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The Bear
Gateway, a very small, friendly,
harmonious in attitude town,
with a climate having all of the
necessary qualities needed to grow delicious,
mouth watering fruit. Bear agrees.
A black bear¡¯s diet consists of twigs, roots,
leaves, nuts, corn, berries, honey, grubs,
beetles, fish, small to medium size mammals
(ie. squirrels) and FRUIT. Their vision is poor,
but their sense of smell is keen.
Bear can be dangerous when surprised by the
sudden presence of humans, when approached
while eating or when accompanied by cubs.
Their running speed is 30 mph, and they do
climb trees.
In the mist of my memories an example stands
Several years ago, a man who resided in Gun-
nison, Colorado, out for his usual morning run,
was surprised by a black bear and climbed the
tree nearest him. Unfortunately, a bear cub
had already taken possession of said tree.
Apparently the sow (female bear) climbed
up after the man and, seizing his foot in her
mouth, brought him down far enough and swift
enough to cause the man¡¯s demise.
A couple of weeks ago my mind, full of dreams,
was interrupted by the neighbor¡¯s dogs bark-
ing, barking and barking. At six that following
morning they were still barking.
As I lay curled under the quilt, a strong acid
odor drifted through the bedroom window
screens. At first, I thought there was a skunk
nearby agitating the dogs, but then decided
that the odor was different than that.
Getting up, I was halfway through a cup of cof-
fee when I was startled by a very loud ¡®thump¡¯
sound. Then silence, broken by a tiny bird
making a little song. Peering out of the kitchen
window, I saw the neighbors surveying the
damage to an immense Cottonwood tree lying
on the ground.
There were tracks, fresh tracks around the
felled tree. The tracks led to the bridge across
a slow southern flowing stream. Halfway across
the bridge, the bear had paused to relieve
It was believed that the tree limb, that bear
had stretched out on to take a nap, had been
unable to support his weight, thereby breaking
and bringing down the tree.
Bear returned the next night to harvest all
of the peaches on the other neighbor¡¯s little
peach tree.
Bear has been seen several other times
throughout town. Belief is that bear weighs
450 lbs. He also sports two green ear tags.
He has been moved away from this area two
times, hence the two ear tags. One more time
and he is out. It will be death by firing squad
for him.
As early morning gets light, I think of bear...
go away bear, go away while you still can.
Bear lumbers out
from pines long
reaching fingers to
walk in the meadow. - K
The most important body part
My mother used to ask me, ¡°What is the most
important part of the body?¡±
Through the years, I would take a guess at what
I thought was the correct answer.
When I was younger, I thought sound was very
important to us as humans, so I said, ¡°My ears,
She said, ¡°No. Many people are deaf. But you
keep thinking about it and I will ask you again
Several years passed before she asked me again.
This time I told her, ¡°Mommy, sight is very impor-
tant to everybody, so it must be our eyes.¡±
She looked at me and told me, ¡°You are learning
fast, but the answer is not correct because there
are many people who are blind.¡±
Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowl-
Over the years, Mother asked me a couple more
times and always her answer was, ¡°No, but you
are getting smarter every year my child.¡±
Then last year, my grandpa died.
Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even
my father cried. I remember that especially be-
cause it was only the second time I saw him cry.
My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to
say our final good-bye to Grandpa.
She asked me, ¡°Do you know the most important
body part yet, my dear?¡±
I was shocked when she asked me this now.
I always thought this was some type of game
between us.
She saw the confusion on my face and told me,
¡°This question is very important. It shows that
you have really lived in your life. Today is the day
you need to learn this important lesson.¡±
She looked at me as only a mother can. I saw
her eyes well up with tears.
She said, ¡°The most important body part is your
shoulder.¡± And then she leaned her head on my
shoulder and cried.
Then and there, I knew that the most important
body part is not a selfish one.
It is one that is supportive and sympathetic to
the pain of others.
So I got out to see if she was okay. When I
got there, it looked more like she had been
overcome by sobs than that she had fallen.
She was a young woman who looked really
haggard with dark circles under her eyes.
She dropped something as I helped her up,
and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a
At that moment, everything came into focus
for me: the crying woman, the ancient Sub-
urban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in
the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump
reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed
help, but she just kept saying ¡°I don¡¯t want
my kids to see me crying.¡±
So we stood on the other side of the pump
from her car. She said she was driving to Cali-
fornia and that things were very hard for her
right now.
So, I asked, ¡°And you were praying?¡±
That made her back away from me a little, but
I assured her I was not a crazy person and
said, ¡°He heard you, and He sent me.¡±
I took out my card and swiped it through the
The Reading Room 2019 October/November
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Treasures From The Inbox
If you get email, you
get stuff. Sometimes
it is spam, sometimes
it is a true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
card reader on the pump so she could fill up her
car completely, and while it was fueling, walked
to the next door McDonald¡¯s and bought 2 big
bags of food, some gift certificates for more,
and a big cup of coffee.
She gave the food to the kids in the car who at-
tacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump
eating fries and talking a little.
She told me her name and that she lived near-
by. Her husband passed on several months ago,
and she had not been able to make ends meet.
She knew she wouldn¡¯t have money to pay the
rent January 1st, and finally, in desperation,
had called her parents, with whom she had not
spoken in about 5 years.
They lived in California and said she could come
live with them and try to get on her feet there.
So she packed up everything she owned in the
car. She told the kids they were going to Califor-
nia for Thanksgiving, but not yet that they were
going to live there.
I gave her my gloves and a little hug and said a
quick prayer with her for safety on the road.
As I was walking over to my car, she said, ¡°So,
are you like an angel or something?¡±
This definitely gave me a huge smile.
I said, ¡°Sweetie, at this time of year, angels
are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular
It was so incredible to be a part of someone
else¡¯s miracle.
And of course, when I got in my car, it started
right away and got me home with no problem.
I¡¯ll put it in the shop tomorrow for a check, but
I suspect the mechanic won¡¯t find anything
Positively Karen
The Highway Angel
I was driving home from a work when my car
started to choke and sputter and died.
I barely managed to coast, cruising, into a gas
station, glad only that I would not be blocking
traffic on the highway and would have a some-
what warm spot to wait for the tow truck. The
engine wouldn¡¯t even turn over.
Before I could make the call, I saw a woman
walking out of the ¡°quickie mart¡± building, and it
looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a
gas pump!
¡°The miracle is this,
the more we share, the
more we have.¡±
- Leonard Nimoy