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{Straight From the Heart}   *Please Stay*  11/17/00

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Straight From the Heart

Please Stay

By Al Batt

  Flowers are gifts that continue to bring us happiness and memories long after they have left us.  Flowers also attract hummingbirds to our yards.  A flower would earn its keep if it did nothing else. There is something about seeing hummingbirds coming to the sugar water feeder I put up each fall.  Don't get me wrong-I cherish the goldfinches clinging to the niger seed feeder and the Mourning Doves feeding on the ground under our feeding station, but there is something about the hummingbirds.  Maybe it is the distance they migrate, flying over 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico?  This is a remarkable feat by a bird that weighs no more than a quarter. 

We are getting the last taste of summer.  The nights are growing cool and the weather reports are autumn-like.  I watch a hummingbird feed on the sweet water.  He has declared the feeder to be his territory and spends his day chasing any intruders away.  Even with his testy personality, I cannot help but like him.  One day, I will awaken and the seasons will have changed and my hummingbird will be gone. 

My father-in-law and I share a love for hummingbirds.  He puts up a number of feeders and rejoices when the birds arrive.  My father-in-law is a retired farmer, an ex-Marine (ex- is probably not correct as I have found that once a Marine, always a Marine) who has found himself in St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota with a life-threatening heart problem.  I was hosting a cruise on the Pelican Breeze recently, the Pelican Breeze is a wonderful cruise boat that floats regularly on beautiful Albert Lea Lake, when I spotted Mayo 1, the helicopter/ambulance, leaving Albert Lea, Minnesota on its flight to Rochester.   I made mention to the boat's passengers of the fine service the helicopter provides, how it gets to Rochester in about 20 minutes and how fortunate we are to have such a thing in the area.  I also talked of how I can never see the flying ambulance without experiencing a touch of sadness and a feeling of emptiness in the pit of my stomach, knowing that the life of someone and the lives of his loved ones would be changed dramatically.  Little did I know that the patient who was a passenger on that helicopter was my father-in-law. 

Fall comes too soon.  I don't want summer to end. I want to feel the warmth in my bones and the soft breezes on my skin.  I want to hear the sounds of summer continue.  At this time of year I don't remember the nearly unbearable heat and humidity or the bloodthirsty mosquitoes of summer.  I remember the rains, not the heavy ones, but the gentle and polite ones.  I watch my hummingbird guarding his food supply and I think of my father-in-law fighting for his life.  "Please stay," I say silently to the hummingbird buzzing around the feeder.  "Please stay with me a little longer. Don't leave yet.  I haven't known you long enough."  In my heart, I am saying the very same things to my father-in-law.  "Please linger.  Allow me to cling to you through fall and into the winter."  Summer leaves well before it has worn out its welcome.  "Please let me remember the songs of your birds when the snow covers the ground."

Al Batt

Send Al an email and let him know what you thought of his writing!
Al lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife, Gail.  Al is a writer, a newspaper columnist, a radio personality, a speaker and a storyteller. 
Al Batt
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, MN 56042


A note from one of our authors!

From: (RoseMary Salzman, The author of Monday's story: My Gentle Giant.)

Dear Michael,

What a day I had yesterday!!  Wow!!

First of all,  THANK YOU for publishing my story!!!!   My birthday was
Sunday.  This is the most wonderful birthday present I have ever gotten!

To say that my story was well received is an understatement!  I have
never received so many e-mails in my life!  They just kept coming and
coming!!!  I received notes and letters from people all over the world!
Unbelievable!!! hundreds of them!!!!

I hope you realize how many people are reading your wonderful "Straight
From the Heart."  Michael, I want to thank you from my heart.  I was soooo surprised!  It was so much fun!

I shall continue to write. It really inspires me.  Hearing from other
writers was really the frosting on the cake!!!

Keep your wonderful "Hearts" going.  I just love it,

My Love to You,  RoseMary  Salzman



From: (Montie Hickey)

My family would like to say thank you for all the prayers for my nephew.  I
asked prayer about 2 weeks ago.  My nephew had a mole on his back, and we
thought it was cancer.  Yesterday the doctor called and told my nephew that
the test result came back negative.  PRAISE THE LORD.  Prayer really does
change things.  2 different doctors looked at it and said it did not look
good.  It shows us that God is in contorl and not doctors.  Again thank you.
  And God Bless.

Thought For The Day:

"We are never defeated unless we give up on God."
(Ronald Reagan)

Verse for the Day:

"In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Imaginary friends can be the best."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"A home's temperature is best maintained by warm hearts, not
cold words or hot heads."

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks."
(Joe Paterno)

Deep Thought For The Day:

"People who live in glass houses should change clothes in the basement."

\_\  /  
/_/  \    "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 

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

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