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WITandWISDOM(tm) - June 28, 2004
Reputation is made in a moment. Character is built in a lifetime. – Author Unknown
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
I observed the man from the comfort of my lawn chair as I sat with other parents in the shade.
"WAY TO GO!" he yelled, clapping and whistling. "GOOD JOB!"
He was shirt-less and sitting at the kiddie pool where his little girl, a toddler, was happily splashing. It was the first day of swimming lessons, and this man was rooting for the kids, who were at the moment learning how to float on their backs in the main pool.
I looked around me. One man with sunglasses had a laptop -- in his lap, of course -- and was busy scrolling through screens. Three Mexican women conversed in their mother tongue. One pale woman stuck her white-gooed nose in a paperback. A string of other parents and grandparents rooted themselves at picnic tables under steel canopies on the far side of the pool. All of us were quietly watching from the sidelines as our children took instructions from two certified swimming instructors.
"YOU CAN DO IT!" the cheerleading man continued as the kids learned to dunk their heads underwater.
How in the world could this man be so loud? I thought. So obnoxious and pulling attention to himself? Why can't he be like the rest of us adults and just be quiet?
I would never dream of bringing attention to myself. Growing up, I've always had a death-like fear of people staring at me. It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I mustered the courage to overthrow my fears and take the lead as Daisy Mae. I remembered my Mom wearing a shirt that bragged, "I'm Daisy Mae's Mom."
But that was the last time I ever performed solo in front of an audience. Yet here I was at a swimming lesson with my boys, and I couldn't summon the courage to even cheer them on. I mean, what would the rest of these docile parents think of me? A raving lunatic like this man?
I thought of my husband who told me how much he dreaded the thought of turning into a grown-up, all staid, stiff, complacent, dull...well, pretty much like the ones squatting around the pool in the shade. Motionless and tight-lipped.
Just like me.
"WHOO-HOO!" the man yelled. A deep scar ran from his chest all the way down to disappear in shorts, displacing his belly button. Apparently the man cared little about what folks would think about the way he looked. "YEAH, CODY! YOU CAN DO IT!"
"Look at that guy," said the man with the laptop. "Who does that idiot think he is?"
Sighing, I leaned over and said, "That idiot? Well, that idiot happens to be my husband."
With that, I rose from my lawn chair, ambled over to the kiddie pool, plopped down next to my shirt-less hubby, stuck my lily-white legs into the cool water, and together we cheered on all the kids.
By Jennifer Oliver
Copyright © 2003 by Jennifer Oliver. All rights reserved.
To read more about Jennifer and her family or to sign up for her weekly column "Stories of Heart" visit http://www.geocities.com/jenniferioliver2001
Hailing from Killeen, Texas, HeartTouchers Featured Author, Jennifer Oliver, is wife to awesome house hubby, Stephen, mother to four beautiful blessings, ages 2 to 8, and works as a government webmaster. A legally deaf woman, she has learned to overcome lifelong obstacles with humor. She delivers uplifting stories through her weekly e-zine "Stories of Heart" and has crafted stories for Chicken Soup, Heartwarmers, Stories for a Woman's Heart, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and Half Full. Her collection of inspirational and humorous stories is wrapped up in "Four Ears: Works of Heart" and can be delivered to your home via www.publishamerica.com or http://www.amazon.com.
Source: Heart Touchers, http://www.hearttouchers.com
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
A newspaper writer, after working for 17 long years, was finally granted two months leave, during which time he would be fully paid. However, he turned down his boss' kind offer.
The boss asked, "Why would you turn down such a generous offer?"
The newspaper writer said there were 2 reasons.
"Well, what are they?" asked the boss.
"The first," he said, "is that I thought that my taking such a long leave might affect the newspaper's circulation."
The boss asked him what the other reason was.
"The other reason," replied the writer, "is that I thought my taking such a long leave might NOT affect the newspaper's circulation.
Source: The Funnies, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/andychaps_the-funnies
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Now golf is a challenging game;
With my eye on the ball I takes aim
Then I swivels and pivots
And THWACK!! Up fly divots
Again and again to my shame.
Source: Judy's Jokes for Sunday, mailto:JJs4Sundayfirstname.lastname@example.org
Talk about the power of money: Charles Feeney earned billions as cofounder of Duty Free Shoppers. Then, in 1982, he secretly transferred his stake in DFS to Atlantic Philanthropies, a foundation he incorporated in Bermuda. Feeney didn’t disclose his identity until a DFS buyout in 1997. By that time, he had given away $600 million to universities, public-health and disadvantaged-children’s programs. The grants came as cashier’s checks, so recipients would not know the giver. Feeney’s plan is to spend Atlantic Philanthropies into the ground. Over the next 15 years, the foundation will donate $350 million annually to human rights and children’s causes, and to aging and health issues. Once rich as Midas, Feeney, 73, lives simply – he wears a $15 watch and flies coach.
Source: Reader's Digest, Copyright (c) May 2004, http://www.readersdigest.com/