There was an Indian Chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in
summer, and the youngest son in the fall. 
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

T
he second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so
sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever
seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with
fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they
had each seen but only one season in the tree's life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that
come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons
are up.


If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the
beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.





Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.  Cultivate peace and harmony toward all. ~ George Washington





Nail In The Fence 


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told hime that every time he lost his
 temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence Over the next next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. 


The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. " A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us." ~ Author Unknown


 Show your friends how much you care.


 



The Pickle Jar

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar landing with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty.  Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. 

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.  When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production.  Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully.  "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These are for my son's college fund.  He'll never work at the mill all his life like me."

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone.  I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla.  When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm.  "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again."  

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar.  As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said.  "But you'll get there.  I'll see to that."


Years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood.  My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.

The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy.  In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar.  Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup ov er my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me.  "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his eyes glistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want to."

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents.  After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild.  Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms.

"She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.  She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room.  "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser.  To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins.

I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins.  With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar.  I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. 

Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt.  Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart.  I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life, for better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.  Look for God in others.
~  Author Unknown 


 




Red Marbles


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes.   I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.  I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.   I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.   Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
 
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller.  Fine, thank ya.
  Jus' admirin' them peas.  They sure look good."

"They are good, Barry.
  How's your Ma?"
 
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good.
  Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right?
  Let me see it" said Miller.

"Here 'tis.
  She's a dandy."

"I can see that.
  Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red.  Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner asked.

"Not zackley
but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble"
.   Mr. Miller told the boy.

"Sure will.
  Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
  With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three ar e in very poor circumstances.   Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.   When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man.
  A short time later I moved toColorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one.  Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.
  They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.   Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could

Ahead of us in line were three young men.
  One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking.  They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.  Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket.  Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller.  I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's
bartering for marbles.  With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.  They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them.   N
o w, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,"  she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.
  Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.


  The Moral :   We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.  Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
 
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~

A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work.
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing-along song on the radio.

Your keys found right where you left them.





The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched - they must be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

 




 
A Complete Understanding of Angels (from children) 

 

I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold. 
Gregory, 5

 

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it. 
Olive, 9

 

It's not easy to become an angel!  First, you die. Then you go to heaven, then there's still the flight training to go through.  And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes. 
Matthew, 9

 

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.  Mitchell, 7

 

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science. 
Henry, 8

 

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from holy cows.
Jack, 6

 

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The basic message is where you went wrong before you got dead.
Daniel, 9

 

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten.  And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
Reagan, 10

 

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.
Sara, 6

 

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
Jared , 8

 

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
Antonio, 9

 

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
 Katelynn, 9

 

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the kid get over it.
Vicki, 8

 

What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
Sarah, 7

Douglas & Moore Real Estate, Inc.
Douglas & Moore Real Estate, Inc.
(650) 326-3306