The Tale Spinner

Vol. XXIII, No. 15

April 15, 2017


  • In this HeroicStories tale, a man writes about his meltdown
  • Kate Brookfield writes from a cruise ship en route to Italy
  • Betty Audet forwards stories about children
  • Tom Telfer confesses that he is hooked on electronics
  • Barbara Wear shares thoughts on growing older
  • You can scramble eggs in the microwave
  • Irene Harvalias forwards a story about a pious grandmother
  • Catherine Nesbitt sends answers to questions about retirement
  • Sites are suggested by Tom Telfer

Brian R. King of Illinois, USA, writes about his


I am an adult with autism, and my consulting work requires a lot of out-of-state airline travel. Airports and air travel are very overwhelming for me. One day in October I woke at 4:30 a.m. to travel out of state, travelling and working until 10:30 p.m. that night.   As I flew home the next day, after a two-hour wait at a layover airport, my flight home was canceled 20 minutes before boarding. I called customer service, and by the time I reached someone, I was told to go to the customer service desk.

The line was at least 100 people deep - and not moving. Then they announced that there were no more flights that night; we'd have to stay overnight after booking another flight. I began to shake, and my eyes began to tear up as I contemplated standing in this 100-person line for a prolonged time.

Due to my autism, I was overloaded and beginning to shut down, which made it hard to think and hard to speak.

I called my wife Cathy for help. She heard how much difficulty I was having even thinking. She remained calm and guided me step by step.

Cathy told me to look for a person who transports special needs people around the airport. I found someone and said, "I have autism, they cancelled my flight and don't have any more flights, and I need to get home."

The woman, Shawn, gently took my bags, told me to sit down in her tramcar, and said she knew someone who could help.

Shawn drove me to another part of the airport, then left me briefly to talk to someone about helping me. My wife kept talking to me the whole time. Shawn came back with a gentleman, Dale, who held a boarding pass with my name on it for a flight an hour and a half after my original flight.

I am grateful and humbled to my core by how generously and tenderly I was taken care of by my soul mate and two complete strangers that day. Thank you doesn't even describe it, but I'll say it. Thank you, Shawn and Dale at the Philadelphia Airport, you did your employer, U.S. Airways, a tremendous honor by how you conducted yourselves.

There is absolutely no value in going through your life stubbornly refusing to ask others for help. I was seconds away from a full-blown meltdown at the airport, so I called my wife Cathy, who helped me find Shawn. Shawn led me to her supervisor, Dale, who found a seat for me.

Needing other people isn't a sign of weakness, it never was and it never will be. It is, and always will be, the precious gift of service that human beings give to each other.

ED. NOTE: To comment on this story, or to subscribe to this free site, click on


Kate and Mike Brookfield are on their spring holiday. Kate wrote this while steaming toward Italy: I am spending some time on the cruise clearing my Inbox. There is no internet, so this will go out when we reach Gibraltar (if I find free internet!) Not much is free for tourists these days! This Costa cruise line is the worst to date. They have a charge for a daily news bulletin! We prefer not to hear what DT is tweeting.

There are only a handful of English speakers on board; most are Italian. At dinner we share a table with six Swedes. Fortunately, they speak English and are good company.

The English books in the library are limited. I bought eBooks for Kindle before coming away, but decided not to bring the Kindle as I could use my iPad app. All the new books are in the darned Cloud! 

I got Tina Fey's memoir,"Bossypants,” from the ship's library. Very funny!

Take care and enjoy the spring!

ED. NOTE: Thanks for your spring wish, Kate, but we have had little to enjoy so far. The flowers are out, and they are indeed welcome, but the weather remains cool. This month we have had one sunny day, and the temperature has not yet gone above 12 degrees. It will probably be like Ontario’s spring - a brief break between winter and hot summer.

Betty Audet forwards these vignettes about


Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

1. A four-year-old child lived next door to an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said, "Nothing. I just helped him cry."

2. Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair colour than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.

A little girl said, "I know all about adoption. I was adopted." 

"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.

"It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!" 

3. On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.

 "We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile.

"Really," I said. "I have to say you don't look very discouraged."

"Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."

4. Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school.

Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. "Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me: "I've been chosen to clap and cheer."

5. An eye-witness account from New York City on a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10 years old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, "My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window!"

"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store, and removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt you will be more comfortable now."

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her: "Are you God's wife?"

Tom Telfer sends this


It is time I revealed my deep dark secret. Please do not share this information with anyone. I am addicted to the Internet.

Once a week, I try to go cold turkey, but the Spinner arrives and I quickly grab my iPad and madly scroll through all the sections.

Every morning, I strap on my Apple watch, unhook my iPhone from its charger, and fire up my iPad. My desktop computer hooked to my printer waits for action.

First I must check articles from a myriad of news services. Did you know that 33 trees in Doodletown were cut down without permission? Every citizen (population 46) has gathered to survey the damage. I assume that you missed that story I and wanted to update you!

Then I start sorting 4,675 e-mails - to delete or not to delete.

During the day, food is gobbled, with bits landing on my screens. I'm saving up to buy a net to keep food away from my precious communication devices. In the background I flip through a blur of TV news channels, making sure that I am up to date. One must never get behind!

There is a camp that one can attend that has no screens! Therapists are on duty to gently guide you through the day without any of your toys. Perhaps my iPhone could be hidden in the toe of my boot, and I  could slide my iPad inside a book, or wear my Apple watch on my big toe. A sturdy flashlight with extra batteries would be essential for using my screens in a broom closet.

While writing this story, I have missed 328 e-mails and 76 TV news reports.

Are we all sitting on the edge of a whirlpool? If anyone needs updating, contact me immediately so that you can be absolutely current!

Barbara Wear forwards these thoughts on


As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300 or a $30 watch - they both tell the same time. Whether we carry a $300 or a $30 wallet or handbag - the amount of money inside is the same. Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $15 wine - the hangover is the same. Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq. ft. - loneliness is the same. Whether you drive a $8,000 Honda or a $80,000 Benz - they both serve the same purpose. You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies, and old friends, brothers and sisters who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west, or heaven and earth - that is true happiness!!


1.Don't educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so that when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.

2. Best awarded words: "Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food."

3. The one who loves you will never leave you, because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.

4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.

5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. You have to manage the in-between.

6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together!


      1. Sunlight
      2. Rest
      3. Exercise
      4. Diet
      5. Self Confidence
      6. Friends

Maintain them in all stages of life and enjoy a healthy life.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Here is a recipe that you may find helpful:


Put the frying pan down and unleash the power of your microwave to make breakfast a breeze. Beat some eggs with a bit of milk (add salt and pepper if you’re so inclined) and heat on high for 45 seconds. Stir vigorously with a fork, and then heat for another 30 to 45 seconds, until the eggs have almost set, and then serve ’em up!

Irene Harvalias forwards this story:


Grandma is 88 years old and still drives her own car. She writes: 

Dear Granddaughter,

The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting. So I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. 

Boy, am I glad I did! What an uplifting experience followed.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed. 

I found that lots of people love Jesus! 

While I was sitting there, the guy behind me started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of God! Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!"

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! 

I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. 

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. 

Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why, even he was enjoying this religious experience! 

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray, or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. 

So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again, and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared. So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. 

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

Will write again soon. 

Love, Grandma

Catherine Nesbitt answers these questions about


Question: How many days in a week?
Answer: Six Saturdays, one Sunday.

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer: Two hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% discount.

Question: Among retirees, what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?
Answer: NUTS!

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic, or garage?
Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Answer: Normal.

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never-ending coffee break.

Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.


Tom Telfer forwards this link to a video of remote-controlled flying fish emerging from the world of awesome:

Tom also sends the URL for a movie of the Olsen Gang drilling, bombing, and hammering its way through the opera house basement in synchronicity with the music of the Elverhoj overture:

Doing a good deed is highly beneficial to your health:

From the goodnews site, here is the story of teens who became instant heroes for saving a boy who fell off a cliff into freezing water in Alaska:

More content at linked webpage

From the same site comes this story of a new mall in Sweden that deals in repaired and recycled goods:

In this TED talk, Jonathan Marks maintains that governments should fight corporations, not collaborate with them:

Here are 23 ingenious uses for vinegar. You probably use many of these tips already, but perhaps there are some new ones here:

Classical music in the key of comedy by four musicians in Le plus grand cabaret du Monde:


"Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that's beautiful."

- Rashida Jones

The following from The Free Dictionary

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