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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 16, 2002
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Looking back, may I be filled with gratitude;
Looking forward, may I be filled with hope;
Looking upward, may I be aware of strength;
Looking inward, may I find peace;

Author Unknown

Source: Early Sunday Funnies


On the summit of Washington mountain, overlooking the Housatonic valley, stood a hut, the home of John Barry, a poor charcoal-burner, whose family consisted of his wife and himself. His occupation brought him in but a few dollars, and when cold weather came he had managed to get together only a small provision for the winter. The fall of 1874, after a summer of hard work, he fell sick and was unable to keep his fires going. So, when the snow of December, 1874, fell, and the drifts had shut off communication with the village at the foot of the mountain, John and his wife were in great straits.

Their entire stock of food consisted of only a few pounds of salt pork and a bushel of potatoes; sugar, flour, coffee and tea had, early in December, given out; and the chances for replenishing the larder were slim indeed. The snow-storms came again, and the drifts deepened. All the roads, even in the valley, were impassable, and no one thought of trying to open the mountain highways, which, even in summer, were only occasionally traveled; and none gave the old man and his wife a thought.

December 15th came, and with it the heaviest fall of snow experienced in Berkshire County in many years. The food of the old couple was now reduced to a day's supply, but John did not yet despair. He was a Christian and a God-fearing man, and His promises were remembered; and so, when evening came, and the north-east gale was blowing, and the fierce snow-storm was raging, John and his wife were praying and asking for help.

In Sheffield village, ten miles away, lived Deacon Brown, a well-to-do farmer fifty years old, who was known for his piety and consistent deportment, both as a man and a Christian. The deacon and his wife had gone to early, and, in spite of the storm without, were sleeping soundly, when with a start the deacon awoke, and said to his wife: "Who spoke? Who's there?" "Why," said his wife, "no one is here but you and me; what is the matter with you?" "I heard a voice," said the deacon, "saying, ‘Send food to John." " Nonsense," replied Mrs. Brown; "go to sleep. You have been dreaming." The deacon laid his head on his pillow, and was asleep in a minute. Soon he started up again, and waking his wife, said "There, I heard that voice again, ‘Send food to John.'"

"Well, well! " said Mrs. Brown. "Deacon, you are not well; your supper has not agreed with you. Lie down and try to sleep." Again the deacon closed his eyes, and again the voice was heard: "Send food to John." This time the deacon was thoroughly awake. "Wife," said he, "whom do we know named John who needs food?" "No one I remember," replied Mrs. Brown, "unless it be John Barry, the old charcoal-burner on the mountain."

"That's it," exclaimed the deacon. "Now I remember, when I was at the store in Sheffield the other day, Clark, the merchant, speaking of John Barry, said: ‘I wonder if the old man is alive, for it is six weeks since I saw him, and he has not yet laid in his winter stock of groceries. ‘ It must be old John is sick and wanting food."

So saying, the good deacon arose and proceeded to dress himself. "Come, wife," said he, "waken our boy Willie and tell him to feed the horses, and get ready to go with me; and do you pack up in the two largest baskets you have, a good supply of food, and get us an early breakfast; for ram going up the mountain to carry the food I know John Barry needs."

Mrs. Brown, accustomed to the sudden impulses of her good husband, and believing him to be always in the right, cheerfully complied; and after a hot breakfast, Deacon Brown and his son Willie, a boy of nineteen, hitched up the horses to the double sleigh, and then, with a month's supply of food, and a "Good-bye, mother," started at five o'clock on that cold December morning for a journey, that almost any other than Deacon Brown and his son Willie would not have dared to undertake.

The north-east storm was still raging, and the snow falling and drifting fast; but on, on went the stout, well-fed team on its errand of mercy, while the occupants of the sleigh, wrapped up in blankets and extra buffalo robes, urged the horses through the drifts and in the face of the storm. That ten mile's ride, which required in the summer hardly an hour or two, was not finished until the deacon's watch showed that five hours had passed.

At last they drew up in front of the hut where the poor, trusting Christian man and woman were on their knees pray-ing for help to Him who is the "hearer and answerer of prayer;" and as the deacon reached the door, he heard the voice of supplication, and then he knew that the message which awakened him from sleep was sent from heaven. He knocked at the door, it was opened, and we can imagine the joy of the old couple, when the generous supply of food was carried in, and the thanksgivings that were uttered by the starving tenants of that mountain hut. --Albany Journal

From: Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer

Source: Net 153 Weekly, http://www.net153.com/

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Show and Tell
By Irene Zutell

Betsy, a grammar-school teacher from Miami, remembers this Oscar-worthy presentation from one of her students . . .

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and experience a little public speaking. And it gives me a break and some guaranteed entertainment.

Usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very out-going kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant.

"This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday. First, Mommy and Daddy made him as a symbol of their love, and then Daddy put a seed in my mother's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had a video camera rolling. The kids are watching her in amazement.

"Then, about two Saturdays ago, my mother starts going, 'Oh, oh, oh!'" Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.

"She walked around the house for, like an hour, "Oh, oh, oh!'" Now the kids' doing this hysterical duck-walk, holding her back and groaning.

"My father called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my mother to lie down in bed like this." Erica lies down with her back against the wall.

"And then, pop! My mother had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!"

The kid has her legs spread and with her little hands is miming water flowing away. It was too much!

"Then the middle wife starts going push, push, and breathe, breathe. They start counting, but they never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff they said was from the play-center, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there."

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, if it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder – just in case another Erica comes along.

- Irene Zutell, mailto:izutell@aol.com has been a staff writer for People, US Weekly and has written for The NY Times, Wall St. Journal and many other publications.

Submitted by Cathy Au


In the YMCA exercise room, a former professional boxer, now in his 70's, was pounding the bag. A middle-aged doctor, a wannabe jock, was doing sit-ups.

After a while the doctor stood up and bragged to the boxer that he'd just done 500 sit-ups.

Without breaking the rhythm of his punches, the former boxer replied, "That's all right. Don't get discouraged. Keep trying and you'll get better."

Source: The Funnies, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/andychaps_the-funnies

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

What is the smallest U.S. Post-office?

Apparently the smallest post office in the country is the converted an 8-foot by 7-foot shed that serves the 200 families living in and around Ochopee, Florida

For a picture and more information visit:

Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2002 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.