*Hangin' On* 11/26/01
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 the thousands of Heart Touchers readers
around the world 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:
Before we get to today's inspiring story by regular
contributor Al Batt, we wanted to let everyone know
that for Christmas we will be offering our book,
Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life"
for only $13 (instead of the regular price of $14.95),
and best of all, we will pay the shipping! So if you
have any interest in purchasing an autographed
copy of the book for yourself, or as a gift to your
loved ones, now is the time to get it! But if you want
them in time for Christmas, you need to act fast!
This is only for those orders that come directly to us
and not the publisher...
To order your autographed copy send a check or
money order for $13 (We pay the shipping!) for each
book made out to Michael T. Powers, and then send it to:
Michael T. Powers
1918 Liberty Lane
Janesville, WI 53545
Hurry! Time is running out!
To preview the book by reading some of the stories visit:
AOL Users Click below:
Straight From the Heart: A Celebration of Life
By Al Batt
"Sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and
higher," blared the radio. My wife was listening
to the radio. She has a love-hate relationship
with our Minnesota weather. This has turned
her into a bit of a weather junkie. She finds our
weather both intriguing and frightening. Her
feelings are not unlike those of a child watching
a particularly scary horror movie--nearly scared
to death, yet seldom feeling so alive. I found
myself staring out the window. Lightning filled
the sky and rumbling thunder shook the house.
Rain began to fall. The trees were bending in the
strong wind. However, it was none of these things
that was commanding my attention. It was a little
blue and white bird that I could not take my eyes
off of. I was looking at a Tree Swallow--a small bird
that nests in an old bluebird box in our rural yard.
The tiny swallow, weighing at most three-quarters
of an ounce, was hanging on with dear life to a small
branch of a tree. Its mate was sitting on eggs inside
the nest cavity. The wind blew harder and harder,
almost as though it was determined to shake the
tiny bird free from its perch. The bird's plight caused
me to reflect on the trials of a friend.
When my friend Keith broke his leg, he felt that
it was the last straw. Keith, a farmer all of his life,
had been suffering from leukemia for a year and a
half, and a bone marrow transplant had produced
disappointing results. The leukemia had gone into
remission, but the bone marrow hadn't started
reproducing as everyone had hoped. Things just
hadn't been working out. Keith was pulling a
wagon with a four-wheeler when a freak accident
happened, breaking his leg. It was one of those
cases where just as you think that things can't
possibly get any worse, they get worse.
Keith found himself laid up and with 160 acres
of beans in the fields that needed harvesting.
It looked as if his wife and his 82-year-old father
would have to try to harvest the beans. Things
were looking bad. Then a miracle happened.
The miracle came in the form of good neighbors.
In the spirit of good Samaritans, two neighbors
organized five volunteer crews. Trucks and
combines poured into Keith's fields and made
short work of the harvest. In less than three
hours, Keith's fields were bean-free. The project
took longer to plan than to do. I believe that
neighbors are meant to help neighbors. I once
tried to talk my father into buying a neighbor's
farm. The neighbor wasn't much of a farmer and
really didn't tend to his business. Besides, we
could have used a little extra land. I will never
forget my father's answer to one of my pleas.
It was one of those responses that comes with
its very own life's lesson. He told me that he
would rather have the neighbor than the neighbor's
land. At the time, I thought he was terribly
old-fashioned and had let his feelings get in
the way of good business sense.
Watching the neighboring farmers harvest Keith's
beans made me realize how right my father was.
I felt good watching so many people get together
to help a neighbor who was down on is luck. I
knew that Keith would reciprocate if given the
chance. A fundraiser was organized for Keith
and many people worked and donated to a worthy
cause. A meal was served to an overflowing crowd
at the local school. As I remembered these
events, my thoughts and prayers were with Keith.
I hoped for his rapid and complete recovery.
My thoughts left Keith and his bean harvest when
I heard a loud crack, followed by a deafening
crash. The fierce wind had blown down a large
tree that had been standing forever and a day in
our yard. I looked at the fallen tree with a touch
of sadness. I could plant another tree and I would,
but I would never see one of the same size in its
place. Then I remembered the Tree Swallow. My
eyes sought the bird. I looked at the branch and
saw that the small bird was still hanging on despite
the heavy wind, the thunder, the lightning, the rain
and the falling tree. My spirit soared because I knew,
as one is allowed to know these things, that my friend
Keith was going to be all right.
Write Al and let him know what you thought of his story!
Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland,
Minnesota. Besides being a husband to Gail,
father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a
storyteller, a tour leader and an avid birder.
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, MN 56042
Reader Feedback on "The King of Turtle Greens
Your story about Grandpa Conway was awesome. I am turning this concept
around for Christmas. I'm having the grandchildren in our family
write letters to my mom and dad about what they have meant to them in
their lives. We won't let my mom read them that day though or we'd have
to have a very large box of tissues. Your family is very blessed.
Thank you for sharing it.
This has got to be one of your all-time wonders. Thank you for sharing this and
for being sensitive to the wonders of God and the goodness around you. God bless
Michael, that was so sweet. I was intrigued by the title and loved every line of the letter. Caleb will surely cherish it and learn to love the memory of his Grandpa, too.
Thank you for sharing it.
The first thing I do when I get to the office is to read your daily story.
I can always find something in there to give me hope and to get me through
the most difficult day. Sometimes I sit here and cry because a story is so
sad ... or so happy.
I especially enjoyed "The King of Turtle Greens". I think it's wonderful to
leave a letter like this one to your child and I'm sure he and everybody
else reading this letter will use the life's lessons for years to come.
Thank you for all the wonderful stories.
I just wanted to tell you how beautiful and touching your story was. Both of my grandfathers died before I was born, how I wish someone had written things about them for me. I also have a son named Caleb. I am sure your Caleb will love your letter to him. I hope you are feeling better. Your stories and others are always a bright spot in my day.
Hi Mr. Powers :),
Today's letter to your son, about your late father-in-law, was one of the sweetest stories you have run in a long time. Your father-in-law must have been one heck of a special person. I'm sorry that your children will not have the opportunity to know him.
Usually, the only comments most people make regarding their in-laws are negative or nasty. It is so refreshing to see someone who had a loving and positive relationship with his wife's father. You were truly blessed to have had such a relationship with him.
God bless and please take care,
Thought For The Day:
"It is not guided missiles, but guided morals
that is our great need today." --George W. Ford
Verse for the Day:
"The man of integrity walks securely." -- Proverbs 10:9
Kid's Thought For The Day:
"A five-year-old daughter was explaining how
the brain works, by making other parts of
your body move. The mother asked her
how the messages travel down the spinal
cord, and she explained that there are nerds
in there that carry the messages."
Parent's Thought For The Day:
"If, in instructing a child, you are vexed with
it for want of adroitness, try, if you have never
tried before, to write with your left hand, and
then remember that a child is all left hand." --J. F. Boyse
Coach's Thought For The Day:
"Don't mistake activity for achievement..." --John Wooden
Deep Thought For The Day:
"No matter how good the first half of the
sandwich is, all anyone remembers is the
roach in the middle."
/_/\/\ MICHAEL T. POWERS
\_\ / HeartTouchers@aol.com
/_/ \ "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."
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
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
"I need a daily source of inspiration and encouragement
in my life!"
To become a Heart Touchers Member send an e-mail
with "Subscribe" in the subject line to:
Then get ready to laugh, cry, and be deeply touched
by some of the best stories on the Internet!
All you have to do is send an e-mail with the word
"Unsubscribe" in the subject line to:
Give it a day or two to be processed...
Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?
AOL Users click here: The Four Spiritual Laws