This is a story I first read several years ago. I’ve been able to find it on a regular basis since then using Google, but I decided that I would make it easy on myself by placing it on my site. The author is unknown to me. Enjoy.


There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.

So as she was getting her things “in order”, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly.

“What’s that?”came the pastor’s reply.

“This is very important,” the woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say.

“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the woman asked.

“Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor.

The woman explained. “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!”

“So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, “What’s with the fork?”

Then, I want you to tell them:

“Keep your fork….The best is yet to come”.

The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.

He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.

She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand.

Over and over, the pastor heard the question,
“What’s with the fork?”

And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died.

He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.


Trust me on the sunscreen

This is another article I came across on the internet – actually I think it was some sort of slideshow or video at youtube that had some very nice background music and this text overlaid onto some pictures. I did the usual search on some of the text and discovered where the text had originated. Enjoy!

Mary  Schmich is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.  Schmich’s June 1, 1997 column began with the injunction to wear sunscreen, and continued with advice for living without regret. In her introduction to the column, she described it as the commencement address she would give if she were asked to give one.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t know.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave it before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess around too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Yes, the topic today is Maple Surple – real Maple Surple. And why is it surple instead of syrup? Simple answer – because I like that word. I’m never sure how I want to pronounce syrup. Is it sir-up or is it sear-up? I just looked it up, and the dictionary site I used gives the first one, but I’ve heard plenty of people say it like sear – as if you were searing meat on a grill. Well I don’t want seared liquid on my pancakes, and as far as I know Queen Elizabeth has not knighted it, so surple it is. Besides many little kids say it that way, and I am a kid at heart.

So here’s the deal. I’m sure we all love REAL maple surple, and because of the price difference, we usually don’t buy it in the grocery store. That fake stuff works to add some sweetness. Last year in October, my brother and his wife took their honeymoon trip to Vermont. My brother borrowed my digital camera to take along and I told him, that in exchange for that favor, he should bring me some real maple surple.

Did he? Have you met my brother? I’m sure the answer to both questions is NO, or at least to the first question. He used the camera; I got no surple!

mapleI was more than willing to continue living with my fake stuff, but when a real live human being is going to Vermont from Nebraska, the rule is to bring back the real stuff. So for the last year I have wanted craved real maple surple. Deep down to my toes I have craved it. So this year, some friends were taking a nice “see the fall colors”  trip to Vermont. Aaahhhhaaaa I thought. My chance is here!! The request was placed, and lo and behold, a very nice can of real Premium Grade A Vermont Maple Syrup arrived at my house. Not only did the surple arrive, but so did a bag of real Maple candy!! A whole bag of little candies shaped like maple leaves, labeled with Harlow’s Pure Maple Candy, and ohsoyummy!!! I know the kind thing, the nice thing, the right thing, the expected thing is to share, but that just might not happen this time.
openspaces Oh and just in case you might be wondering about the whole maple thing – I thought I would mention that we don’t have maple trees in Nebraska. We also don’t have oak trees, or birch, or chesnut. Okay let me be totally honest – trees are darn rare in Nebraska. Here’s just one little sample photo of Nebraska. Can you see a tree? Nope, not a tree in sight and that view goes for miles. Miles and miles of wonderful blue skies and wide open spaces. I guess it is a good thing my favorite color is blue and not green.
So that’s my entry for today. Some people would close with “Have a good day” or “Have a great day” but let me just say …

Happy Surple-ing!!
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this is a resurrected post

crick·et [krik-it] Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[krik-it] Pronunciation Key

–noun – a game, popular esp. in England, for two teams of 11 members each that is played on a field having two wickets 22 yards (20 m) apart, the object being to score runs by batting the ball far enough so that one is enabled to exchange wickets with the batsman defending the opposite wicket before the ball is recovered.

– noun –cricket Cricket – yes she was a 1980’s Playmate doll.  She came with a tape recorder built in so she could be a real playmate for little girls everywhere. She had lots of accessories you could get – different outfits and additional casette tapes – and you could style her hair. You certainly remember her, along with the Rainbow Brites and My Little Pony. And who can forget Strawberry Shortcake. We had SS at our house, and not Cricket, but this story isn’t about SS. It is about Cricket.

–noun-Any of various insects of the family Gryllidae, having long antennae and legs adapted for leaping. The males of many species produce a shrill chirping sound by rubbing the front wings together.

Yes this story is about a cricket – more specifically, one that fits the last definition – the one that makes the shrill chirping sound….

….in the middle of the night, while I am trying to sleep.

He’s been living at our house for a couple of weeks now. He seemed to like the family room and lived somewhere behind or under the couch, but Gene helped him pack up his stuff and move to the area behind the entertainment center. (Are you seeing a theme to our lives? – helping people/things move from one location to another.) Gene told me just the other day that he thought Jiminy had moved on to another house or the great outdoors, or somewhere other than the family room.

Yep, somewhere other than the family room – our bedroom!!! I’m not sure why Gene didn’t hear him, but I certainly did as I was trying to go to sleep. I couldn’t find him in the dark to help him move and I didn’t want to wake Gene up by turning on the light, so I just tried to have a nice quiet conversation with him, suggesting he find a different bedroom. I didn’t quite understand his answer since I don’t speak Cricketese, but I think he said “NO”. How rude of him. Doesn’t he know who’s in charge?

Well, at least he’s a loner. So far, I haven’t heard any of his bug cousins like a mosquito or a fly, or, heaven forbid, a wasp.  Knock on Wood

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