apples

a few years ago, a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. they had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner.
in their rush, with tickets & briefcases in hand, moving quickly through the airport terminal, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. apples flew everywhere. without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.

 

 

all but one! he paused, took a deep breath, quickly assessed the situation — & experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. he told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination & explain his taking a later flight. then, he returned to the terminal where the apples were still all over the terminal floor.

the man was glad he did. the 16-year-old girl running the stand, he discovered, was totally blind! she was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, all the while helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the rushing crowd swirled about her, no one stopping & no one caring for her plight.

no one else, that is. the salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table & helped organize her display. as he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered & bruised. these he set aside in another basket.

when he had finished, he pulled out his wallet & said to the girl, “Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?” she nodded through her tears. “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly,” he said.

as the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister…” he paused & turned to look back into those blind eyes. she continued, “Are you JESUS?”

he stopped in mid-stride, & he wondered, stunned by the words. then slowly, he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning in his soul: “Are you JESUS?”

 

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cat says ‘I love you’

cats are sweet, soft, & outrageously adorable. they can also be the most annoying creatures on the planet, with absolutely no regard for personal space or dignity. turns out that’s just more of their sweetness.

1. gnawing on your appendages

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there you are, just watching TV together. you reach over to stroke your adorable kitty, who’s snoozing on the next cushion. the next thing you know, your hand is caught in a vice grip of tiny cat teeth. what happened? nibbling or ‘love biting’ is just your cat’s way of saying, ‘hey thanks for those awesome rubs! I like you too.’ love bites are often the natural progression for a cat who likes to lick.

 

2. licking your skin off

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sometimes my cat will catch me watching as she grooms herself. she gets this look like, “Oh you want some of this?” & starts in on my arm (or leg or face) with that sandpaper tongue like she’s trying to remove my entire epidermis. this is not an attack (which is what my skin thinks) but a display of great affection. cats only engage in mutual grooming with felines they adore. grooming their favorite human spreads familiar scent & helps mark them as an important part of the family group.

 

3. screaming at you

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a meow or two is cute, but on an endless loop, these cat vocalizations can approach crying-baby levels of annoying. it may be hard to believe, but they’re not trying to drive you crazy. contrary to popular belief, meowing, chirping, & trilling is not how cats communicate with each other. these vocalizations are used as a way to communicate with humans only! do you talk to people you hate? me either. so next time your cat meows at you, feel special (& then fetch that food, human)!

 

4. stomping on your face (or boobs, or balls…)

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you’ve never lived until you’ve been woken up by a cat slowly punching you with its tiny fists. as painful as they might be when aimed at the right body part, these feline stomps are actually a behavior called ‘kneading’ that baby cats use to nurse. adult cats only continue the behavior when they’re feeling most relaxed, content & loved.

 

5. staring at you like a child of the corn

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ever get the creepy feeling that you’re being watched? you glance around the room & spot your cat, eyes wide open like its trying to remove your soul. does he look away? oh no. he just blinks once, very slowly, & goes back to staring. as unsettling as this thousand-yard stare might be, it’s actually a rare privilege. felines only make eye contact with people they know & trust. when eye contact is coupled with slow blinking, it’s considered to be a kitty kiss! blink back to return the love.

 

6. slamming their head into your head

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my cat loves to get up in my face when I’m trying to work, repeatedly slamming her forehead into my nose, chin, whatever. turns out she isn’t doing a Zinedine Zidane impression. head bonking (actually called ‘bunting’) is a cat’s way of marking something that they love & trust, & should be considered a huge compliment.

 

7. breaking into your room

“I want some privacy” is not a term your cat understands, & that’s not just because they don’t speak Human. blinded by love, many cats can’t stand the thought of sleeping away from their owners. & like this cat, they’ll find a way to get in–no thumbs be damned.

 

8. butt-showing

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cats LOVE to back that ass up…right into your face while you’re trying to eat dinner. in cat terms however, this is a show of trust & affection. would you show your butthole to someone you didn’t trust? I didn’t think so.

 

9. molesting your computer

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it never fails: you’re in the middle of a very important email when suddenly Miss Kitty leaps on your desk & takes a Sunday afternoon stroll down the middle of the keyboard. once there, she decides your computer is the perfect spot for a nap, & proceeds to get comfy. as frustrating as this is, it’s actually not meant to be annoying. cats love to be the center of attention, & computers just happen to be warm with lots of whirring & blinking lights. sitting there is just a cat’s way of saying ‘Hey look at me! I’m important too! oooh this feels nice…zzzzz’.

 

10. spying on you under the bathroom door

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the bathroom is the one place where you can be truly alone. unless you’re a cat owner. then you’re guaranteed to see frantic paws under the door, searching for you (if they don’t just let themselves in). this desperate behavior is actually a completely natural sign of love. “First, a closed door is a challenge & an affront to a curious cat which is one reason why you’ll see furry paws reaching under the door or cats racing to join their people in the bathroom,” explains PawNation. “More importantly, the bathroom gives cats a captive audience as people glued to the facilities aren’t able to move away.”

 

11. shredding your beloved furniture

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few things are more sinister than a cat looking you straight in the eye as it sinks his paws deep into the sofa. scratching is a natural, healthy cat behavior, but humans fail realize it comes from a place of LOVE (silly us). “Just as with the spraying, cat scratching leaves both scented & visual marks of ownership,” explains About.com “Pay attention to where your cat scratches the most. The areas most important to kitty often are related to those places associated with the owner, like a favorite chair where you sit.”

 

12. using its body as leg shackles

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you come home, tired after a long day, & before you can take your shoes off, your cat starts going crazy on your leg. rubbing & twirling, you feel like a prisoner (& slightly dirty) as Fluffy uses her entire body to make out make-out with your shins. in actuality, rubbing against another creature is a cat’s main way of showing affection, & an important bonding ritual.

 

13. bringing you dead things

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stepping on a dead mouse might not be the ideal way to start your weekend, but it’ll sure wake you up! no, your cat isn’t trying to give you nightmares. it’s actually a gift! even domesticated cats are fierce predators by nature. sharing the spoils of the hunt with you is a sign of adoration & should be praised (& then quickly tossed in the trash can).

 

14. trying to trip you

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all you’re trying to do is get down the hallway, but there’s your annoying little cat, twisting & flipping in the middle of the floor like a spastic gymnast. although it may feel like a plot to send you face first into the carpet, this is actually a huge vote of confidence: cats only show their belly to people they love.

 

15. passing out on your lap (or face, or back…)

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all you want to do is get up & pee, but you’re pinned to the couch by a 10-pound cat who’s dead asleep. if your cat always wants to curl up on or next to you, take it as a compliment. “Your cat is most vulnerable when he’s sleeping, so where he chooses to snooze must feel safe & secure to him,” explains Mercola.com “If one of his favorite nap spots happens to be your lap, consider yourself well-loved by your kitty.”

 

there are 15 totally annoying ways your cat says ‘I ❤ you’

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my Mom’s birthday

hey Mama… today supposed to be your 69th birthday. it’s very sad that you were taken from me too soon. I know you’re in better place right now. may you have a blast there & celebrate it. I want you to know that even though you’re no longer here, I think about you every single day. there’re just so many lessons that you have taught me. I miss your voice, your smile, … everything of you! I guess, Heaven is just so lucky to have an Angel as beautiful as you. …love you, Ma…

 

 

 

 

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highway angel

 

I was driving home from a work when my car started to choke & sputter & died.

I barely managed to coast, cruising, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic on the highway & would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. it wouldn’t even turn over. before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the “quickie mart” building, & it looked like she slipped on some ice & fell into a gas pump! so I got out to see if she was okay. when I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen. she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. she dropped something as I helped her up, & I picked it up to give it to her. it was a nickel.

at that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), & the gas pump reading $4.95. I asked her if she was okay & if she needed help, & she just kept saying “I don’t want my kids to see me crying,” so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. she said she was driving to California & that things were very hard for her right now.

so, I asked, “& you were praying?” that made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person & said, “HE heard you, & HE sent me.”

I took out my card & swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, & while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald’s & bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, & a big cup of coffee. she gave the food to the kids in the car who attacked it like wolves, & we stood by the pump eating fries & talking a little.

she told me her name & that she lived nearby. her boyfriend left 2 months ago, & she had not been able to make ends meet. she knew she wouldn’t have money to pay the rent January 1st, & finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. they lived in California & said she could come live with them & try to get on her feet there.

so she packed up everything she owned in the car. she told the kids they were going to California for Christmas but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves & a little hug & said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. as I was walking over to my car, she said, “So, are you like an angel or something?”

this definitely made me cry. I said, “Sweetie, at this time of year, angels are really busy, so sometimes GOD uses regular people.”

it was so incredible to be a part of someone else’s miracle. & of course, when I got in my car, it started right away & got me home with no problem. I’ll put it in the shop tomorrow for a check, but I suspect the mechanic won’t find anything wrong.

 

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