Stories to lift your spirits

Posted by John, Volunteer Mentor @johnbishop, Apr 17, 2019

Ex Sailors love to tell stories. Some are stories and some are sea stories which evolve as they are told over the years ☺ I was inspired to start this discussion by @usmccam who created the artwork for me (THANK YOU!) after reading a post I made with an attached story. I have been fortunate to be a member of the Pine Island Toastmasters Club in Pine Island, Minnesota which helped me evolve and taught me how to be a better speaker…well, better than what I was anyway.

I would like to start the ball rolling by sharing one of my earlier stories/speeches a from a few years ago.

The Road to Recovery

My name is John…I am a CAR-A-HOLIC.

My road to recovery has been a long struggle. It all started with my first new car. I was young and impressionable. I had a great job with IBM and I had money-to-burn…meaning “no kids”! Then it happened. I saw my first love. A 1967 Pontiac GTO. It was beautiful…pearl white with coral blue interior.

I LOVED THAT CAR!

Then reality set it. First, I found out that GTO stood for Gas, Tires, and Oil. Next, it fell victim to a neighborhood hit and run accident. After getting an estimate to have it fixed, I pulled up to an on ramp for the Harbor Freeway and seconds later heard the squealing sound of tires behind me…just in time to grab the steering wheel and hang on. A flower delivery van had pushed the trunk all the way to rear wheels. Try explaining the second accident to the insurance agent when the first one wasn’t even fixed yet. What a day that was. It was never the same after the accident. After the GTO I went through several new cars but they were just cars if you know what I mean.

Then it happened again! I fell in love again! With visions of being able to leap large boulders and cross deep creeks in the outback, I bought a 1970 Toyota Landcruiser. It was red beauty. It even came with it’s own metric tool kit for a real emergency. I was ready for the great outdoors! I even added an AM/FM radio as an option.

I LOVED THAT CAR!

It was a short relationship. She had only 6000 miles on her when I dumped her. No way I’m keeping a car when I can’t hear the radio driving at 55 MPH. I went through several more loves until it happened again.

I found another love. A 1972 Chevy Blazer. It had everything…lockout hubs, 4 on the floor, skid plates, 2 batteries. Bring on the outdoors. I was ready!

I LOVED THAT TRUCK!

It didn’t take me long to plan a back packing trip in the Sierras with my best friend. Our trip went as planned. We found some old logging roads into a remote area. We crossed a couple of creeks and finally reached the end of the trail only to find a Volkswagen Bus parked in the opening. Can you imagine how I felt! So much for needing 4 wheel drive.

A few years and a few more new cars later, I felt my youth slipping away. I was almost 40 and never had a sports car. I told my financial manager…I want a sports car! Boy was she a tough sell but being the salesman I am and convincing her that I spend a gazillion hours a week in my car for work, she broke down and gave her approval. And there I was…on the prowl for the coolest sports car in Aberdeen, South Dakota. It didn’t take me long to find a brand spanking new 1975 ½ Datsun 260Z. Metallic brown with black interior, 5 speed on the floor…I’m set!

I LOVED THAT CAR!

70, 80, 90, 110…this baby really moved. I spent hours and hours polishing and cleaning her. No way I was going to have a dirty car. One Saturday afternoon I decided to take her out for a spin when I notice something on the trunk lid. Large letters the size of a basketball were scratched on the trunk. The closer I got, the madder I got. W – A – D – E. Boy was I hot. I turned around and went back into the house looking for my 5 year old son…by the way his name is Wade. I confronted him and asked him how his name got on Dad’s sports car. His reply was quick – “Suzy made me do it.” Suzy was the 5 year old blonde bombshell that lived across the street and was the neighborhood ringleader. After a brief “calm” discussion with him I decided he should be the one to “fix” it. I got out the rubbing compound, gave him a rag and told him to rub until he doesn’t see his name. I went back to check on him about and hour or so later. Poor kid really looked beat and tired. I decided to let him off the hook with a promise not to ever listen to Suzy again.

The 260Z was my last real love. I’ve had other new cars since then but it’s not the same anymore. Age and no expense checks have mellowed me.

I AM ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY!!

Then along came the 80s and the personal computer.

HONEY, I NEED A COMPUTER!

Somewhere in the back of my mind, the wheels were already spinning. Newer, bigger, better, faster became entrenched in my most inner being. Computers, computers, computers …I couldn’t get them out of my mind.

I LOVE COMPUTERS!

There you have it. The Reader’s Digest condensed story of my life.

My ROAD TO RECOVERY is now the onramp to the INFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY!
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Do you have an uplifting or entertaining story you would like to tell? We would love to hear it!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Just Want to Talk group.

@gradmar Wow! That must have been both scary for you both and exhilarating.

REPLY

Hi Connectors! Thought I would share a humorous speech I gave at our Toastmasters club a few years ago. If you like it, I might even share our Valentine's Day story.

Shared files

Man vs Women - Upgrades (Man-vs-Women-Upgrades.pdf)

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@johnbishop

Hi Connectors! Thought I would share a humorous speech I gave at our Toastmasters club a few years ago. If you like it, I might even share our Valentine's Day story.

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@johnbishop That was a great story glad you found out how to keep your wife happy lol

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@lioness

@johnbishop That was a great story glad you found out how to keep your wife happy lol

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Great lesson, @johnbishop!
@lioness He has also found out how to keep himself happy!

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@hopeful33250

Great lesson, @johnbishop!
@lioness He has also found out how to keep himself happy!

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@hopeful33250 yes he did happy wife,happy husband

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@lioness

@lioness That's how I became a grandma My son and d I l waited 7 years Everytime I flu out to Pasadena I asked them they said someday we'll 7 yrs later I had my grandson .I moved out here ,so glad I did I get to see him make his own path now in life The drum solo he just did he drummed to the right beat Possible new school next year middle school ,sailing lessons ,my son just told me he will be enrolled this summer in school of rock learning to play with others now Being a grandma is the greatest

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Being a parent is great. Being a grandparent is. THE GREATEST!

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@grandmar

Being a parent is great. Being a grandparent is. THE GREATEST!

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@grandmar. Yes yes yes the greatest

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@grandmar

Great story, Teresa!
I was NYC born and raised.
I learned to drive on the streets of Queens, NYC!
My dad gave me my first 'driving lesson' before I took driver's ed.
Where did he take me?
He took me on the Long Island Expressway.
For non-New Yorkers, it is a VERY busy highway people use to get into Manhattan or to Long Island.
Oy, no wonder he NEVER took me out, again!!
You know the song lyrics, "…if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!'?
That is how I felt about learning to drive in NY!!!
Ronnie

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@grandmar I will not drive into NYC myself. When we visit our daughter in Manhattan I leave the driving to my husband. I visited her once alone and took a train. I can easily drive all over Boston, and they claim Boston drivers are crazy, but the sheer abundance of cars, changing lanes, and the crazy taxi drivers are intimidating in NYC.
JK

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@grandmar

Good Friday All!

My lift-your-spirit story is a love story, but not for cars (sorry John).
If you look at my on-line name, you might be able to guess………..

My hubby and I have know each other since we were young children. I was 9 and he was 13 years old. No, we were NOT boyfriend-girlfriend at that time. We waited until we were older. I was 15 and he was 19. Don't laugh! When you are together that early, you don't wait to get married. In the 70s, if you didn't go to college, there were still good opportunities on the job market. I digress……I was 19 and he was 23 when we married.

We decided from the beginning that we wanted to be 'young' parents and did not want to wait to have children. On our first anniversary, we went away and I was sick as a dog. Found out……you guessed it, I was pregnant with our first child!!!! We had two children, 3 years apart. I won't lie, it was difficult financially as we decided I would be a stay at home mom. It was also difficult for me emotionally because my kids had a couple of issues that led them to hospital visits. I felt isolated because my hubby worked long hours to support us and my friends were in college or just starting their careers. Marriage and kids were far from their minds.

Being young parents did have their benefits. I certainly had the energy needed to raise my family. And, when my friends were getting married and having their family, I had older children that gave us the freedom you don't have when you have infants and young kids. However, if you love having young children, the down side is that it was years and years since I had young children in my home.

By the time I was in my arly 40s, I was hoping my daughter would follow in my footsteps and get married and have babies. I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN!! Of course, it was not realistic. She was in college, then graduate school, then starting her career. And the most important part, she hadn't met her Prince Charming. But I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN!

When my daughter met her Prince Charming and she became Princess Charming, I was thrilled. Not only did her dream come true, but mine would come true, too. I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN. OK, so she didn't marry as young as I did. She was older. But she was now married and I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN. I figured, OK, they will probably wait a bit. If they waited a year, that would mean 9 months later i would have my first grandchild. Little did I think they would wait and 'do things you can't do when you have kids." But I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN!

My second chance came when my son met and married his love. A beautiful wedding, a great place to live, already involved in their careers. I WANTED GRANDCHILDREN!!! One year passes and no grands. Neither child was giving me the one thing I wanted more than anything. I WANTED A GRANDCHILD! I had to settle for grandpups (3 of them), celebrate the birth of grandchildren for others and give my grandchildren affection to any cute puppy I saw. Then it happened, I WAS GOING TO BE A GRANDMA! Sadly, the pregnancy ended with a miscarriage. Two more followed. My heart was broken for my children.

All was not lost. My daughter was pregnant, again. This time, all went well! She actually wanted me in the delivery room at the birth of my first grandchild! It was amazing to be there and not be the one who had to work for the end prize. I WAS A GRANDMA! My granddaughter took her time to be born, but she was worth it. She was beautiful and it was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. I hadn't felt that was since the birth of my own children.

I was still working, my hubby wasn't. He had the opportunity to go over to see our granddaughter whenever he wanted. For me, every Friday, right after work, we'd go over to HER! Saturday and Sunday mornings, we'd go see our girl! Then it happened…our daughter went back to work. Guess who got to babysit every Wednesday while I went to work…..you guessed right! My husband spent every Wednesday with our precious baby while I went to work. Not fair! I WANTED TO BE A GRANDMA!! However, there was nothing much I could do about that other than to enjoy her when I could.

Then it happened, my son and daugher-in-law were pregnant. We found out in the most delightful way. We were at our son's house when I received a text. The text was a picture of a stick from a pregnancy test. It was POSITIVE!!! I was going TO BE A GRANDMA, AGAIN!!! Doing the math meant that these two babies would be 5 months apart. And sure enough, 5 months, almost to the day, my second granddaughter was born. Although I was not in the delivery room this time, I got to give her her first bath since her birth! I found a new career. I wanted to be the person to give a newborn their first bath. What a joy!!!! I AM A GRANDMA OF TWO BEAUTIFUL GRANDDAUGHTERS!

Now, I divided my time between both. Friday nights and Sundays at my daughter and Saturdays at my son's house. I was in heaven. Then it happened, my daughter-in-law went back to work. My hubby got to babysit our newest granddaughter one day a week. He now had our granddaughters to himself twice a week, while I WORKED!!! Boooooo! To make myself feel a little better, I would shop for these lovelies. I shpped for them as if they were twins, cousin-twins! What fun! I actually still do it even thought they are now 7-1/2 and 8 years old.

But my story is not over. About the time my younger granddaughter turned 1-1/2 years old, guess what……my daughter-in-law was pregnant, again! She was an only child and did not want it for her daughter. I WAS GOING TO BE A GRANDMA, AGAIN! It was just as exciting as the first time! My daughter felt she was too old to have another and she feared going through what she went through the first time. I knew in my heart that this would probably be my last grand. Soon it happened, I BECAME A GRANDMA, again. This time……it was a boy!!! I had a little boy as sweet my little boy!

I AM A GRATEFUL, DOTING, LOVING GRANDMA TO THREE BEAUTIFUL, SMART AND LOVING GRANDCHILDREN!

Sadly, I don't get to see my younger two grands very often. They live too far to hop in the car to drive. My health issues have also made trips to see and stay with them difficult. My older grand lives down the block and I have the honor of watching her grow.

Regardless of how often I see them in person, my grands ase ALWAYS with me. They are the BIGGEST PART OF MY HEAR AND SOUL! I adore them!

I AM A GRANDMA!!!!

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@grandmar I get the feeling you wanted to be a grandmother. 😉
I am way too old to not have grandchildren. My children were late bloomers when it came/comes to getting married. My daughter got married in November, 2017 at the age of 35 and I don't think she will have children. My son is getting married in August at the age of 38 (a week before he turns 39). I know his fiancee is dying to have children so I think it won't be too much longer. Unfortunately, they live in Denver so I won't get to see the grands as much as I would like, it will be bittersweet when they have children. I'm hoping my daughter will end up having children too, but if so she had better hurry, although I was born when my mother was 40. I am just afraid that if she doesn't have children she will regret it at some time. She loves children and is great with them. If she has children she will probably be living in Philadelphia at that point. She and her husband share addresses in NYC and Philadelphia due to work but at some point they will need to consolidate.
JK

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@johnbishop

Hi Connectors! Thought I would share a humorous speech I gave at our Toastmasters club a few years ago. If you like it, I might even share our Valentine's Day story.

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@johnbishop Love it! I tell my husband that he is becoming like the title of the movie, "Grumpy old men".

I love the Valentine story too. I heard someone describe marriage as being like a roller coaster ride. There are ups and down but if you stick out the downs you will be rewarded with the ups. I think that's true but unfortunately too often young people bail out at the first sign of a problem.
JK

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