Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Happy Belated 4th of July!

Item 1: A guy walks into a bar. He orders 12 shots of Jack Daniels. The bartender sets them up all in a row. The man picks up the first shot glass and dumps it on the floor. He then picks up the 12th shot glass and dumps that one on the floor. The bartender had been watching this and begins to scratch his head. “Ah, not to be nosy but I couldn’t help watch you pour two shots of expensive Jack Daniels on the floor. Is anything wrong?” The patron smiles and replies, “Nothing is wrong. It’s just that the first shot always makes me gag, and the last shot gets me too tipsy.”

Item 2: To those familiar with the Grateful Dead, they are well aware of the term “Waiting for a miracle.” To those not familiar with the Dead it means, “Hey, man, you got a spare, free ticket to the show tonight?” Many times a miracle would happen and the one with the outstretched hand, palm up would get to see the show.

Miracles can be different things to different folks. Raised a Catholic I was taught to believe in the miracles of the Saints. When I questioned my mother about these “miracles” she would give me a somber meaningful look and say in a hushed tone, “Brooks, it’s all a mystery.”

A lot of the teachings I took with a liberal dose of salt. But miracles became a reality for me when I stood next to Sheila’s hospital bed, and watched in awe and amazement as our two daughters, Jessica and Rhiannon were born. I knew then that miracles did exist, the miracle of birth. I also realized that something far more important than my own being was at work in this wonderful world.

As I aged I grew a bit more jaded, more pragmatic in my beliefs. Things that were once “mysteries when I was younger were now seen as stories to either be believed or not. Even so I kept an open mind, (or at least tried to) to things that might be seen as miracles. I needed that in my life.

I was relaxing in my oversized easy chair, drinking my coffee, windows and patio door open, listening to the doves cooing and the other feathered birds voicing their own opinions about this fine warm June morning.

It was about 8 A.M. I had finished reading the Bee and the Chronicle, finished my Word Jumble and Word Scrimmage and was concentrating on the daily crossword. I was having a devil of a time finding a five letter synonym for “Satan.” Outside on the patio I heard a sound that piqued my interest. It was the familiar sound I had often heard in winter and spring. It was the sound of rain pouring off of the patio cover. I put my paper down slid open the screen door and walked outside. I stared at the top of the patio cover and watched the rain pour down.

What was odd was that no water was coming down from the other sides of the patio cover. It didn’t make sense. I looked straight up into the cloudless blue sky and a small stream of water was coming straight down onto the patio cover. I’m not a genius but I realized that something here didn’t add up.

I’ve witnessed some strange weather in Turlock since 1979. I’ve seen a tornado, watched hail pelt down from a black and white cloud formation that danced crazily on the pavement, I’ve suffered from a shivering, freezing cold snap that actually froze the water in our pool, sweated in sweltering heat that actually cracked the sidewalks, experienced a dusting of snow, and have been lost in a fog so thick you couldn’t slice it with a scalpel. I couldn’t believe what was happening. God must be sending some sort of cosmic message.

As I continued staring at the sky, I yelled for Sheila to come into the backyard. She rushed out, saw the water and yelled, “Oh my God, the pipes have burst?” “Sheila, there are no water pipes on the patio cover,” I explained. “Look! Up there!” as I pointed up to the sky. “See, the rain is coming down from that one little spot. There isn’t a cloud in the sky! It’s a sign, an omen!”

With my mouth and eyes wide open I continued staring at this weird weather related/mystical occurrence. My mind was racing with the theological and meteorological implications. Do I call a priest, or a weatherman? This was huge!

Sheila tugged at my shirt and said, “Look at the pool.” I redirected my eyes to look at where Sheila was pointing. One of the arms of the pool sweep had been wedged in the corner of the pool with the nozzle facing straight up sending a powerful stream of water thirty feet or so into the air and then come cascading down on the patio deck.

“There’s your miracle,” Sheila said with just the slightest tinge of sarcasm. She turned around and walked back into the house. I walked over to the pool, bent down, and removed the offending arm and placed it back into the pool. I walked back into the house feeling just a little bit embarrassed but more disappointed that a real miracle didn’t happen.

I grabbed the paper, sat down in the chair, chuckled to myself, took a sip of coffee, grabbed my pen and continued the crossword.

Maybe some of you would like to post some of your “miracles” with the other CBA members. During these tough times it might be nice to share some special stories.
Sheila and I will be going on our first vacation in ten years, a well deserved 10 day cruise to Alaska. We are excited.

So until next month, read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, and enjoy!
Posted:  7/6/2012

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