Hello and good day!
An eleven-year-old boy walks into a country schoolhouse. He is barefoot, wearing tattered clothes, and covered in grime from head to toe. Despite his ratty appearance, he has a quiet confidence and a noble gait.
The teacher signals for him to sit up front in a wooden pew with a flimsy wooden desk pushed up to it. He walks down the aisle, through rows of staring whispering children.
The other kids know of him.
He's the poor boy who lives alone on an abandoned corn farm with his drunken father.
They see him from time to time on their way home from school, out there on his farm, picking corn or pumping water from the well, all by himself.
The boy sits and rests his arms on the wooden table.
He's determined to learn as quickly as possible what he needs to know to run away from home and start a new life somewhere else.
The teacher turns and begins to write loudly, banging a stick of chalk on the blackboard.
Two rows back from the boy is a fiery, beautiful young lady with wavy light brown hair that hangs down to her shoulders.
She carries a hollowed out stick in her book bag.
While the teacher is turned around and preoccupied, she pulls out the stick and rips a corner from a sheet of paper in her notebook. She puts the paper in her mouth and works it into a ball between her tongue and teeth.
She closes one eye and squints with the other, lining up her aim to shoot at the boy she likes. Her target is the back of his neck, because he'll feel it there and then he'll turn around to look at her and she can smile at him tauntingly.
She takes a deep, silent breath and blows through the stick, shooting the spit wad at her victim. The small paper ball is immediately off course.
It flies by the ear of the intended boy and keeps going until it strikes the new boy on his dirty neck. He feels the soft sting and reaches back to wipe away the wad.
When he looks at the small paper ball in the palm of his hand, he figures that he is being made fun off. He looks back to see which boy he will have to rough up on the way home from school, but nobody is looking at him.
He turns to look again and this time he sees her, with her body hunched over the table, laying low, her eyes rolled up in an attempt to look at him in secret.
Their eyes meet. A shiver runs through him. She is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.
At recess time, the teacher dismisses the class.
Most of the students burst through the schoolroom door and out into the yard, but she stays behind to arrange her book bag.
He waits for her next to the door. When she walks by, she sees him.
She is about to say that she is sorry, that the shot wasn't meant for him, but he speaks first.
"What's a pretty girl like you doing shooting spit wads?" he asks.
Even in his ragged clothes, he looks handsome and debonair in that moment, his thick dark hair brushed back, his olive skin bronzed from living his life outdoors, his jaw sharp, even though the rest of his face is round, his bottomless brown eyes so deep that she feels herself becoming lost in them.
She sees him as he would be if he had been born into a different life.
"You think I'm pretty?" she asks.
"Prettiest girl I've ever seen," he says.
He says it straight and simple and honest.
She can feel the words go inside her, in her throat, blocking her breath, and in her chest, making her heart speed up.
Her face blushes and becomes hot.
Her legs swoon and turn soft.
It's the first time a boy ever told her that she was pretty.
The teacher looks up and tells the two youngsters to head outside. Its her breaktime too.
Outside, the boy sits alone on a bench in the shade, up next to the schoolhouse wall. Nobody asks him to play, and he doesn't mind because he's not used to playing anyhow.She joins a group of girls who are skipping rope.
The boy and girl go steady from that time forward.
The boy drops out of school and starts working in a lumber yard two years later. The girl goes on to graduate from college and becomes a banker.
They move away from their hometown, start a family, and live happily ever after.
Even if you don't believe in the bible, or God, or aren't religious in any way, you still must acknowledge the great wisdom in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
When times are good, it is healthy to plan for possible hard times ahead.
This helps us avoid hubris and naivete.
When times are bad, it is healthy to remember that good times always come around again.
This gives us optimism in the face of hardship.
I love hearing love stories.
Falling in love, if one is fortunate enough to fall in love, is a time of pure optimism.
The future stretches out in front of you, full of nothing but wonderful possibilities.
Even in times of war and darkness, people still find a way to fall for one another.
Love stories are always unfolding, all around us at all times, and remembering that is a nice way to lift your spirits if your spirits need lifting.
And now a very strained segue.
What King Solomon forgot to mention is that there is also a time for putting new Fortunato Chocolate products online.
I am very proud to announce that our delicious Caramel Peanut Milk Chocolate Bars are now up on our website.
Our goal here was to make an alternative to a Snickers bar.
I don't want to brag, but we've succeeded.
This is a very, very popular item in our shops.
We make the caramel from scratch, using honey instead of corn syrup, and we make it fresh with no preservatives.
Our Fortunato No. 4 36% milk chocolate is rich and smooth.
The milk chocolate in a Snickers bar has roughly 10% cacao content.
Ours has 36% cacao content and is made by a 120-year-old Swiss chocolate manufacturer. Believe me, the Swiss know how to make great milk chocolate and at 36% you can taste the lovely cacao notes from the pure Nacional cacao we use in all of our chocolate.
The real key to this bar is the peanuts.
When you are using caramel and milk chocolate, you need to go heavy on the peanuts to soak up some of the sweetness and avoid completely blowing out your palate with sugar.
These bars are packed with peanuts, which give a great texture in addition to balancing out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
The merest touch of sea salt ties it all together.
I've been working my way through a bag of these scrumptious bars over the last couple of days in preparation for this email.
I tell you in all sincerity that if you like milk chocolate and caramel, you will love these. To pick up a bag, simply click the link below.
And remember that love never disappears from the world.
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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