find that Holland has its own beauty–-tulips, Rembrandts, windmills. But they still wish they had landed in Italy.
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