Thursday, November 08, 2007

Carl's Garden.

Post 359 ~ ~ ~ ~ Thursday, 8th November, 2007.

Hi Everyone ~ ~ I hope that you are all well and enjoying your
lives as we head towards another weekend. I am fine and I am
happy to say that John went to see the surgeon today and got a
good report. No more operations necessary at this time, so
that is a relief. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to see
how the diabetes is going and also to have a lesion frozen off
my nose. I had it done, but it came back, so hope this fixes it.

The print is too small again. Use Control and the + sign to read it.

Carl was a quiet man. He didn't talk much. He would always
greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake. Even after
living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, so one could really
say they knew him very well. Before his retirement, he took the
bus to work each morning.

The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us.
He had a sight limp from a WW !! bullet. Watching him, we
worried that although he survived WW 11, he may not make it
through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever
increasing random violence, gangs, and drug activity.

When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers
for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he
responded in his characteristically unassuming manner. Without
fanfare, he just signed up.

He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always
feared finally happened. He was just finishing his watering for the
day when three gang members approached him. Ignoring their
attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, "Would you like a drink
from the hose?" The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said,
"Yeah. sure," with a malevolent little smile.

As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arms,
throwing him down. As the hose snaked crazily over the ground,
dousing everything in its way. Carl's assailants stole his wallet
and his retirement watch, and then fled. Carl tried to get himself
up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg. He lay there,
trying to gather himself as the minister came running to help him.

Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window,
he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it. "Carl, are you OK ? Are
you hurt ?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.

Carl just passed a hand over his brow and sighed, shaking his head,
"Just some punk kids. I hope they'll wise-up someday." His wet
clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose. He
adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.

Confused, and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what
are you doing ?"
"I've got to finish my watering. It's been very dry lately", came the
calm reply.
Satisfying himself that Carl really was all right, the minister could
only marvel. Carl was a man from a different time and place.

A few weeks later, the three returned' Just as before, their threat
was unchallenged. Carl offered them a drink from his hose. This time
they did not rob him. They wrenched the hose from his hand and
drenched him from head to foot with the icy water. When they had
finished humiliating him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing
catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity at
what they had just done. Carl just watched them. Then he turned
toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose and went on watering.

The summer was quickly fading into fall. Carl was doing some tilling
when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him.
He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches. As he struggled
to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer
tormentors reaching down for him. He braced himself for the expected

"Don't worry, old man, I'm not going to hurt you this time." The young man
spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl. As he
helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and
handed it to Carl. "What's this ?" Carl asked.

"It's your stuff," the man explained. "It's your stuff back. Even the money
in your wallet." "I don't understand," Carl said, "Why would you help me now ?"

The man shuffled his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease. "I learned
something from you," he said. "I ran with that gang and hurt people like you.
We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it. But every
time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back,
you tried to give us a drink. You didn't hate us for hating you. You kept
showing love against our hate." He stopped for a moment.

"I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back." He paused
for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say.
"That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."
And with that, he walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it. He
took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist. Opening
his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo. He gazed at the young
bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter. Many people attended
his funeral in spite of the weather. In particular, the minister noticed
a tall young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner
of the church

The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life. In a voice made
thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do your best and make your garden as
beautiful as you can. We will never forget Carl and his garden."

The following spring, another flyer went up. It read, " Person needed to
care for Carl's garden. The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners
until one day, a knock was heard at the minister's office door. Opening
the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding
the flyer. "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said,

The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned
Carl's stolen watch and wallet. He knew that Carl's kindness had turned
this young man's life around. As the minister handed him the keys to the
garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."

The man went to work and over the next several years, he tended the
flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. In that time he went to
college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community.
But he never forgot his promise to Carl;s memory and kept the garden as
beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.

One day, he approached the new minister and told him he couldn't care
for the garden any longer; He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My
wife just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home Saturday."

"Well, congratulations !!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden
shed keys. "That's wonderful ! What is the baby's name ?"

"Carl," he replied. Author Unknown.
A long story, but a nice one, I thought. Now for some jokes ~~~~~~

A vicar's wife asked her children what they were doing in their
father's study. "It's a great secret , Mummy," they replied.

We are giving Daddy a new Bible for his birthday, and we thought
that we'd better copy what Daddy's friends put in the books they
give him. So we're writing, "With the author's compliments.".

Where did you get such a nice suit ?"
"It was a present from my wife. I came home unexpectedly early
from the office the other evening, and there it was ~~hanging
over the back of a char in the bedroom."

, .There was a blonde driving down the street one day.
She glanced to her right and noticed another blonde sitting
in a near-by field, rowing a boat with no water in sight.

The blonde angrily pulled her car over and yelled at the rowing
blonde. :What do you think you're doing ? It's things like this
that gives us blondes a bad name. If I could swim, I'd come
out there and kick your butt."

There are a number of mechanical devices which increase
sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is
the Mercedes Benz 500SL.

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other
eight are unimportant. ~ ~ George Burns.

I am so sorry, but I cannot keep my eyes open tonight and
it is very late after 2 am so I will have to say Goodnight.
Look after each other and be happy. More jokes tomorrow
night. Love and best wishes to you all. Cheers, Merle.

Post 359 ~ ~ ~ Thursday, 8th November, 3007.


Gledwood said...

Thanks for your message. I was surprised everyone seemed to agree with me about the naughty kids when the radio pitted 3 to one AGAINST them being held criminally responsible for wickedness... I was expecting someone to come on and harangue me for my "right wing" views... I'm not really right wing... in fact so badly not right or left I could vote for any of the 3 British parties as I stand in the ground where they overlap!

I'm glad you don't clean up for the cleaner Merle, it was only meant to be a joke but on the other hand I've seen it happen so many times! & of course it defeats the point especially if she's there to give basic help rather than as a luxury.

Have a marvellous weekend!

Patty said...

The story about Carl, I've read before, but it still brought a tear to my eye. And your jokes are just hilarious. I loved the blonde joke. Hope your computer class went well. Glad to hear your son's good news, hope yours will be good also.

Lady Di Tn said...

Good news for John. I hope your news will be as good. Maggie got me up at 4:30 this morning so I am a sleeping person at 4pm. Take care and I enjoyed the story and jokes as usual.

Renie Burghardt said...

Dear Merle,

Great newson John's a good report.

Oh, my, what a beautiful, inspiring story about Carl! Thank you for sharing it. And the George Burns joke is funny. Actually, all the jokes were funny. I always enjoy myself here, Merle. Have a blessed weekend.

warmest regards,


Jeanette said...

Hi Dear Merle, I hope you recieved a good report from your Doctor today. I loved Carls Garden.very inspiring.
Great jokes as always
The blonde hehehehe.
Take care Dear Merle get plenty of rest,, love Jan,.

Gwen said...

Hi Merle.
Loved Carl's Garden,good news for Johnand I hope all is well with you.
Jan was saying the 22nd of this month may be ok for our lunch date.
Stay well Dear Merle see you soon xoxo

Gledwood said...

Do you know when I 1st read the "author's compliments" one I really didn't get it... finally it has twigged on me DUH!


Have a cheery weekend Merle!!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Good news about glad Merle.

Loved the story about Carl. I hope you have a wonderful weekend Merle. Another weekend...time is just flying by.....literally. I hope your visit at the doctor's goes well sweetie....

JunieRose2005 said...

Dear Merle,

I, too, loved the story of Carl.

Hope all went well for you with the dr. appointment.


Janice said...

Hi Merle,

I hope your doctor's visit goes as well as John's did.

I hope you both are well.

Lovely story.


Lucy Stern said...

Love your beauty tips Merle.....

audrey` said...

Our good Lord is taking very good care of John.
Thank you, Lord =)