Not Long Tales … August 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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We are overjoyed to announce the initiation of our weekly segment on Jonathots Daily Blog, entitled Not Long Tales. Each and every Tuesday, we’ll be offering you a short story for your enjoyment.

Mrs. Windermoot

Loneliness is a confinement requiring solitude, a commitment without companion.

It had been one year since Mrs. Windermoot had lost her beloved husband of forty-three years, Baris. Even though she had two grown sons who loved her, she found herself very lonely, like a bride left behind on the dock of the honeymoon cruise.

Her sons, Benett and Burgess, were responsive and certainly concerned for her health, but fell short of touching the tender spots of her well-being.

She was alone, which left her lonely. She’d never anticipated being quite so submerged in the sense of absence, but since she had moved into the much smaller two-bedroom townhouse just west of the city, she was constantly battling the pangs of self-pity and the ache of separation.

She did not know any of her neighbors. Several of them had made a visit—but they were all so much younger—and though they promised to return, none did.

Mrs. Windermoot tried to plan activities for herself—making a special dinner, watching a movie. She even scheduled a weekly tea, where she set out all the fixings, including a dozen of her famous chocolate chip cookies. Although it was somewhat entertaining, in no time at all, she was just an old woman sitting in a room nibbling treats.

She never reached the point of desperation—that being sharing her complaint with others. Most of the time she sat very still in her home, wondering whether it was too soon to have another nap.

One day she noticed that a city bus stopped right in front of her house. She had never paid any attention before, but on this particular morning, maybe the sun was shining just right, or she just happened to look out at the correct moment.

But there it was—big as life. 9:31 A. M. It was back again the next day, and faithfully returned the third morning.

So Mrs. Windermoot made a plan. On the fourth morning when the bus appeared, she would get on the bus, and ride as far as it went through the town, and at least have the ability to see other scenery—and maybe even converse with new people.

She dressed for the occasion—one of her best Sunday frocks, and made two dozen chocolate chip cookies, which she tucked away in her purse. She eased her way out the door at 9:15 so as not to miss the arrival and was standing there patiently when the bus pulled up. Not familiar with the route or process, she carefully climbed on as the driver impatiently waited for her to place her money in the slot, allowing her the privilege of being toted about.

She was smart enough to know to bring exact change, but her fingers were not very fast, and finally the bus driver, heaving a huge sigh, took the coins from her hand and completed the job.

Once legally paid for, she inched her way back four rows and sat down. There were only two other people on the bus, and she was nowhere near them, and felt foolish to be on a journey with no apparent purpose.

After a couple of stops, with additional people arriving, she felt better. When someone sat in the seat next to her, she finally worked up the courage to greet the stranger. Her words were met with a bit of kindness, so she offered the young man (obviously on his way to work, because of the uniform he was wearing) … well, she offered him a chocolate chip cookie. He was so grateful, explaining that he hadn’t eaten breakfast, and usually didn’t take the time for it.

At the next stop, while people were getting on, the bus driver walked back to Mrs. Windermoot. He seemed huge. His nametag read, “Mickey.” He leaned down to Mrs. Windermoot and whispered, “Listen, lady. I can’t have you giving out food on the bus. I don’t know where it came from. You may be a nice lady and all—you certainly seem alright—but I could get in a helluva lot of trouble if you were poisoning people.”

When Mrs. Windermoot heard the word “poison,” she flinched—a reflex. The whole idea of her being a sinister murderer seemed absolutely ludicrous, if not offensive. The young man who was still chomping on his cookie interrupted. “Listen, they taste great. You should try one.”

Before Mickey could consider the idea, Mrs. Windermoot was holding one to his nose. Beautiful chocolate chip cookie.

Maybe it was a desire to salve the old girl’s ego, or maybe it was Mickey taking responsibility—taste testing to ensure there was no danger. Or maybe Mickey had missed a breakfast, too. But he grabbed the cookie and chomped away. His expression changed from austere to delight.

Realizing that the bus driver was now eating chocolate chip cookies, which seemed to be coming from the frail lady sitting in the seat, three or four people made their way up the aisle to receive a treat of their own. Everybody was grateful, and the bus driver (still maintaining a bit of his authority) told Mrs. Windermoot that if she brought them again, to “make sure he could check them out before they got passed around.”

Thus began a ritual. Four times a week—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday—the lonely woman climbed on the bus with her chocolate chip cookies and rode around town, sharing treats and meeting new folks, turning Bus #572 into a friendly wagon of confection.

Once Mrs. Windermoot realized the chocolate chip cookies were a hit, she brought some little finger sandwiches, Rice Krispies treats—well, almost anything that came to her mind that she could make quickly for at least fifty people. Yes—it didn’t take long for the sweet old woman to gain a congregation of fifty admirers for all of her offerings.

A week passed. Two weeks. A month. Two months. Gradually, Mrs. Windermoot learned the story of Mickey, what the young man she originally met was hoping for his future, and the life stories of a dozen or more fellow travelers. It actually seemed that the bus was beginning to grow in attendance, if such a thing were possible. And everyone always seemed to be in a better mood once they boarded Bus #572 and headed off to pursue their responsibilities.

Then one morning, Mickey pulled the bus in front of her house and Mrs. Windermoot was not there. It was Wednesday. Mickey knew it was the right day. He was concerned, as were four or five other people, who stared out their windows, desperate to see the old lady emerge with her kindness and generosity.

But she was nowhere in sight.

Mickey was on a schedule, but his curiosity overwhelmed him. Where was she? Then his imagination went wild. Why wouldn’t she be out there? Was she alright? Did the old lady die?

It was right after this last question crossed his mind that Mickey decided to climb off the bus and go knock on her door. He did not notice that three or four other people joined him, apparently feeling a similar concern. Mickey knocked, and he knocked again. He peered in the window. There was no movement.

He reached over, tried the doorknob, and it opened. How foolish of the old lady not to lock her door, he thought.

But motioning to those who had trailed behind to “stay back!” he stepped into the house to investigate. Human nature being what it is, of course nobody listened to him, and they followed him through the door like a little train of detectives.

Inside there was an eerie silence. No sound.

There was one light on in the house, which appeared to be coming from the kitchen. Mickey inched toward the light, listening carefully for any movement. He was frightened—afraid of what he might find. He turned to those following, holding a finger to his lips, demanding that they remain quiet. He walked slowly to the opening of the kitchen, and as he rounded the corner he looked. There she was. It was Mrs. Windermoot.

She was sitting in a chair, peeling eggs.

She turned around, surprised to see Mickey in her home, and gasped. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

A good question. He didn’t know how to explain that he was expecting to find a body, not an egg peeler. “When you weren’t out there for the bus, I got scared, so I decided to check on you.”

Mrs. Windermoot glanced over at the clock that sat on the stove. “Well, you’re two hours early,” she explained.

Mickey looked at the same clock. It read 7:40. Leaning down and peering at it, he reported, “Ma’am, for some reason, the clock stopped. It’s 9:37,” he said, looking at his watch.

Mrs. Windermoot turned red with embarrassment. She looked behind Mickey and saw that there were six other people in the house, staring at her.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I thought I was ahead of my time! You see, I got up this morning deciding to boil eggs to make egg salad for our trip today. I wasn’t sure whether to hard boil them or soft boil them, so I decided to go in-between. But when I got to the in-between time, I thought how terrible it would be if they were runny, so I boiled them again.”

There was a pause, then everyone laughed.

Mrs. Windermoot was not certain why she was so hilarious, but she appreciated the affirmation. Mickey patted her on the shoulder and asked, “How long would it take you to finish your project?”

Mrs. Windermoot crinkled her brow, thinking intensely, as if pondering the national debt. “I should be ready in twenty minutes,” she said.

Mickey looked back at the passengers in the room, cleared his throat and said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. I shouldn’t do this, but there’s no reason why I can’t make four or five more stops, and then come back around on Johnson Street and pick you up—as long as NO ONE TELLS ON ME.” He raised his voice at the end.

Everybody nodded their heads in agreement. Mrs. Windermoot looked up at Mickey and said, “I’m sorry to have been so much trouble.”

Mickey patted her on the shoulder. “You’re no trouble at all. Matter of fact, a lot of trouble has left since you came along.”

Mickey corralled all the souls and they headed out the door. As they streamed back to the bus, Mickey realized he was taking a big chance by changing the schedule. What if someone noticed? What if there was a new customer who complained to the company about the delay? What if this was one of those weeks when there was a spy on the bus, evaluating his ability and performance?

As he reached the steps to climb into the bus, he scratched his head. He glanced back at the house, wondering if he should run and tell the old lady that he had changed his mind. Then…

Mickey shook his head and chuckled. “What the hell,” he said to himself. “No one’s gonna care. And I sure do love a good egg salad sandwich.”

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Cracked 5… December 23, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border final

Secrets the elves know about Santa Claus:

A. Santa Claus dated Lady Godiva before marrying Mrs. Claus

B. Because Santa is so chubby, the elves had to hypnotize him into thinking garage doors were chimneys.

C. Santa’s farts smell like candy canes and bratwurst.

D. In his early career, Santa was picked up for swerving in his sleigh by the Colorado Highway Patrol after leaving a vigorous egg nog promotion.

E. Santa Claus hates chocolate chip cookies.

Santa and elf

 

 

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Fullness: Real … January 27, 2013

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keep it real

Words come and go.

I remember when saying “groovy” really was groovy. Being declared “hip” was not a replacement for anything. And “far out” was actually the next-door neighbor to “cool.”

So if I can shake your memory to a time when the phrase “keep it real” was considered to be the groovy, hip, far-out, cool phrase of the day–I’m sorry to see that one go.

It wasn’t “BE real” or even “GET real,” but rather, doffed its tiny beanie of popularity to the fact that we have a job–to KEEP it real. It is really quite natural to do so if you understand all of your parts and instead of using them against one another, you form them into a team. After all, teaching human beings that we have a warring nature which is always trying to bring us down and keep us from our better selves may be the fad of the day, but it traps us in our inadequacies and fears instead of throwing us a rope to pull ourselves out of the pit of hell.

Let’s just take what we’ve learned over the past few days. (If you haven’t learned anything, let’s just take what I’ve said.) It begins with emotions–allowing ourselves to feel. We get the ball rolling by giving ourselves a permission slip to be touched by infirmities–both your own and others and admitting that we get tempted like everybody else. Is there anything more annoying than the wanker who always says, “I never feel that way…” or “Chocolate chip cookies? Ooh. They’re too sweet.” (Somehow or another, I think God just forgives us for silently plotting his death.) Everything begins with “feel.”

It is only then that we are prepared to kneel without being forced to do so or repeating what everybody is doing in a line at the altar. We kneel to worship. What do we worship? Spirit and truth. Candidly, there is much to consider spiritually which I will NEVER pursue because I just don’t find it of any earthly use. This may limit my after-life education, but I guess I don’t mind picking up a few extra classes in heaven, since I have all of eternity to complete my degree. Things that touch our soul should have spirit and truth. If they’re spiritual they’re going to be truthful; and if they’re truthful, you will find some spirituality in them.

So after we spend some time feeling and kneeling, we’re ready to move up to the penthouse, the human brain, and set in motion some healing. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that my upbringing, schooling and adolescence left behind some pretty huge mind-scars. I did get my mind blown several times–and not in a good way. I need some healing–or I will start thinking I know everything I need to know and cease to learn what will actually make me smarter and easier to get along with.

Unfortunately, as we discussed, our thinkers are not learning and our learners are not thinking. You get healed when you realize that the gray matter located in your cranium is not only supposed to think, pumping out what it knows, but also start learning what is being pumped out by what other people think.

What a great journey so far–we let ourselves feel instead of hiding behind bad moods, calling them “a poor night’s sleep.” We let ourselves kneel by taking spirit and truth into our lives as worship instead of grabbing off the fast food menu of religion with a crust of bread and a sip of wine. This allows us to renew our minds and gives that magnificent human computer the opportunity to think and learn, which heals us.

Then we’re ready to go out and deal with the world and DO AS: do the things we dream to do but perform them as if we were our own customer–give quality to our actions equivalent to our own standards. Then, instead of complaining about our lot, we deal with it. We realize that preparing is much more important than planning.

Having the right attitude when you show up makes it so much easier to change when your goals are rejected at the door. Suddenly we develop a reputation for being real. We start hearing folks say, “You’re just so real…” They tender stories us about individuals they know who are “so fake.” And all we’ve done to get this magnitude of appreciation is ask our little shift of workers, which show up at our human factory every day, to unite together in a common cause instead of pretending that each one of them owns the company.

  • Feel
  • Kneel
  • Heal
  • Deal
  • And then, keep it real

You’ve reached the fullness.

There you go. Try it out and if it doesn’t work for you, realize that I’m just me. There is no money-back guarantee–because you didn’t give me any money. But if it does work, share it with somebody else and let’s see if we can’t free ourselves from the blandness that just seems to welcome insanity.

P.S.  Happy fourteenth birthday to my granddaughter, Isabella.

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If You Knew … January 26, 2012

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From Miami, Florida

 

If you knew taking a ten-minute walk every day would lengthen your life by five years, would you do it?

If you knew the person of your greatest affection was truly the very best you ever could have done, would you decide to be more appreciative of their presence?

If you knew that pickled beets, when eaten with Brussel sprouts, promoted longevity, would you adjust your palate accordingly?

If you knew there was basically no difference between men and women except a couple of obvious physical ones, would you reject society’s bigotry, or continue to join in the misguided laughter and fantasy?

If you knew your religion was incorrect and through some miracle, were given the true revelation, which ended up being from another religion’s hearth and home, would you change your affiliation to gain greater insight?

If you knew your car was being made in a foreign country at the expense of people who were suffering under the management of the manufacturer, would you switch to another vehicle to make a stand against tyranny?

If you knew the political party of your choice was actually detrimental at this time to the nation’s better interest, would you abandon your affiliation and change your vote?

If you found out that Santa Claus really did live at the North Pole, and during all these years, there’s been a vast conspiracy to disprove his existence, would you be willing to go back to a childlike heart on Christmas morning?

If you knew there was no difference between the races, would you still insist on keeping them separate?

If you knew money was important to give you the confidence to become a giver, would you work harder to get it, so that you could become more generous?

If you knew there was no God, would you still decide to love your neighbor as yourself?

If you knew that interfering in other people’s lives was the main cause of most of the disruption in our society, could you learn to keep your nose out of other people’s business?

If you knew chocolate chip cookies caused cancer, would you stop eating them, or gamble with the risk?

If you knew that “thank you” were the two most important words in the world, would you swallow your pride and say them more often?

If you knew that hoping for things was unfortunately a convenient way of not doing what you know to do, would you exchange your hopes for action?

If you knew that your mother and father were good people but had human flaws that caused them to teach you faulty logic, could you still love them as people but reject their philosophy?

If you knew more than you know now, would you be glad you knew it, or wish it wasn’t known?

Life is about one major decision. Actually, it’s an answer to a simple question.

Am I looking for answers, or do I want confirmation?

Because the truth of the matter is, if you seek you WILL find. If it’s confirmation of all your feelings, including your prejudices, you will certainly discover enough ammunition to fuel your war.

But if you’re seeking answers, you must be prepared for some of your pre-conceptions to be ravaged so that the landscape can be cleared for beautiful improvement.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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