Friday, January 25, 2013

The Lost Wallet

As I walked home one freezing day, I stumbled on a wallet someone had lost in the street. I picked it up and looked inside to find some identification so I could call the owner. But the wallet contained only three dollars and a crumpled letter that looked as if it had been in there for years.

The envelope was worn and the only thing that was legible on it was the return address.

I started to open the letter, hoping to find some clue. Then I saw the dateline–1924. The letter had been written almost sixty years ago. It was written in a beautiful feminine handwriting on powder blue stationery with a little flower in the left-hand corner. It was a “Dear John” letter that told the recipient, whose name appeared to be Michael, that the writer could not see him any more because her mother forbade it. Even so, she wrote that she would always love him.

It was signed, Hannah.

It was a beautiful letter, but there was no way except for the name Michael, that the owner could be identified. Maybe if I called information, the operator could find a phone listing for the address on the envelope.

Operator,” I began, “this is an unusual request. I’m trying to find the owner of a wallet that I found. Is there anyway you can tell me if there is a phone number for an address that was on an envelope in the wallet?” She suggested I speak with her supervisor, who hesitated for a moment then said, “Well, there is a phone listing at that address, but I can’t give you the number.” She said, as a courtesy, she would call that number, explain my story and would ask them if they wanted her to connect me. I waited a few minutes and then she was back on the line. “I have a party who will speak with you.”

I asked the woman on the other end of the line if she knew anyone by the name of Hannah. She gasped, “Oh! We bought this house from a family who had a daughter named Hannah. But that was 30 years ago!”

“Would you know where that family could be located now?” I asked.

“I remember that Hannah had to place her mother in a nursing home some years ago,” the woman said. “Maybe if you got in touch with them they might be able to track down the daughter.”

She gave me the name of the nursing home and I called the number. They told me the old lady had passed away some years ago but they did have a phone number for where they thought the daughter might be living.

I thanked them and phoned. The woman who answered explained that Hannah herself was now living in a nursing home.

This whole thing was stupid, I thought to myself. Why was I making such a big deal over finding the owner of a wallet that had only three dollars and a letter that was almost 60 years old?

Nevertheless, I called the nursing home in which Hannah was supposed to be living and the man who answered the phone told me, “Yes, Hannah is staying with us. ”

Even though it was already 10 p.m., I asked if I could come by to see her. “Well,” he said hesitatingly, “if you want to take a chance, she might be in the day room watching television.”

I thanked him and drove over to the nursing home. The night nurse and a guard greeted me at the door. We went up to the third floor of the large building. In the day room, the nurse introduced me to Hannah.

She was a sweet, silver-haired old timer with a warm smile and a twinkle in her eye.

I told her about finding the wallet and showed her the letter. The second she saw the powder blue envelope with that little flower on the left, she took a deep breath and said, “Young man, this letter was the last contact I ever had with Michael.”

She looked away for a moment deep in thought and then said Softly, “I loved him very much. But I was only 16 at the time and my mother felt I was too young. Oh, he was so handsome. He looked like Sean Connery, the actor.”

“Yes,” she continued. “Michael Goldstein was a wonderful person. If you should find him, tell him I think of him often. And,” she hesitated for a moment, almost biting her lip, “tell him I still love him. You know,” she said smiling as tears began to well up in her eyes, “I never did marry. I guess no one ever matched up to Michael…”

I thanked Hannah and said goodbye. I took the elevator to the first floor and as I stood by the door, the guard there asked, “Was the old lady able to help you?”

I told him she had given me a lead. “At least I have a last name. But I think I’ll let it go for a while. I spent almost the whole day trying to find the owner of this wallet.”

I had taken out the wallet, which was a simple brown leather case with red lacing on the side. When the guard saw it, he said, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere with that bright red lacing. He’s always losing that wallet. I must have found it in the halls at least three times.”

“Who’s Mr. Goldstein?” I asked as my hand began to shake.

“He’s one of the old timers on the 8th floor. That’s Mike Goldstein’s wallet for sure. He must have lost it on one of his walks.”

I thanked the guard and quickly ran back to the nurse’s office. I told her what the guard had said. We went back to the elevator and got on. I prayed that Mr. Goldstein would be up.

On the eighth floor, the floor nurse said, “I think he’s still in the day room. He likes to read at night. He’s a darling old man.”

We went to the only room that had any lights on and there was a man reading a book. The nurse went over to him and asked if he had lost his wallet. Mr. Goldstein looked up with surprise, put his hand in his back pocket and said, “Oh, it is missing!”

“This kind gentleman found a wallet and we wondered if it could be yours?”

I handed Mr. Goldstein the wallet and the second he saw it, he smiled with relief and said, “Yes, that’s it! It must have dropped out of my pocket this afternoon. I want to give you a reward.”

“No, thank you,” I said. “But I have to tell you something. I read the letter in the hope of finding out who owned the wallet.”

The smile on his face suddenly disappeared. “You read that letter?”

“Not only did I read it, I think I know where Hannah is.”

He suddenly grew pale. “Hannah? You know where she is? How is she? Is she still as pretty as she was? Please, please tell me,” he begged.

“She’s fine…just as pretty as when you knew her.” I said softly.

The old man smiled with anticipation and asked, “Could you tell me where she is? I want to call her tomorrow.” He grabbed my hand and said, “You know something, mister, I was so in love with that girl that when that letter came, my life literally ended. I never married. I guess I’ve always loved her. ”

“Mr. Goldstein,” I said, “Come with me.”

We took the elevator down to the third floor. The hallways were darkened and only one or two little night-lights lit our way to the day room where Hannah was sitting alone watching the television. The nurse walked over to her.

“Hannah,” she said softly, pointing to Michael, who was waiting with me in
the doorway. “Do you know this man?”

She adjusted her glasses, looked for a moment, but didn’t say a word. Michael said softly, almost in a whisper, “Hannah, it’s Michael. Do you remember me?”

She gasped, “Michael! I don’t believe it! Michael! It’s you! My Michael!” He walked slowly towards her and they embraced. The nurse and I left with tears streaming down our faces.

“See,” I said. “See how the Good Lord works! If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

About three weeks later I got a call at my office from the nursing home. “Can you break away on Sunday to attend a wedding? Michael and Hannah are going to tie the knot!”

It was a beautiful wedding with all the people at the nursing home dressed up to join in the celebration. Hannah wore a light beige dress and looked beautiful. Michael wore a dark blue suit and stood tall. They made me their best man.

The hospital gave them their own room and if you ever wanted to see a 76-year-old bride and a 79-year-old groom acting like two teenagers, you had to see this couple.

A perfect ending for a love affair that had lasted nearly 60 years.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Look on the Inside

The World’s Largest 3D Street Art

If I stumbled across the world's largest 3D street art in London, my knees would buckle, pee would tinkle down my leg and I'd probably even cry. That's because the 3D art transforms a regular street into a frighteningly deep gaping pit straight into the middle of the Earth. Just look at it.

The project was made by street artists 3D Joe & Max for Reebok's CrossFit (there's an outdoor gym!) and is located in London's West India Quays, Canary Wharf. It's officially the world's largest 3D street art (as measured by Guinness World Record) dialing in at 12,490 square feet. The whole installation took over 7 days to complete and the effect is shocking. You feel like you're being swallowed by the mouths of hell.

Life Lessons From Dad

Muhammad Ali's advice to his daughters . . . Powerful!

An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing.

Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to.

Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.
Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.
Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them.”

He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”

From the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes.

The Marmots And Me

The schoolboy, 8, who has struck up a 
remarkable friendship with a colony 
of alpine animals
August 2012

They are notoriously shy around humans, beating their tails and chattering their teeth to try to warn us off before emitting loud whistles to tell other members of their colony to flee.
But when these alpine marmots see Matteo Walch, they scuttle to his side and show him nothing but affection.
The eight-year-old built up a remarkable relationship with the creatures since first being taken to see them by his nature-loving family four years ago.

Special bond: Matteo Walch has struck up an unlikely friendship with a group of marmots in the Austrian Alps

The family return to visit the colony in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps for two weeks every year.
Matteo’s mother Michaela said: 'Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now.
'He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that.

‘We go there every year now for two weeks - it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.’
Marmots stand at around 18cm tall and reach up to 50cm in length.
Bizarrely, the animals are heavier in the autumn, when they can weigh up to 8kg, in comparison to 3kg in the spring months.

Furry friends; The schoolboy from Innsbruck first met the clan of marmots four years ago on a family holiday and has returned every year since

 Unlikely pair: The normally shy marmots show Matteo nothing but affection when he visits them at Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria

Michaela, a schoolteacher from Innsbruck, Austria, has uniquely captured the unique bond between Matteo and his marmot friends throughout the past four years.
He said: 'I could spend hours watching animals - it gives me a connection with nature and its life forms.
'It’s great that I have been able to document the marmot’s natural behaviour around Matteo without making them afraid of me and my equipment.
'I wanted to capture the animals exactly the way I see them - the way they behave among each other, in harmony with their surroundings.'

A member of the clan: The marmots gather around Matteo when he arrives and lets him feed them and play with them despite normally running away from humans

 Matteo and his family spend two weeks every year in the Alps visiting his marmot friends

Nose to nose: A marmot greets eight-year-old Matteo on the slopes of the Austrian Alps

It is clear from the pictures that Matteo and the marmots are totally comfortable in each other’s company.
Michaela, 46, said: 'The picture of a curious animal approaching me is a thousand times more beautiful than the picture of any animal looking at me in fear before it takes flight.
'This is how I try to picture the proudest, more beautiful and also the funniest moments, giving others the opportunity to enjoy the miraculous world of animals.’

Jealous: One marmot is so keen to get his attention that it has climbed up into Matteo's lap for a cuddle

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spear fishing

Spear fishing, I'm fairly sure this isn't how it's done.
Just remember, when you think you are having a bad day, 
someone, somewhere, is having a worse one!

June 2011

Husband of the Year Awards

Honorable mention goes to :

The United Kingdom

followed closely by...

The United States of America

And then . . . .

But 3rd Place must to to . . . .


It was very, very close, 
but the runner up 
prize was awarded to . . . 


But the winner of the 

husband of the year is . . . 


Ya gotta love the Irish.
The Irish are true romantics look, 
he's even
holding her hand...

Woman has Man in it;

Mrs. has it;

Female has
Male in it;

She has
He in it;

Madam has
Adam in it;

Okay, Okay, it all makes sense now..

MEN tal illness

strual cramps

tal breakdown




When we have REAL trouble, it's a..

HIS terectomy.

Remember You Don't Stop Laughing Because You Grow Old, You Grow Old Because You Stop Laughing

June 2011

Oh Man! I Need Help!!!

Things That Make You Say........
"Help Me NOW!!!"

June 2011

Prayer - Remembering the Military