Monday, February 12, 2007

The Big Wheel.

Post 139 - - - - - - Monday, 12 th February, 2007.

G'Day My Friends
~~ How are we all today? All OK I hope and I hope you have all had a great weekend. I have had another day of doing this and that, and also some cooking. Silverside (corned beef) and lots of vegetables as usual. Tomorrow should be busy as my shopping lady comes once a fortnight to clean the floors etc. Also, that means I wash the bed sheets etc. My pay TV company (Austar) are coming tomorrow to fix the cable TV, hopefully. We think it must have been the power surge when the electricity came back on the last time that caused the problem Guess I should get another power- surge board. I have one for the computer.

The story tonight is called "The Big Wheel" and was sent a while back by my dear
friend of long standing. Thank you Barbara.

In September, 1960, I woke up one morning with 6 hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from 3 months to 7 years;
and their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence
they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide
under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly
knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then
put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chev and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town,
No. Luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried
to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had
to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It
was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until 7 in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and
sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her and we
made a deal. That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all
thanked God for Mommy finding a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby sitter and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money, truly half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires on the back seat. New tires !! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his
floor than it did for him to fit the tires.

I was now working 6 nights, instead of 5 and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was
coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repainting some old toys. Then hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were
a worry too. I was sewing parches on top of patches for the boy"s pants and soon
they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel.
These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim and a state trooper named Joe.

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball amchine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through
the wee hours of the morning and then left to go home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at 7 o'clock on Christmas morning, to my
amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and knelt in the front, facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside
was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2 - 10 ! I looked inside another box; it was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes.
There was candy, nuts. and bananas and a bag of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and
Jello-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies
and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing
Christmas Day of my life I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long ago December. And they all hung out
at the Big Wheel truck stop. . . . .

The Power of Prayer. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer.

1. "Yes !" 2. "Not yet." 3. "I have something better in mind."

God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar.
You may be going through a tough time right now, but God is getting ready to
bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.
Prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive.
There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for each other. . . .

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies reading ths right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. . . . . . Amen.
Time for some jokes - - - -

First one is called Be my "Valentine." So it is timely !!

A guy walks into a post office one day to see a middle-aged, balding man standing
at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with
hearts all over them. He then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying scent
all over them.

His curiosity getting the better of him, he goes up to the balding man and asks him
what he is doing. The man says, "I'm sending out 1000 Valentine cards signed,
"Guess who ?" "But why?" asks the man.

"I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replies.

There were three people stranded on an island, a brunette, a redhead, and a blonde.
The brunette looked over the water to te mainland and estimated about 20 miles to
shore. So she announced, "I'm going to try to swim to shore." So she swam out five
miles, and got really tired. She swam out 10 miles from the island, and she was too
tired to go on, so she drowned.

The second one, the redhead, said to herself, "I wonder if she made it. I guess it's better to try to get to the mainland than stay here and starve." So she attempts to
swim out. The redhead had a lot more endurance than the brunette, as she swam
out 10 miles before she even got tired. After 15 miles, she was too tired to go on, so she drowned.

So the blonde thought to herself, "I wonder if they made it ! think I'd better try to
make it too." So she swam out 5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles and finally 19 miles
from the island. The shore was just in sight, but she said, "I'm too tired to go on !"
So she swam back.
Irish Joke - - - Gallagher's Obituary.

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the
obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.
"Did you see the paper ?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died !!"

"Yes, I saw it !" replied Finney. "Where are you calling from ?"
Emergency Call.
Dad's pager went off, summoning him to hospital, where he is an anaesthetist.
As he raced towards the hospital, a patrol car sped up behind him - - -lights flashing.
Dad hung his stethoscope out the window to signal that he was on an emergency call.
Within seconds, came the police officer's hand in response, dangling a pair of
handcuffs out the window.

A mother had been teaching her three year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's prayer.
For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after her mother the lines from
the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. The mother listened with pride as she
carefully enunciated each word, right up until the end of the prayer : "Lead us not
into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail. Amen.

The only nice thing about being imperfect is the joy it brings to others.
- - - Doug Larson.

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than be a success at something I hate.
- - - - George Burns.

Oh, the difference between nearly right and exactly right. - - -Horace J Brown.

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang
there except those that sang best. - - - Henry van Dyke.

If at first you don't succeed try, try again. Then give up. There;s no use being a
damn fool about if. - - - W. C. Fields.

If at first you do succeed --- try to hide your astonishment.

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average. - - M. H. Alderson.

Bye for now my friends, Have a happy week ahead. Cheers, Merle.

Post 139 - - - - - Monday, 12 th February, 2007.


PEA said...

Hello dear Merle:-) It's another sunny but very frigid morning here! The car is plugged in though so it should start if I need to go out!! Reading "The Big Wheel" brought shivers, such a wonderful story and I'd like to believe such things really do happen in this jaded world of ours. Enjoyed all the jokes and quotes...I'm amazed at all the typing you do! lol Take care my friend! Hugs xoxo

Granny said...

Those things do happen. I remember once when my own kids were very young and so was I.

I call it "and then the doorbell rang". Nobody there, just presents one time, food (lots of it) on another. And I think there was a third as well. Amazing and I still don't know who it was.

Raggedy said...

G'day Merle!
The corned beef sounds yummy! I might have to pick some up when we do our shopping. I am glad the tv people will be there soon to fix it for you.
Your post today was Fantastic!
I loved the Big Wheel and the Power of prayer! Thank you.
The jokes and quotes were good too!
Hugs my dear friend, Love, Raggedy

Susie said...

Loved reading the truck stop story, but even more Ann's comment that things like that really do happen.
The joke "deliver us from email" was just too cute.
Enjoy your corned beef. Pork chops for us tonight!!

Leann said...

dear dear merle I sat and read your story with big tears running down my cheeks.what a heart string tugger.then I LOL.thank you for your blog and the love you post every day.God bless you dear one.

ChrisB said...

that story pulled at the heart strings- there are some truely good people in the world.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thank you for sharing, Merle

mreddie said...

The corned beef sounded interesting, plus I too like my veggies. Hopefully tomorrow you will have clean floors, clean sheets and some TV channels to watch. :) ec

Lee said...

Ummm...I love silverside and haven't cooked it for myself for a while. I'm making pasta with a mushroom sauce later.

Vickie said...

Merle, You always have something special here for everyone. You are a treasure---one I am pleased to know.

Are you sure Peter is related to you,just kidding. He is a sweetie as well so I believe it runs in the family.

Take care and enjoy your week.

Pamela said...

Merle, love corned beef! Nice to get things done around the house.

The Big Wheel is such an encouraging and moving story of hope. Those blonds, got to love them! lol Poor Gallagher reading his own obituary and then his friend wondering where he is calling from! lol

So sorry to hear about the power surge frying all your electronics. Hope you are able to get them all repaired. At least you computer was spared! :)

Jeanette said...

Dear Merle
LOve silverside just bought a nice piece on my way home from bowls im going to cook it the next day or 2.
Hope Austar come fixed your telly today.
great post!
The big wheel A very moving story thanks for sharing.Had a good chuckle at the 3 blondes.Take care Stay cool with high temps on the way. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Hi there Merle,
Just love the Valetine joke. Now there is a man who has

Hope you are doing well and I wanted to wish you a very,
Happy Valentine's Day.