Stop Smoking: A Reason That May Surprise You

 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

     For whatever reason, I’ve always enjoyed visiting with older folks. Some of their stories may be a bit reckless with the truth, but they are, at the very least, entertaining. In fact, I just never know what I’m going to hear.

     Most of the time when I visit a nursing home with Star the Wonderdog, I come away with something of value. In addition, Star especially likes it as she usually finds a rogue piece of popcorn or cracker crumb lying about.

      In the senior homes, I tend to find a lot of wisdom concentrated under one roof. It’s waiting to be discovered behind all those ancient eyes. The Bible says if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God for it. Since I lack it, I ask.

     During the winter, Star and I met with some folks gathered in a hallway. One of the residents, Beth, spoke up and proclaimed her plan: “I’m going outside to smoke a cigarette. But I wish it wasn’t so cold. It’s hard for me to breathe when it’s this cold outside.”

     Another resident piped up. “You can’t breathe when it’s this cold and you try to smoke,” stated Wilma confidently. “You just can’t do it; it’s too cold to smoke and try to breathe. There’s just no way to do it.”

     I looked at Wilma. “I didn’t know you smoked.”

     “Oh, I don’t smoke. I never have. It takes too long. It takes ten minutes to smoke a cigarette. I could do a lot of things in ten minutes.”

     “You could?” I asked. “What could you do in ten minutes?”

     “Oh, lots of things,” came Wilma’s response.

     “Could you bake a cake in ten minutes?”

     “Oh sure, easy.”

     “What about bathing one of your cats that you’ve told me about?”

     Wilma thought for a long moment. “Oh. Well now, you know, cats take a bit more time. I couldn’t do that in ten minutes.”

     Well howdy.


  1. Sophia C.

    I love this! The very best entertainment in the world doesn’t happen on TV or in the movies. Normal everyday conversations between all the “normal” walks of life. I sat once waiting for my husband to come out of the grocery store (it was summer and the window was down) and I so enjoyed listening to people. The best? an elderly couple arguing hotly about a large package of toilet paper they had purchased–hmmm–maybe the best dialogue really does come from the elderly! In any case, “peoples is peoples” (I think that comes from a Muppet movie) and they are so precious.

    1. Thomas

      Hi Sophia,
      Thanks for your comment. I wish I’d written down all the off-the-wall conversations I’ve heard in the senior centers that I’ve visited over the years.

      We had barn cats when I grew up. I never did try to bathe one, which is probably for the best. I like to use all my digits when I play the guitar.

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