Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I'm Iced In and Have Cabin Fever, So Beware

Snow, icy roads, and freezing temperatures have kept me pretty-well housebound since just after Christmas, and my sanity is even more frayed than usual. Looking at the weather across the nation, I surmise I may have abundant, similarly crazed company, and so I offer this brief distraction for the winter blues.

In the late 1970's, a pastor's wife shared this little gem with me and had me laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. I didn't know the source of the story and for years--nay, decades--searched for it in vain. Thanks to the internet, I've found this ridiculous tale again and, in slightly edited form, I present it here for your entertainment.

January can be such a dismal month. I recommend you read this little story aloud to a group of people and liven up everyone's spirits. Be sure to keep a serious expression and deliver this in as dry and mirthless a tone as possible.

The Wayside Chapel

Many years ago, an English gentlewoman, while traveling in Switzerland, looked at several rooms in a large boarding house with a view to renting future accommodations. She told the landlord that she would let him know about renting one of the rooms later, when her plans were more fixed. 

However, after she returned to her home in England, the thought occurred to her  that she had not noticed nor asked about the toilet, or "water closet", facilities. She thought it prudent to inquire about this important detail before making the reservation, so she immediately penned a note to the landlord to ascertain details. Being of a modest and bashful disposition, she could not bring herself to write out the words "water closet" in her letter, but used the common British terminology, "W.C.".

The Swiss landlord, who was far from being an expert in English nomenclature, did not know what the initials "W.C." meant, so he asked the parish priest, who was more knowledgeable than he, and together they decided that it must mean "Wayside Chapel."

Subsequently, the landlord sent this reply to the (doubtlessly) startled woman.

Dear Madam,

I take great pleasure in informing you that the W. C. is located seven miles from the house in the center of a beautiful grove of trees. It is capable of holding 229 people and is open on Sunday and Thursday only. I recommend that you arrive early, although there is plenty of standing room. (This is an unfortunate situation, I admit, especially if you are in the habit of going regularly.)

You will no doubt be glad to hear that a good number bring their lunch and make a day of it, while others who can afford it go by car and arrive just in time. I would especially suggest that your ladyship go on Thursday when there is social music. Acoustically, the place is excellent.

It may interest you to know that my daughter was married in the W. C., and it was there that she first met her husband. A great throng attended the occasion, and I remember the rush there was for seats.

The newest attraction is a charming little bell donated by a wealthy resident of the district. It rings joyously every time a person enters, its tinkling adding much to the friendly, informal aspect of the services. A bazaar is to be held to provide plush seats for all, since the people think it is a long-felt need. 

My wife is rather delicate and does not go regularly. Naturally, it pains her very much not to attend more often. 

If you wish, I shall be glad to reserve the best seat for you where you will be seen by all.

Hoping I have been of service to you, I remain,


Mr. -----, Landlord

(Adapted from the version found at MyCleanHumor.com.)

And I thought the weather here was crummy.

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