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{Heart Touchers}   *Gravel Roads*  9/24/01


If you enjoy this free daily email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration into the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by sending an e-mail with the word
"Subscribe" in the subject line to:

Visit our inspirational web site and read all the past
stories in our archives at:

Michael's long awaited book Straight From the Heart:
"A Celebration of Life," is finally here!  Close to 200
pages of true short stories filled with love and laughter
await you!  Visit our web site to order the EBook, or
to order by credit card! You can also read some
sample stories from the book here!

To order your autographed copy at no extra charge,
send a check or money order for $18 ($14.95 for
the book and $3.05 for shipping and handling) made
out to Michael T. Powers, and then send to:
Michael T. Powers
1918 Liberty Lane
Janesville, WI 53545
For two books add $4 for shipping and handling and
for three books add $5 for shipping and handling.  If
you want four or more autographed copies of our
book you only pay $5 for shipping and handling.
Be sure to let us know who you would like it
autographed for and then allow about two weeks
for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.

We have another great story by Heart Touchers favorite
Al Batt.  This is one of only two e-mails that will go out
this week as we will be going tent camping for four days!
May this be a great start to your week!
From my family to yours,



By Al Batt


I love gravel roads-narrow ones with lots of dust
and bends.  They are not always the best paths
for travel as in the winter the twists in the road
often fill with snow, making the roads unusable.
But oh, in the spring, summer and fall a gravel
road is a place to wander.  Every day on such a
road dances a new dance.

A gravel road is a special place.  A place to be
without company.  There is a quiet happiness to
be found in periodic reflections.  A time to think
and to be grateful.  I was a regular walker of gravel
roads almost as soon as I had learned to walk.
Sometimes I would walk at a slow and deliberate
pace.  At other times I would run in most haste.

A gravel road was a place that was easy for me to
get along with.  A comfortable spot where my
imagination had no boundaries.  A place where I
could laugh loudly over nothing.  A location where
I could be unseen by anything other than the hawk
flying overhead and the deer hiding in the tall grass.
True, the road could be hot and dusty in the
summer, but that made me appreciate the gentle
breezes it occasionally provided all the more.

I would sample the raspberries that fruited for my
pleasure.  My eyes were well fed by the beauty of
the wildflowers that grew among the thin, young
saplings bordering the road.  The young trees had
fled to the open spaces offered by the road ditch.
Trees do not grow well in the shadow of their
parents.  They grow tall away from home.

Often, a car would stop.  I would decline the kind
offer of a ride.  "Why walk when you could ride?"
I'd be asked.  What I was doing was so much more
than walking.  I was enjoying life.  I still walk gravel
roads.  I still hear nature's softest voice as the
breeze blows through the wind-catching hedge
of small trees and grasses. Why walk when I could ride?

We all leave our signature upon the land.  Mine
will be footprints in the dusty crown of a gravel
road.  I walk instead of riding because walking
a gravel road is one joy I do not want to disappear
from my life.             

Al Batt,   1997

Write Al and let him know what you thought of his story!


Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland, Minnesota with his wife, Gail.
Besides being a husband, father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a storyteller, a tour leader
and an avid birder.

Al Batt
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, M 56042


Reader Feedback!

Your site is such a blessing. I have a true story from today I'd like to

It's the little things

    I went to the nursing home to see a former neighbor, a very sweet feisty
lady. I had the aides get her into her wheelchair and took her outside. It
was a beautiful 80 degree day and she relished the feel of the sun on her
skin--off came her throw, and the look of surprise when she saw a single
sunflower blooming! She said it was the first time she had been outside
since her stroke in July.  We sat in the sun for a while then I wheeled her
around the paved garden area. As we neared the door to go back in, I turned
her chair to the side for a "few more minutes". All I saw was a fence and
some apartments beyond. But you know what-----she looked up--and she saw the
mountains beyond! I don't remember her exact words but she was delighted,
and I was humbled.
    So often I dread going to the nursing home to visit because I feel so
inadequate, but I try to remember that it's the little things that people
miss the most sometimes.
    I sincerely hope that if the day ever comes that I have to go to the
nursing home, someone will remember to take me outside occasionally, because
I, like my friend, love the outdoors.
Cherril Gillette


Thought For The Day:

"You always pass failure on the way to success."
(Mickey Rooney)

Verse for the Day:

"And we know that all things work together for
good to those who love God, to those who are
the called according to His purpose."

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Dirt is only considered bad when it's not on the ground."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Shouting at your children to get cooperation is about the
same as steering your car using the horn...same results."

Coach's Thought For The Day

"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging."
?Hank Aaron

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Life is a test, and I didn't take very good notes."


\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no
\_\/\ \   longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I
   \_\/   live in the body I live for the Son of God, who  
           loved me and gave Himself for me."
           Galatians 2:20

The copyrights to the stories that appear in Heart
Touchers are owned by the authors and are used with
their permission. We refuse to run stories without
the author's permission and contact info listed after
the story. We also refuse to publish stories listed
as "author unknown."  (All of which violates Copyright
Law and the rights of the authors.) This e-mail may
be forwarded in its entirety, but please do not cut
and paste the stories to be used elsewhere unless
you have contacted and been given permission by
the individual writer.  Thank you so much for
honoring the rights of those writers who graciously
share their stories with us!


Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch
the video we gave them. They loved it, to say the
least!  Within thirty seconds my mom was crying
and my dad did too. They said it was the best
Christmas gift we could have given them!!  You
did such a beautiful job!  They were so surprised
and so touched--they really, really, really loved it.
Thanks for helping to make it so special to us all.
My mom mentioned how the songs were perfect
for the video too! Thanks again!"
Kelli-- College Station, TX

Let me make you a video from your pictures or
home movies! Check out the web page for Michael's
video production business!  Visit:

AOL Users click here:   Video Imagery

Would you like to see your story in Heart Touchers?
Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:

AOL Users click here:  Writer's Guidelines


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in my life!"

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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?

AOL Users click here:  The Four Spiritual Laws

A number of people have written to us asking what
an EBook is, since our book is being offered in
both print and EBook versions.  An EBook is a
book that can be downloaded and read right on
your computer. The advantage of ordering
the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other
charges), as compared to $14.95 + shipping and
handling for the print book.  Plus you can download
the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few
minutes!  EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader,
which is software that most of you already have
on your computer. And if for some reason you
don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the
web site.  So for those of you who don't want to
wait for the print book to be delivered, check out
this web site to order the EBook version of
Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."


Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
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