Angels.......Once in a While

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.
Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.
Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.
He did manage to leave 15 dollars a week to buy groceries.
Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.
I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress.
I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.
The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.    

The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet
while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything.
I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town,
was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop.
It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she
peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.
She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.
She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.
I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.
She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep.
This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers
we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job.
And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home
with one dollar of my tip money, fully half of what I averaged every night.
As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak.
I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning
before I could go home. One bleak fall morning,
I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat.
New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.
Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.

I made a deal with the owner of the local service station.
In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.
I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
  I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.
I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys.
Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to
deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches
on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.  

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel.
These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.
The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours
of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car.
I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get
the presents from the basement and place them under the tree.
(We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.)
It was still dark and I couldn't see much,
but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car,
or was that just a trick of the night?

Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what.
When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows.
Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.
I quickly opened the driver's side door,
scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.
Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!
I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.
Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.
There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour.
There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.
And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life,
I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy
on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.    

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December.
And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

I BELIEVE IN ANGELS! They live next door, around the corner,
work in your office, patrol your neighborhood, call you at midnight
to hear you laugh and listen to you cry, teach your children,
and you see them everyday without even knowing it!.

(sent in by Nikki - author unknown)

Christmas Clone

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode.
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds.
While visions of Nintendo 64 and Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped up on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
she descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug!"

"Ho, Ho, Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"Your gift was especially difficult to make."
"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."

Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young and The Restless."

"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared and I'm wet!"
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one and hummed her a tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.
"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you, too."

The mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
"That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,
only one loving mother is needed here."

The mom kissed her child and tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget, it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle and song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."
With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom. You'll be alright."

(author: unknown)

'Twas The Night Before Christmas (TEXAS STYLE)

"Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin' of Christmas, like me and you.

Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed,
For this was Texas, what more need be said.
When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,
There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.

And I saw 'cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,
A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run.
The driver was "Geein" and "Hawin", with a will,
The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.

"Come on there Buck, Poncho, & Prince, to the right,
There'll be plenty of travelin' for you all tonight."
The driver in Wranglers and a shirt that was red,
Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.

As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,
With his beard and moustache, so curly and white.
As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,
And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.

And he filled up their boots with such presents galore,
That neither could think of a single thing more.
When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws,
He asked in a whisper, "Are you really Santa Claus?"

"Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?"
And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.
Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,
"To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, YA'LL!"

Christmas All The Year

Wouldn't it be wonderful
If the whole year through,
We kept Christmas in our hearts
And held a merry view.

Wouldn't things be nicer
If we expressed the cheer
In every ordinary day
And not just once a year.

And wouldn't it be special
If we could hold steadfast
To the joy of Jesus' birthday
As the months go swiftly past.

For Christmas is really timeless,
Its gift of love ensures,
That in the changing seasons,
True Christmas still endures.

A Poem By: Virginia Burman Grimmer.

Remember My Birthday

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday.
Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated.
During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials,
and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me.
As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago.
At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them,
but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration.
Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun,
but they don't know the meaning of the celebration.

I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor.
The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates.
The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts.
But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited!
I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation.

The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside,
they closed the door in my face......... and I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me.
Since I was not invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise.
I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking;
there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything.
They were having a great time.
To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho!
He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him,
saying : "Santa Claus, Santa Claus"... as if the party were in his honor!

At 12 midnight all the people began to hug each other;
I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and ....
do you know .... no one hugged me.

Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation.
When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me.
What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one?
I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse. People only remember to eat and drink,
the gifts, the parties and nobody remembers me.
I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life.

I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago
I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you.
Today, I only want that you believe this with all you heart.
I want to share something with you.
As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration,
a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party!

I'm still making the final arrangements.
Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you.
I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you
and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book.
Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party.
Those who don't answer the invitation, will be left outside.

Do you know how you can answer this invitation?
It is by extending it to others whom you care for...

I'll be waiting for all of you to attend my party this year...

See you soon .... I love you !

Jesus

(author: unknown)


Divorcing Grandma

An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your holiday,
but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing;
forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says.
"We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this,
so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her," and he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.
"Like hell they're getting divorced," she shouts. "I'll take care of this!"

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man,
"You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there.
I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow.
Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?!" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife.
"Okay," he says, "they're coming for Christmas and paying their own fares!"

(author: unknown)


A Soldiers View

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed 'round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right.

I'm out here by choice.
I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

(author: unknown)



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