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Monday, October 14, 2019

Away until October 24

Since the first "crumb of comfort" was posted in 2004, readership has grown. The blog now has over 2,000 page views each month, mostly from readers in the United States and Russia, but also France, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and South Korea. During five years, the blog archives has accumulated 1,831 crumbs, which can be easily accessed by date. If the archive grows much bigger, we may need to change the name to "Muffins of Comfort." Now it's time for a short pause. New crumbs will resume October 24. Until then, why not scan through the archives and share favorites with friends.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Here comes the spud patrol!

Idaho is known for its potatoes, and a surprise cold snap recently put the current harvest in jeopardy. While mosts farmers were able to collect their potatoes before the big freeze ruined them, one farmer in the town of Hamer wasn't able to take in all his crop in time.

In response, other farmers send their workers and "a ton of members of the community" showed up to save his hard-earned spuds. For example, a neighboring farmer named Jason Larson send about 25 employees. He estimates the full convoy of trucks from the community included nine harvesters. When the work was done, fellow farmers were able to save several hundred thousand dollars worth of potatoes. "There really wasn't a second thought about it" said Larson.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The parachute wedding dress

Maj. Claude Hensinger was a B-29 pilot over China in WWII. In August, 1944, one of his engines caught fire and he had to eject from the plane. His parachute helped him land safely and provided a blanket and pillow until daylight. After the war, he returned safely to the U.S. and settled in his native Pennsylvania, bringing the parachute with him. As a civilian, he decided to look up his childhood friend Ruth. They courted, but when he kneeled to propose, he didn't give her a ring. He gave her his parachute.


Since it saved his life in wartime, he asked Ruth to make a wedding dress out of it.  Ruth was unsure what to do with the massive yardage of nylon, until inspiration hit her. She hired a seamstress to sew the bodice and veil. Then she designed and created the skirt from the parachute, using parachute cords to create ruching all around the skirt. Claude married Ruth in the Lutheran church in Neffs, Pennsylvania, on July 19, 1947, getting his first glimpse of the gown as she walked down the aisle. It was later worn by both their daughter, and their son's bride, and is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution as a significant item in American history.

Friday, October 11, 2019

It's love at first sight

An foundation called Canine Cell Mates runs a program with the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia. Shelter dogs are cared for and trained by inmates for a period of two months.  The dogs mean the world to their temporary owners. Afterward, the chance of these well-trained dogs finding a home increases considerably.


Inmate handlers receive many benefits too. They learn responsibility by caring for a dog. They learn accountability in working towards a goal, and they experience the joy of unconditional love. The incidents of violent outbursts has shown a dramatic decline, and recidivism rates have shown a drastic improvement.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Last will and testament

Dennis Valstad (shown here) lived in Wisconsin. He owned a small dry-cleaning business and never got married or had kids. A few months ago he passed away at age 69. Nobody thought he was rich, but over the years, he'd saved half-a-million dollars. Then he got creative with his will.


He secretly wrote in his will that all half-a-million dollars would be divided equally to whoever showed up for his funeral. He didn't have a lot of close friends, so he figured it wouldn't be a large turnout. But over the years, he'd been extremely kind and generous to everyone he knew, and he underestimated how many people cared for him. In the end, 270 people showed up to pay their respects. Recently each mourner got a letter in the mail to let them know they were getting $1,800.

Homecoming proposal makes students cheer

In Altamonte Springs, Florida, two high school sweethearts got their whole class cheering with a beautiful homecoming proposal. David Cowan and Saris Garcia have been friends since they each were three years old. The teens both have Down Syndrome and first met in a speech therapy class, Now they are now upperclassmen at Lake Brantley High School.

As Garcia was performing a cheer routine at a recent football game, Cowan surprised her on the field with flowers, balloons, and of course the biggest question of the night! Video of their sweet moment has been viewed millions of times, and their parents say they're overwhelmed by everyone's support and well-wishes. (She said "yes.")

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Does anyone remember Charles Atlas?

Sometimes we're just in the right place at the right time. Not long ago, Lora Clark and her 16-year-old son Zac were in the front yard of their Butler, Ohio, home doing some gardening, until they heard a neighbor lady call out for help. Without hesitation, they both ran to her house where they found her husband (who wishes to remain anonymous) pinned underneath their Volkswagen Passat.


"I guess the jack broke. All I could see was his legs and he was struggling," said Zac. His mother added, "The car was pressing on his head and crushing his ribs." She felt there was no way they could lift the car, but Zac wouldn't give up. Positioning himself at the front near the hood, he managed to lift the car long enough for his mom and the neighbor's wife to pull him out from underneath. He was pretty messed up, but the doctors told Zac, "If you weren't there, he'd be dead." Zac said, "I just thank God for giving me the strength  to do that."