Letter From Grandma

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Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She writes:
Dear Grand-daughter,

The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker.

I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting.

So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed.

It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t honked, I’d never have noticed.

I found that lot of people love Jesus!

While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of God!’

‘Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!

Everyone started honking!

I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people.

I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach.

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air.

I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant.

He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something.

Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back.

My grandson burst out laughing.

Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.

I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed.

So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared.

So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!

Will write again soon,

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Busia Barb’s Invitation

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With Thanksgiving quickly approaching my thoughts are on our annual family dinner. Last year, I announced after grace that this was our final host of the feast, it is time to pass the baton to the next generation. A year has passed and now I regret passing the torch. My family tradition was always to have holiday celebrations at grandma and grandpa’s house. That is not unlike 90% of American families.

My deceased wife Barbara taught me well how to prepare for a first class sit down. Barb had rules for her guests, and heaven forbid someone should break a rule,, and come late. For instance, if she said we are eating at one, it meant the food hits the table at one. When I received an Email from my buddy Ed titled “Grandma’s Invitation,” I opened it immediately. Then I began to laugh until tears flowed from my eyes. The title could be  “Busia Barb’s Invitation.” Who ever penned this piece totally understands families and family dynamics. You will understand when you read it, and see your own family within the words. I know that if Barb didn’t vocalize or write these rules, she sure was thinking them.

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Grandma’s Invitation

Dear Family,

I’m not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.

Dinner is at 2:00.
NOT 2:15
NOT 2:05.
Two 2:00

Arrive late and you get what’s left over.

Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.

Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.

Now, the house rules are slightly different this year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.

House Rules:

1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.

2. The “no cans for kids” rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.

3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.

4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.

5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That’s nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That’s why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy… look at me. I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.

6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.

7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.

8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.

9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.

10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?

11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn’t have to be difficult.

12. Domino’s and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.

13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.

In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver. I really mean all of the above.

Love You,
Grandma.

Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 20

Chapter 20

The air force arrived, just as Ben came out to the patio. They had hundreds of squads now. All because a single firefly had a dream to be the best that he could be.

Luke led the squads into the yard. All taillights blinked in unison. The sky sparkled with thousands of flashing yellow lights. It was a magical evening. Luke’s show went for most of the evening. First, the squads flew by the patio in a single file. Each pilot followed the other in a magnificent spiral. Next, they flew up to the rooftop with their light out. On a signal, all the squads began a spiral dive with lights blinking.

They looked like a waterfall of light. The waterfall transformed into a giant spiral. The leader flew up in a large arc, and then turned downward ever so slowly. He swooped downward in the same arc, picking up speed. At first, it looked like he would crash into the fliers that were waiting at the bottom.

Flash started to turn inward a foot above the waiting line. He continued the arc inward and upward to form a second loop inside the first. Each time he finished a loop he tightened it, and formed a new one. He flew faster as he did. When he reached the center of the spiral, he turned off his light and disappeared. The string of fliers followed him. They landed to rest.

Morty flew into the yard, just as the giant spiral began to shrink in size. The last of the fliers spiraled into the center and turned off his light. He sat down between Ben and Gracie.

“Where did you take them?” asked Gracie.

“I took them far enough away that they won’t bother Luke, Nancy, or the Lucerns anymore.”

“You are just in time for the finale.”

“Great,” said Morty, “I want to see the look on Ben’s face when he gets the message from heaven.”

Luke assembled the fliers for a talk while they rested and sipped nectar.

“You did a marvelous job this summer,” he lectured. “We had fun and learned how to fly in new ways. Soon you will all return to your families to prepare for the winter. Before we do that, we have to deliver a very important message for Morty Angel. He trusts us with the job.

It took Torch all summer to find him. Torch delivered the message from God. Now Morty wants us to deliver it to Ben. You can do it. You are ready.”

Luke gave the sign and all the fliers scurried into position, each squad in place behind its leader.

“Torch, “said Luke. “ Give us the light.”

Torch flew straight up into the center of the yard, and blinked his light three times. On the third blink, the squads all rose like helicopters. They peeled off behind Luke with their lights off. When the entire force was in place, Torch blinked again. Luke turned on his light. As he flew, the squads followed in single file. Each flier turned on his light at the exact same spot. The effect was a line of lights. Luke was the tip of the pen, his fliers the ink. He flew slowly and deliberately. He turned in a loop then back into another.

Ben watched from the patio in amazement as the letters of light appeared in the sky over the yard.

“Mom, Dad,” he shouted, “Come out quick.”

“What is it?” asked his mother. Dad ran out to see what the commotion was.

“Look in the sky in the back of the yard, the fireflies.”

They watched in amazement as the line of lights continued to form letters. Slowly the letters became words. . .

“GRANDMA LOVES YOU.”

“There it is,” said Morty. “God sent Ben a special message, and he used his creatures to do it. He also gave me a wakeup call.”

“How,” asked Gracie?

“Normally, He tells Michael the Archangel to send me instructions. This time, he used another route. At first, I missed the signal, and Torch had to keep looking for me all summer. I saw his signal weeks ago. Remember, how they taught us at the academy, that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, he sends us signs, and we are not alert enough to recognize them.”

Luke and the fliers hovered in place blinking their lights to keep the message alive for as long as they could. Eventually, they tired and their lights began to dim, one by one. Torch sent a series of flashes to let them know they were finished. The air force scattered around the yard into a mystical display of twinkling lights everywhere.

“Mom, Dad, did you see it?”

“Yes, it was beautiful.”

“Please come in now, it’s getting late,” said Dad.

Ben followed them.

“Thanks Gracie,” said Morty. “I couldn’t have delivered the message without your help.”

“It was my pleasure.”

“Before you leave, I have another thing to do,” said Morty.

To Be Continued . . .

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No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including those yet to be invented or discovered, without permission in writing from the publisher and author.

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