The Big Wheel

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by abilene, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. abilene

    abilene New Member

    Messages:
    188
    State:
    abilene, tx
    Found this in my e-mail and thought I'd share it.



    The Big Wheel
    >
    >In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and
    >just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from
    >three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never
    >been much more than a presence they feared.
    >
    >Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they
    >would scramble to hide under their beds.
    >
    >He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
    >
    >Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings,
    >but no food either.
    >
    >If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that
    >time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they
    >looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into
    >the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.
    >
    >The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our
    >small town. No luck.
    >
    >The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I
    >tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or
    >do anything. I had to have a job.
    >
    >Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of
    >town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a
    >truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.
    >
    >An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of
    >the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the
    >graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents
    >an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called the
    >teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to
    >come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her
    >pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good
    >arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
    >
    >That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we
    >all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big
    >Wheel.
    >
    >When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent
    >her home with one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averaged
    >every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my
    >meager wage.
    >
    >The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and
    >began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again
    >every morning before I could go home.
    >
    >One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and
    >found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no
    >nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up
    >residence in Indiana ? I wondered.
    >
    >I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his
    >mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me
    >a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
    >
    >I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't
    >enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys
    >for the kids.
    >
    >I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some
    >old toys. Then hid them in the basement so there would be something for
    >Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was
    >sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be
    >too far gone to repair.
    >
    >On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the
    >Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state
    >trooper named Joe.
    >
    >A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and
    >were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just
    >sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left
    >to get home before the sun came up.
    >
    >When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning,
    >to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the
    >top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's
    >side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.
    >
    >Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case
    >of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was
    >full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the
    >other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.
    >There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
    >There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was
    >hole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy
    >trucks and one beautiful little doll.
    >
    >As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the
    >most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And
    >I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious
    >morning.
    >
    >Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they
    >all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....
    >
    >THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers
    >to prayer:
    >
    >1. "Yes!"
    >2. "Not yet."
    >3. "I have something better in mind."
    >
    >God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar. You maybe going
    >through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a
    >way that you cannot imagine.
    >
     
  2. Cheryl

    Cheryl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,010
    State:
    TN
    Absolutely a fantastic message!

    Thanks Abilene. It's well worth reading. Years ago I was in a similar situation.

    I'm glad to know there are Domestic Violence safe havens now for men and women to go to if they need help. I donate every year to our local branch. The laws and help have come a long way in this area since I was younger. Some people need a place to go to escape the abuse, so remember to help out when you can!

    Thanks again for sharing.
     

  3. bud1110

    bud1110 New Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    State:
    East Texas
    Jackie,

    Thanks for posting that e-mail.. I have read it several time before, but it still brings a tear to my eye.

    It just reminds me that GOD still answers prayers...
     
  4. Swampy

    Swampy New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Fl.
    Great post brother.
     
  5. fish

    fish Active Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    ChattanoogaTenn
    Fantastic post Jackie, we really appreciate you sharing that with us buddy.