After 45 years of living on a farm near a small prairie town, I have more than a few stories to tell. Some of them were funny when they happened, others needed 40 years before I could tell them with a smile instead of a grimace! I hope you enjoy them, and that they make you smile too!

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That Trusting Face

Needing a break from my shopping trip at "The Bay", I went to the store cafeteria for lunch. Having picked up my food at the buffet, I chose a small table near the back of the room. I bowed my head to say grace, and then began eating.

A short distance from me, there sat an elderly lady, frequently looking my way. After a moment, she got up and marched straight to where I was seated. She plunked her purse down in front of me and said, in a very firm, matter of fact voice, "Here! Watch this for me while I go get some more food!"

I was suprised, but nodded quickly. Minutes later she returned to pick up her purse. Without a word of acknowledgement, she turned on her heel and went back to her table with her tray.

I might have been inclined to think her trust in me came from my silent public prayer-- except that a similar incident happened a short time later.

I don't want you to get the idea that all I do is shop-- but, having three girls kept me in the store on a regular basis. This time we were at Zellers, browsing in the clothing section. A young woman came up to me and said with a red face, "Excuse me, but I have to go to the washroom really badly! Would you mind watching my cart for me, until I get back?"

Astounded, I looked down at the cart to see it right full of items already paid for. I looked up at her and nodded, I'm sure with a bewildered expression on my face.

While I waited, I kept looking at myself in the mirror-- the one hanging right next to the fitting rooms-- attempting to see what others were seeing. I was examining my expression as if I'd never seen it before. There must be something about me-- some aspect, some facet, maybe a glance, that inspires confidence in complete strangers.

Try as I might, I saw no "Trust Me" written on my forehead!

Five minutes later she was back, thanking me profusely, then ambling off with her cart.

Smiles All Around: The Day I Stole the Mayor's Car

Our oldest granddaughter & grandson belonged to the local 4H beef club for a number of years. Every June, the club held their annual achievement day.

The morning began fairly early with the show. Judging begain in the afternoon, so the parents prepared a pot luck noon meal. This particular year the activities were held in a town about 15 miles from where we lived. Since our truck & trailer had been used to haul the animals to the show, we made arrangements to take our daughter's new used car, and bring the food.

This was the first time I had driven the new car, a small Ford Taurus, and it was quite a change from our big Lincoln. On the way, I decided to stop by the local post office for the mail, then jumped in the little gray car and took off. It's funny how you remember the oddest things later; things that don't seem right at the time, but don't register as wrong either. I wondered why my grandson would leave his jacket in the car when it was such cool rainy day? Also, I hadn't noticed all of this vehicle's nice features before.

When I arrived, I turned to retrieve the food from the back seat, and discovered it wasn't there! At first I thought I'd forgotten to put it in the car. Or could someone had stolen it when I was at the post office? That was too bizarre.

While I was standing and pondering my dilemma, my daughter came out of the building to see if I had arrived. The light went on when I saw her strange frown. "This isn't your car, is it?" I said. She shook her head. "No, it's not," she replied.

Streaking back to Hague, I was frantically trying to figure out whose car I was driving, and just how much trouble I would be in. I passed through a hail storm on the way back, praying that God would keep this car from any hail damage! Then almost like a bolt of lighting, I realized why the jacket in the backseat looked familiar: it wasn't my grandsons, I has seen our town Mayor wearing it! I also recalled seeing him in the post office that morning. Bingo! Now I knew who's car I had stolen!

Back in town, a different scene was playing out.

Mr. Mayor came out of the post office to find his car missing. He went back in, and told the post mistress that his car had been stolen! She looked out, and seeing a gray Taurus parked at the curb said, "It's parked right there". "No," said the mayor, "that's not my car!"

Then he begain wondering if he had only thought he had driven to the post office that morning. Maybe he had actually walked! He promplty called his wife and asked her if his car was in the garage. "No, honey." she said, frowning.

He walked across the street to the insurance office to find out if the agent could trace whose grey car was parked at the curb. This agent, who happened to be my brother, discovered the car belonged to his niece.

By the time I got back to town, the word had already spread that my daughter had taken the wrong car. Things did get straightened out eventually. The mayor was very gracious about the whole affair, even refusing to let me reimburse him for the gas.

It's amazing how news of this kind spreads in no time flat. For the next few weeks, people I knew, and some I didn't know, would see me from a distance and this huge grin would spread across their face. I took a good deal of ribbing about the whole affair, but it certainly got everyone smiling for miles around.

If things start to look a little glum around your town, just leave your keys in your vehicle and I might take it for a spin!