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    The Black Telephone

    When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the Wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination
    when my mother talked to it.

    Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

    My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

    I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

    "Information, please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
    A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

    "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

    "Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

    "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

    "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

    "No,"I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

    "Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

    I said I could.

    "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice..

    After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.

    She told me my pet chipmunk I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

    Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, "Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

    She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

    Somehow I felt better.

    Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."
    "Information," said in the now familiar voice.
    "How do I spell fix?" I asked.

    All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much.

    "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

    Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

    A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown
    operator and said, "Information Please."

    Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.
    I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"
    There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

    I laughed, "So it is really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you really meant to me during that time ..."

    "I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

    I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally."

    Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information." I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

    "I'm sorry to have to tell you this," She said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

    Before I could hang up, she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?" "Yes." I answered. Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. "Let me read it to you."

    The note said: "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."
    I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

    Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?

    Lifting you on eagle's wings,
    1357 days ago
  • v RPCLEM2000

    Happy Birthday to You, emoticon  
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    Weekly Challenge Team
    1393 days ago
    I'm Natalie one of the Leaders of the C25K- Running for Beginners Team. I just wanted to welcome you and invite you to participate on the boards and in the challenges. If you have any questions feel free to post on the boards or shoot me a SparkMail. Happy running!
    1393 days ago

    God gave us the seasons
    Each with it's own beauty and reason
    Each meant to bring us a blessing
    A joy, and a feeling of love.

    God gave us dreams
    Each with it's own secret
    Each sent to give us feelings
    Of inspiration, hope and tranquility.

    God gave us the sunshine
    The rainbows and the rain
    The beauty and freedom of nature
    To teach us the wisdom of gentle acceptance.

    God gave us miracles
    In our hearts and lives
    Little things that happen
    To remind us we're alive.

    God gave us the ability
    To face each new day with
    Courage - Wisdom
    And a smile from knowing that...

    Whatever sorrow or pain we face
    He abides with us securely in our hearts.

    Most of all, God gave us friends
    To teach us about LOVE
    And guide us through this world
    ALWAYS available to help us forward

    Toward a greater understanding
    And a greater sharing and giving of LOVE.

    -Regina Hill

    Shirley, I miss you. You touched my heart.
    Love, Annie
    1412 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/8/2014 9:01:07 PM
    `•.¸ (¨ `•.•´¨)
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    `•.¸.•´ ¸¸.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*¸¸.*¨*.¸¸. ¸.•*´¨`*☆ ¸.•*´¨`*☆
    "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours." Mark Twain. Beautiful Page! LOVE, Emmy :))
    .·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ .·´ ¸¸.·¨¯`-:¦: ღ*:·.·:*ღ*:·.·:*ღ ✿¸.•*¸.•*•.¸*•.¸✿

    1464 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/17/2014 5:54:16 AM
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