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Mitch, a hard-shell Southern Baptist, loved to sneak away to the race track.

One day he was there betting on the ponies and nearly losing his shirt when he noticed this priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race. Lo and behold, this horse - a very long shot - won the race.

Mitch was most interested to see what the priest did the next race. Sure enough, he watched the priest step out onto the tract as the 5th race horses lined up, and placed this blessing on the forehead of one of the horses. Mitch made a beeline for the window and placed a small bet on the horse. Again, even though another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race. Mitch collected his winning and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest bestowed his blessing on for the 6th race. The priest showed, blessed a horse, Mitch bet on it, and it won! Mitch was elated!

As the day went on, the priest continued blessing one of the horses, and it always came in first. Mitch began to pull in some serious money, and by the last race, he knew his wildest dreams were going to come true. He made a quick stop at the ATM, withdrew big money and awaited the priest's blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on.

True to his pattern, the priest stepped out onto the track before the last race and blessed the forehead, eyes, ears and hooves of one of the horses. Mitchell bet every cent, and watched the horse come in dead last.

Mitchell was dumbfounded. He made his way to the track and when he found the priest, he demanded, "What happened, Father? All day you blessed horses and they won. The last race, you blessed a horse and he lost. Now I've lost my savings, thanks to you!!"

The priest nodded wisely and said, "That's the problem with you Protestants... you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Last Rites.

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Because I'm a Man ...
  • when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know where to start." We will then drink beer.
  • when I catch a cold, I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You never get as sick as I do, so for you this isn't a problem.
  • I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like 'cumin' or 'tofu'. For all I know, these are the same thing. And never, under any circumstances, expect me to pick up anything for which 'feminine hygiene product' is a euphemism.
  • when one of our appliances stops working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.
  • I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it (though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator).
  • I don't think we're all that lost, and no, I don't think we should stop and ask someone. Why would you listen to a complete stranger. I mean, how the heck could he know where we're going?
  • I do not want to visit your mother, or have your mother come visit us, or talk to her when she calls, or think about her any more than I have to. Whatever you got her for Mother's Day is okay, I don't need to see it. And don't forget to pick up something for my mother, too.
  • you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't.
  • I think what you're wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it---looks fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?
  • and this is, after all, the year 2002, I will share equally in the housework. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the gardening, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest.

Submitted by Andy, Gettysburg, Pa.

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If I had my life to live all over again ...

(written Erma Bombeck after she found out she was dying from cancer.)

  • I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
  • I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
  • I would have talked less and listened more.
  • I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
  • I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
  • I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
  • I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
  • I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
  • I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
  • I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
  • I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
  • Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
  • When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it ... live it ...and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff.

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as we only get one shot at this and then it's gone. I hope you all have a blessed day.

Submitted by Sister Wink, the Bronx, NY

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