From the Desk of Don Slinger Issue 40

Fall 2001 CSANews Issue 40  |  Posted date : Apr 01, 2007.Back to list


Beth and I hope that the especially hot summer didn't cause anyone of our gang too much discomfort.

We had a pleasant surprise this summer when we received an invitation to attend a surprise combined anniversary and birthday party. Yes, we went to Tecumseh for the celebration! Maury and Mikki Laidlaw live in Clearwater, Florida, but came to Tecumseh to attend the wedding of a grandchild and the kids planned the surprise around the event.

Sixty years married and Maury turned 80! Now, I realize that these achievements have been met and surpassed by many of our members but there is a twist. Maury and I attended the MacDonald Consolidated Public School (Guelph) together and we have been friends ever since. The two celebrants met in high school and neither have had eyes for anyone else since. It was truly a day to remember and we thank Bob and Joanne Beausolier (daughter) for including us.

Most of our members are retired, but I offer the following story as a reminder ­ no matter what our age or lot in life. Call it "A Carpenter's Retirement."

An elderly carpenter had worked many years for this house-building contractor. He told the contractor that it was time to leave the house-building business and lead a more leisurely lifestyle with his wife and their extended family. He told the boss that he would miss his paycheque, but he needed to get out. He could get by with what he had.

The contractor was sorry to hear that his good worker was going to leave, but asked if he would build one more house as a favour to the boss. The carpenter agreed to do this but it soon became obvious that his heart wasn't in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior material. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter had finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said. "My gift to you for being such a wonderful employee." The carpenter was shocked. What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

And so it is with us. We build our lives a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with shock, we realize we have to live in the house that we built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. You can't go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board or erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone said. Your attitude and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. Build wisely - work like you don't need the money - love like you've never been hurt and dance like nobody's watching!

Here's a change of pace. A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather and jeans.

St. Peter addresses this guy. "Who are you so that I may know whether or not to admit you to The Kingdom of Heaven?" The guy replies, "I'm Joe Cohen, taxi driver in NOO Yawk City." St Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi driver, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter The Kingdom."

Next, it's the minister's turn. He stands erect and booms out, "I'm Joseph Snow, pastor of St. Mary's for the last 43 years." St. Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter The Kingdom." "Just a minute," says the minister. "That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and a golden staff. How can that be?" "Up here, we work by results," says St. Peter. "While you preached, people slept. While he drove, people prayed."

And finally, we recognize a higher intelligence. AT&T fired President John Walter only nine months into the job, saying that he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a 26-million-dollar severance package. Who said Walter lacked intelligence?

God Bless!