Back when I was a boy

An Old Man With a Gift

When I was a youngster, an old man that was staying with my neighbor, Mrs. Matthews,

A Kind Old Man

A Kind Old Man

next door, told me to come up to the fence. I was a little apprehensive when approaching the man. In some ways to me, he was different. But I decided to go up to the fence. I knew I had the fence between me and the man.There he handed me a brand-new baseball glove and a softball.

I couldn’t believe it. I received very few gifts for Christmas and none for my birthday and I didn’t expect a gift from across the fence. I was so excited I could hardly run fast enough into the house to show off my new glove and my new ball.

The glove and the ball were very inexpensive and they did last very long. What has lasted always years, at least 75 years, is the memory of that kind old man who would think to give the poor kid living next door a gift.I still picture that event vividly in my mind.

The ball and glove didn't last long.

The ball and glove didn’t last long.

I know he had to go out of his way to find this gift for me. I knew that he didn’t have a lot of money to spend on the gift. That didn’t matter at all, the cost of the gift. What mattered was his kindness. I hope to see him again in the not too far future. When I find him, I will thank him again.

It’s not the gift itself

You can see that it’s not the gift itself that matters. As they say, it’s the thought behind it that counts.

There are a lot of philanthropists in this world who give billions for the benefit of mankind around our globe. It is easy for them to give because they have so much wealth. It is harder for a poor person to give a gift to another poor person.

Sometimes all we can give is our love. That is often enough.


What Does Easter Mean to You?

Jesus Christ of Nazareth

Jesus Christ of Nazareth

Some 2000 years ago, an itinerant preacher named Jesus Christ caused a ruckus at the temple in Jerusalem, driving money changers and sellers of thousands, etc., from the temple grounds. He whipped them with a thorny bush as he sent them running. He said that they had desecrated his father’s house.

Shortly there after he was tried and sentenced to death. A crown of thorns was placed on his head and he was severely beaten. Then he was required to carry a cross to a hill called Calvary. He was not able to do it so another person was selected. On Calvary he was crucified along with two other men convicted of crimes.

The Roman soldiers placed a sign saying that here was the King of the Jews. The Jewish leaders tried to get them to take the sign down but they refused. It was reported that there was a tremendous earthquake when Jesus died and that it rent the cloth in the temple.

After that event, there were a number of reports that Jesus Christ was resurrected and that he appeared to a number of people.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They look to his return which he predicted. Christians believe that Jesus Christ atoned for their sins at Gethsemane.

Sometimes with chocolate bunny rabbits and many colored Easter eggs, we forget what Easter is all about. There is a story that just before Peter was killed by the Romans, his wife and two daughters were killed. As his wife passed his dungeon, he said, “Oh there! Remember the Lord!”

We Christians should remember our Lord on Easter day.


A Gift of the Heart

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memoryIt’s the Memory that Counts

If we receive a gift of candy, it is soon consumed by those around us. You’re lucky to get one piece. If you receive fresh flowers, they soon wilt and are tossed in the garbage can. Other gifts break or get lost. The gift of love from the heart is much more durable and may last through the eternities. Even though candy is consumed, and flowers disappear on the garbage truck, the giver will be remembered for his or her thoughtfulness.

The most copied photo of the Great Depression

The most copied photo of the Great Depression

Now, Back in the Good Old Days!

When I was a kid, we could take Valentines to school and put them in a box at the front of the room. They were addressed to a certain student. I remember that when they were passed out on Valentine’s Day, that the most popular kids receive tons of Valentines while those of us who were not so popular, got three or four if we were lucky.

Each valentine had a little saying of on it. You know, roses are red violets are blue… If you are lucky you got one of those 8 x 11 Valentines that was very funny. It was probably as insulting as all get out, but that was the valentine that you passed around for everyone to see. You held a person that sent it to you and I regard, a good friend.

Such Valentines are usually not gifts of the heart. A gift of the heart is something that you give of yourself.

Pat and John Jones, Buhl, Idaho

Pat and John Jones, Buhl, Idaho

The Great Poet

I use to write poems to my wife on her birthday or on Mother’s Day. There I poured out my soul to my wife. I would still be writing them but she doesn’t understand such things anymore. Here is what I wrote one time:

Adam Said
John Taylor Jones

For Mother’s Day
Saturday, May 8, 1999

Adam said, Eve my dear,
You’ve eaten the forbidden fruit.
She looked at him and answered back,
Yes, I’m getting the boot.

He said to her, Eve my dear,
I like your skin and hair,
And I get a little tingle
When with those eyes you stare.

She said to him, I’ll miss you so
When Father kicks me out.
Now don’t you ever think of me;
Never give a pout.

He answered back with some regret,
I’ll dearly miss you too,
If I didn’t have a lot more ribs
I’m sure with you I’d go.

That’s right, she said,
You do have ribs a plenty more to spare,
But won’t you miss this little rib?
Won’t you miss my stare?

She stared at him, he looked away,
Then rubbed his perfect tummy,
You know, he said, I have a pain,
I’m really getting hungry.

She bid him come and sat him down,
And put his lunch before him.
He ate the fruit and felt real good,
“I’m going with you, honey!”

The End

Some times you can just make something for another person. I have ready two landscapes of Alaska to send to my grandson and son who went to Alaska with me a year a go last August. They can hang on the wall and look at it for a long time, a lasting gift. I have given my son in Michigan several paintings to hang on his office walls so that his patients can look at them when they come to see him. He says his patients enjoy those painting, patients with serious conditions, sometimes life-threatening.

If we pick flowers from our gardens and take them to our neighbors, it’s true that the flowers will wilt. But our neighbors will never forget that we brought flowers. They are a gift of the heart because we went out of our way to bring joy into someone else’s life.

If you give someone a pendant or a ring, carefully chosen, it will be meaningful to them and they will wear it and remember that you gave it to them. Yes, even a purchased gift can be a gift from the heart.


Valentine’s Day Gifts for Ladies
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Men

Valentine Gifts Her

My Sweetheart Gifts

My Sweetheart Gifts

Whdiamondat Should I Get Her for Valentine Day?

Traditional Valentine gifts for her are jewelry, flowers and candy. But what if she is a lumberjack? She might prefer a chain saw. This year Valentine’s Day is Saturday, February 14, 2015.

I Feel Poetic

Valentine’s Day Dilemma
John Taylor Jones

I know it’s only January,
But I like to fret.
It’s already the seventh,
And I don’t know yet
What to get her for Valentine’s day,
A mink or a jet?

It won’t be a mink!
It won’t be a jet!
Maybe a horse.
Maybe a house.
It will not be those either,
I’m as poor as a mouse.

I know what I’ll do,
This penniless soul,
I’ll make her a gift
From a branch of my dead oak tree,
I’ll just cut and plane
And shape it, you’ll see.

I’ll make her a paddle
To row up the creek.
She has an old kayak,
She’ll think that is neat.

Or maybe a rocker
To put on her porch.
She can drink lemonade;
Summer’s sun here can scorch.

But I was thinking of something else
That I’m sure she would like.
I’ll carve a wooden seat
For her rusty old bike.

Yes, that is it!
I’ll paint that old bike.
With the new wooden seat,
She surely will like.

So you see why I start early
On her Valentine’s Day gift.
I need gas for my chainsaw.
Can you give me a lift?

The End

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Gifts of the Heart

The most copied photo of the Great Depression

The most copied photo of the Great Depression

Gifts of the Heart
John Taylor Jones
December 31, 2014

We give gifts at Christmas
Because that is what we do.
But some do not give material things,
They are not that well-to- do.

The poorest mother
With her children in rags
Still gives her gift of love.
That gift comes from God above,
So that is what she does.

Material gifts without the love
Have value not long lasting.
Kindly love to needy souls
Is always everlasting.

Think not about material things.
Think mainly of each other.
Daily share your gift of love,
Love eternal and long lasting,
With friends and family,
Even strangers on the street.
Such love will spread
Throughout our land.
Now wouldn’t that be sweet?

The End