Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul: Heartwarming Stories for People 60 and Over

Overview

Do you remember when the milkman delivered and TV was a test pattern and a snowy channel? When Fibber McGee and Molly captured your imagination on Monday-night radio and cars had rumble seats and running boards? Then you are a golden soul, someone rich with experience who can embrace life with more freedom and perspective than you ever had when you were younger.

Through touching, entertaining and inspiring stories, this latest Chicken Soup collection shares the stories of people...

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Overview

Do you remember when the milkman delivered and TV was a test pattern and a snowy channel? When Fibber McGee and Molly captured your imagination on Monday-night radio and cars had rumble seats and running boards? Then you are a golden soul, someone rich with experience who can embrace life with more freedom and perspective than you ever had when you were younger.

Through touching, entertaining and inspiring stories, this latest Chicken Soup collection shares the stories of people sixty and over who are redefining the expression "better with age" by greeting life's joys and challenges with grace, vibrancy and a positive attitude. Chapters include: Staying Young at Heart, Living Your Dream, On Overcoming, Reminiscing, On Love, Sharing with Others and Ageless Wisdom.

Although especially written for those sixty and over, each story conveys timeless truths about how anyone can live with maximum meaning and enjoyment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558747258
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/27/2000
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 350

Meet the Author

JACK CANFIELD and MARK VICTOR HANSEN, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others. Canfield and Hansen are based out of Santa Barbara, California and Newport Beach, California, respectively.

JACK CANFIELD and MARK VICTOR HANSEN, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others. Canfield and Hansen are based out of Santa Barbara, California and Newport Beach, California, respectively.

PAUL J. MEYER, a celebrated leader of the multibillion-dollar self-improvement industry that he founded nearly forty years ago, has devoted his career to helping others develop and use their potential for achievement. Today, his worldwide enterprises include Success Motivation Institute, Inc., Success Motivation International, Inc., Leadership Management, Inc., and Leadership Management International, Inc. Over the past three decades, he has created more than twenty full-length programs on topics ranging from goal setting to leadership to time management, and much more. He is the author of Bridging the Leadership Gap and I Inherited a Fortune! and the subject of two biographies, The Story of Paul J. Meyer and Paul J. Meyer and the Art of Giving.

BARBARA RUSSELL CHESSER, PH.D., is president of Success Motivation, Inc., a Waco, Texas-based research and development company that is part of a global enterprise of more than forty companies. A contributor to the Journal of Religion and Reader's Digest, she is also the author of 21 Myths That Can Wreck Your Marriage and Because You Care: Practical Ideas for Helping Those Who Care and the coauthor of Fatal Moments. Such publications as the Dictionary of International Biography, Who's Who in Community Leaders and the World Who's Who of Women have recognized her contributions.

AMY SEEGER vice president of Success Motivation, Inc., is an integral part of the worldwide Meyer Family Enterprises organizations, which are leaders in the field of personal and professional development. She combines strong business skills with a personal dedication to helping others, and has always been inspired by people who embrace and enjoy the gifts of their golden years.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Kathleen's Piano

Faith makes the discords of the present the harmonies of the future.

&#151Robert Collyer

One cold December morning some years back, my husband, Mark, and I were driving to the airport, headed to the West Coast to speak at a medical convention. As we voiced our anticipation of warm weather and the excitement of the big city, Mark dashed into a convenience mart to purchase some last-minute items. He returned with a small brown package in his hand and a shivering elderly lady at his side.

What a contrast they were — Mark in a gray wool pinstriped suit and the stranger clothed in a green polyester coat with two missing buttons and a stain on the front. Her half-frozen toes peeked out from time worn sandals.

As the determined lady struggled into the back seat of the car, she flashed a tender smile my way. "My name's Kathleen," she announced boldly. I understand you folks are headed down Kentucky way.ö

Her husband, it turned out, was a patient at a nearby nursing home, and was not expected to survive through the Christmas holidays. The two had married late in life, never had any children, and when their small monthly allotment dwindled, Kathleen often hitched a ride to the nursing home. Like so many Appalachian women of her generation, Kathleen was fiercely independent&#151a survivor. She usually stayed at the nursing home all day, for even though her husband was in a hopeless coma, the facility was warm, the food was great, and there was a piano in the day room where she could while away the hours and her cares at the keyboard.

As we approached the small, brick convalescent center, I remembered the calling cards in my briefcase. I handed my ivory linen card to Kathleen. ôDon't hesitate to call us if we can ever give you a lift to the nursing home," I said. Kathleen smiled, thanked us for the ride, then confronted the unyielding wind, her thin coat blowing wildly.

When we returned home after our trip, baking, buying gifts and an endless array of holiday errands consumed our days. Kathleen called a couple of times to chat, but it wasn't until Christmas that our paths actually crossed again.

ôDid you take Kathleen anything for Christmas?" Mark asked late Christmas night. How could I have forgotten?

We scurried about the house gathering some remnants of Christmas for Kathleen. As we approached her tiny frame residence, the porch light was still burning. We rang the doorbell and waited. Soon, Kathleen opened the door and invited us in, saying she just knew we were coming for Christmas.

As we stepped inside the living room, our eyes took I Kathleen's short-sleeved cotton dress, the tattered sofa and chair, and rugs taped around each window to protect her from the harsh weather. A bare bulb dangled from d ceiling wire, scarcely lighting the room.

ôThis is 'Honey.' She's an alley cat plus a better breed,ö Kathleen announced, stroking the animal's soft yellow fur. "And Honey and I have a special present for you." Kathleen picked up a xylophone and methodically plunked out ôWe Wish You a Merry Christmas" on its rusted, paint-chipped keys. ôI found this for a quarter last summer at a rummage sale," she said proudly,ö and I've been saving it for just the right occasion.

ôDo you have a piano?" Kathleen quizzed. I nodded, feeling uncomfortable about the grand piano in our living room at home and the nice clothes in our closet. Christmas was nearly over, and in my busyness I hadn't even played a Christmas carol. In our pursuit of the things money could buy, it seemed we had overlooked many of the things it couldn't buy.

ôCould you... would you go home and play 'Silent Night'? You could hold the telephone next to your piano, and I could celebrate Christmas one more time," Kathleen pleaded. Then she shared with us her dream of finding a piano, preferably an old upright model like she'd played as a child. She had little money, but she had faith that God would send one her way.

After the holidays, I combed the classifieds in hopes of buying a used piano for Kathleen. It became apparent, though, that all the bargains had been snatched up by the area piano dealers. I tried to compensate with other small gifts&#151a pretty blouse, an African violet, a tin of talcum powder.

On Valentine's Day, Kathleen hardly noticed the chocolates I bought her. ôMy piano will be here soonö she insisted. And, throughout the winter, Kathleen's faith intensified. Her strong faith in the midst of poverty was an unsettling paradox; it amazed me, yet amused me.

But later that spring, something wonderful happened, and Mark and I dropped by to tell Kathleen about it. Some family members had sold their home and were moving. The new owner's sole request was that the heavy upright piano in the basement be removed from the premises. Soon.

ôCan you think of anyone who could use that old relic?" they had asked. It's theirs if they move it." Could we ever!

Kathleen ran to meet us when she spotted our car. ôMy piano... it's coming...I had a dream last night. It's coming from a little town I've never heard of near Point Pleasant, West Virginia," she squealed.

ôGodÆs not too far offö Mark mumbled, maintaining a reserved amazement for God's handiwork. The piano was indeed located in a tiny, postage-stamp-sized town only thirty miles from Point Pleasant.

Mark and I could hardly contain our joy. Kathleen was baffled&#151not that a piano was coming, but that we were surprised. For she had been joyfully expectant since Christmas night, when she put her faith into action. ôI've been playing my piano already in my mind," she explained. ôWithout faith, we can't please God, you know.ö

And ever since the massive, oak upright was rolled into Kathleen's living room, music hasn't stopped flowing. Artistic expression hasn't been limited by her advancing age or glaucoma. Kathleen's husband has since passed away. But music&#151be it the classics, roaring-twenties tunes or gospel songs recalled from childhood tent meetings-connects Kathleen with the world. She accompanies the congregation at her neighborhood church and joined a senior citizens' band. Kathleen doesn't read music, but she beautifully reproduces what she hears.

Before I met Kathleen, I understood faith in my mind; now I understand it in my heart. For as with all acts of faith, Kathleen's miracle happened not when she received, but the moment she first believed.

Submitted by Roberta L. Messner


¬ 1992 Roberta L. Messner. Reprinted with permission from Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Paul J. Meyer, Barbara Russell Chesser, Amy Seeger. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xix
Share with Us xxi
1. Staying Young At Heart
Risky Business 2
Prettier Than Freckles 6
Time Out 8
The Age of Mystique 9
Strike Out or Home Run? 11
The Long Ride 14
Annual Checkup 18
Daily Prayer 22
2. Sharing with others
The Rich Family 25
The Secret Benefactor 29
They Call Me "The Umbrella Lady" 33
One Stitch at a Time 38
A Million-Dollar Smile 41
Uncle Li and Sarah Wong 45
Greater Than a Super Bowl 51
3. Across the Generations
The Inventive Generation 57
Love Is a Grandparent 58
Kids on Grandparents 61
All in the Family 63
Change of Heart 65
Message on an Unmailed Postcard 68
Minimaxims for My Godson 72
Help for the Helper 78
These Things I Wish for You 82
4. Celebrating Life
A Novel Experience 86
Together We Can Make It 89
A Second Chance 92
Happy Anniversary 95
A Matter of Life and Death 98
Hindsight 102
The Door Prize 104
Red Shoes with Gold Laces 108
5. Still Learning
Profile of a Prime-Timer 112
Matchless Moments 114
Mr. Kindrick's Pearl of Wisdom 118
Cramming for Finals 121
It's Never Too Late 122
An Even Greater Lesson 125
Remembering to Forget 129
Banana, Anyone? 130
6. On Love
What He Did for Love 134
Women Want Lingerie 137
Loving Muriel 141
I'll Be Seeing You 145
The Ideal Invitation 149
Five Dates, Eleven Hundred Letters and Fifty-Five Years Later 150
Love's Cross-Stitch 156
The Golden Gift 160
7. On Overcoming
A Timeless Tapestry 165
Daddy's Best Birthday 167
Fear Fouls a Pond 171
A Plan for You 172
Two of a Kind 174
Letters Home from War 180
FDR and Me 186
In the Eye of the Storm 190
8. A Matter of Perspective
Beautiful Day, Isn't It? 194
From Here to Eternity 195
You Can Be Right 198
Overnight Guest 203
The List 208
The Mirror Has Three Faces 210
Ready to Roll 212
Cracking Up 215
Get Up and Go 217
9. On Believing
Just One Wish 220
The Patient and Her Encourager 223
Bewitched 226
The Man Without a Name 231
Sophie's Seascape 234
Make Me Like Joe! 239
Kathleen's Piano 241
Grandma's Garden 245
10. Living Your Dream
A Dream Deferred 250
Never "Too Old" 254
Sweet Petunia 259
Special Delivery 263
Being There 266
Reaching My Impossible Dreams 271
High-Flying Nun 276
11. Reminiscing
Mom Had a Beef with Rationing 281
My Brush with the Red Cross 284
Mama's Medicines 288
A Birthday Remembered 292
The Cat in the Bag 295
Front Porches 299
The World Upside Down 302
The Four Chaplains 305
Going Home 309
12. Ageless Wisdom
Making the Rest the Best 314
No Ordinary Auction 319
When I Grow Up 322
Rules of the Road 327
Looking Back 330
Fifty Reasons Why Older Is Better 332
Who Is Jack Canfield? 337
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 338
Who Is Paul J. Meyer? 339
Who Is Barbara Russell Chesser? 340
Who Is Amy Seeger? 341
Lending a Hand--To and from Golden Souls 342
Contributors 345
Permissions (continued) 355
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I'd Also Recommend...

    I simply love the Chicken Soup series of books. They are worth every moment spent reading each page. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," another great book, which takes an eye opening look at forgiveness. Given the chance, it will change your life. It did that for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    People 35 and Younger Should Read Soup's People 60 And Over...

    I think people 35 and younger or who are perhaps parents should encourage their children and young people in their lives to read this book! I'm privileged by profession (I'm a Registered Nurse) to work with 'seniors,' and let me say loud and clear...'Sixty ain't dead!' So, kudos to the writers of this delicious book. Thank you!

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    Posted February 22, 2011

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    Posted November 30, 2011

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    Posted May 26, 2011

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