Winter was only one season away. Tornado watches were in effect. For the past three nights the small town of Dwaynesville has been suffering from severe wind storms. Homes have been destroyed, crops have been damaged and traveling has been brought to a stand still. About two miles outside of the town is a small cottage surrounded by a wheat field that covers approximately 25 acres of land. The field is the Smiley family's only form of income. The windstorms have damaged their crop tremendously. Very little money was made during the open crop season. The Smiley family was on the edge of starvation. For the past two weeks they have been eating wheat cakes and rice. The father, Lindberg Smiley decided to go into town to find a job. Due to the windstorms, businesses in town were also suffering. Lindberg searched for work in almost every store in town. Each store owner gave him the same answer, with the same reason. Business was just too slow for anyone to afford help. The last place remaining to try was the Women Accessories store at the end of town. The thought of even entering into this store brought about anxiety for Lindberg. Lindberg got the shivers if his wife would even think about asking him to take her underwear out of the dryer. I guess you can say that he had a severe case of Fem-wear-fobia. Unwillingly he walked into the store. After all, this was a matter of his family's survival. The store's manager, Viola Stewart was very welcoming. When she asked if there was anything that she could help him with, he began to stammer. Lindberg could not get the words, "I need a job, can you help me", out of his mouth. Finally he decided to write it down. The store owner found it to be so hilarious that she began laughing hysterically. Viola has known Linberg's wife Leanna for many years. Leanna spoke often about Lindbergs's Fem-wear-fobia. Viola found it to be entertaining to finally see this fobia in action. Finally she stopped laughing and apologized for her actions. She also said that she was sorry, but presently she could not afford any assistance. As he turned to walk out of the store, Viola yelled,"Wait a minute, I do have a delivery that has to reach Brandonsville, North Dahota by noon tomorrow. Do you have a drivers license?". Lindberg said, "Yes, what time do you want me to leave?". Viola said, "As soon as possible and I will pay you seventy five dollars to make the delivery".
Lindberg used the store's truck that was located in the rear of the store to make the delivery. As Lindberg proceeded to make the delivery there was a sigh of relief that settled in his heart. At least he would be able to provide his family with food for a period of time. Hours passed and there were several more storms scheduled to come. Approximately 1 hour drive outside of Brandonsville, Lindberg could see dark clouds approaching his direction. On the radio there were broadcasts indicating that severe storms were traveling south toward Brandonsville. Lindberg figured that if he picked up speed , he might be able to beat the storm and make the delivery before it ever reaches Brandonsville. Unfortunately the storm was moving faster than he had considered. The road became dark and covered with green fog. The winds speed began to increase. It felt almost as though the truck was gliding on air. At an instance the truck began to sway out of control. Lindberg panicked, this was not how he expected his day to end. Suddenly the truck began to rise and spin around in circles. A tornado had arrived and Lindberg was snatched into the center of the storm's funnel.
Thoughts of his family was all that crossed Lindberg's mind. What would they do to survive? Who would be a father to his children and a husband to his wife? Where would they get their next meal? The thoughts were overwhelming and heart breaking. Lindberg awaited the impact of hitting the ground. He just knew that the car would explode upon impact. He began to pray and beg God for help. Several minutes later the truck was launched into a lake. As the car began to fill with water, Lindberg climbed out of the car's window and swam to safety. The truck sank and the accessories were ruined.
When Viola was notified of the accident she became frantic. This was not a good time for her to lose inventory. The business was already losing money due to the slow down of the economy. After calming down she called a tow truck to retrieve the store's vehicle from the lake. Two days later, the truck, its damaged goods and Lindberg were all returned to the accessories store in Dwaynesville. Viola informed Lindberg that she could only give him some of the money that she had promised. She was depending on the delivery to earn the bulk of his payment. What she could give him was a few articles of women's apparel as a gift for his wife Leanna. Lindberg accepted her offer, told her thanks and went home.
As he entered the door of his family's home he was astonished. He backed up and looked at the address a second time, as though he was in the wrong home. His children were eating, his wife was smiling and neighbors were gathered in his living room while speaking to TV news reporters. A reporter walked up to him and said, "Mr. Smiley, how does it feel to have won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?" Lindberg was speechless. He had never won anything in his entire life. This is not counting the frog jumping contest with Billy Banner in the third grade. He began to stammer again as he asked, " How much money have we won Leanna?"Twenty million dollars spilled out of Leanna's mouth as she spoke. Lindberg handed her the package from the Women's Accessories store and began dancing around the room singing, "Happy days are here again. Only in America, only, in America!".....
Only in America
"Successful people use their strength by recognizing, developing and utilizing the talents of others".
~ Zig Ziglar
Where possibility encourages greatness....
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