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Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul: Heartwarming Stories for People 60 and Over (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Paperback – Large Print, January 27, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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About 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.

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Kathleen's Piano

Faith makes the discords of the present the harmonies of the future.
—Robert 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—a 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—a 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—not 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—be 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.


Product Details

  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: HCI (January 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558747338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558747333
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


New York Times bestselling author Barbara Russell Chesser, PhD, is sole author of four books, co-author of four other books, and editor of additional books. Dr. Chesser especially enjoys writing about people. For example, Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul, co-authored by Dr. Chesser, is a collection of inspiring short stories about extraordinary people 60 and over such as Ruth Stafford Peale, Tom Landry, Nancy Reagan, and others. One of the most popular volumes in the phenomenally successful Chicken Soup series, this book has appeared on every major best-seller list and has been translated into seven languages.

Just released (Sept. 2011) is Keeping Christmas: Stories to Warm Your Heart Throughout the Year, Volume Two, that includes "Three Letters from Teddy," a longstanding favorite, as well as stories by Randal O'Brien, Paul. J. Meyer, and other notables. Volume One continues to be a popular compilation of stories by much-loved authors such as Lewis Grizzard, Leo Buscaglia, and Barbara Johnson. Not only are these two books great reads, they are beautifully designed and make great gifts.

Released in 2010 is Seven Steps for Handling Grief, published by Sunstone Press. Here is one of the endorsements: "Dr. Chesser has done a wonderful service in writing this book. She has faced the specter of loss with authority, compassion, reality, and hope. At some time--sooner or later--everyone will need this helpful, heartwarming book." Bestselling author Dr. Chesser is uniquely qualified to write this book. She has personally triumphed over a variety of griefs, and as a university professor, she conducted research on grief and taught courses about it. This book shares many stories about people who've suffered terrible losses yet overcame them with the help of others. A very interesting, practical book.

Remembering Mattie: A Pioneer Woman's Legacy of Grit, Gumption, and Grace is Dr. Chesser's account of her remarkable pioneer grandmother. This intriguing book is a treasure trove of "snapshot" stories from the past--for example, how Mattie's mother, as a 16-year-old, fell in love with a day laborer on the family's Mississippi plantation. Disowned by her parents, the young bride and her new husband tried to eke out a living in several places, including a cotton farm near Dallas, Texas. But when the Homestead Act opened up more "free" land, the fledgling family joined many others on trains and covered wagons to stake out their claims in eastern New Mexico.

Mattie's struggle to survive a rattlesnake bite, the death of her mother, how Mattie won the heart of the wide area's popular fiddle player, and how her heart was broken when the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 snuffed out the life of her young husband and father of their three small daughters are among the many stories of triumph over tragedies.

Various relatives provided significant information and illustrations; their names are on the book cover. Another invaluable resource was Mattie's oldest daughter and Dr. Chesser's aunt. Ninety-three at the time the book was finished, this aunt shared family pictures from the early 1900s as well as Mattie's love letters. Throughout the book are copies of interesting old newspaper clippings and documents, including Mattie's homestead papers and legal papers dealing with custody of her three young daughters. Relevant information about what was going on in the world at the time--such as the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl--provides a meaningful backdrop for Mattie's life story. A finalist in the '08 New Mexico Book Awards competition, this compelling book has been nominated again for the '09 award.

Barbara taught at several universities, including the University of Nevada, the University of Nebraska, the University of Arkansas, and Chapman College (Orange, CA), and she served in the administration of Baylor University. She also carried out short-term assignments in Greece, the Philippines and the African countries of Nigeria, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Morocco. As recipient of several awards for outstanding teaching, writing, and research, Dr. Chesser has also written for various publications including Reader's Digest.

This author lives in Waco, Texas, with her husband (also "Dr. Chesser"), a retired Baylor University professor of accounting. They have one daughter, who is also a CPA, a son-in-law who is an officer in the Coast Guard, and two grandchildren.

Additional information can be found on Barbara's website: www.barbararussellchesser.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I am a old lady I shall wear purple........ Remember that poem. Author unknown to me. When reading this book, I cried, laughed, remembered and decided to live for the moment. Life is such a joy, and this book made me remember that.It is a must for all of us old goldies. A great gift for one to take for every occasion....birthday, shut-ins, loved ones and etc.
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Format: Hardcover
It is about time Chicken Soup did a book for Seniors! I laughed, cried, and reflected all the way through . The stories in this book are from real people who are making the most of their senior adult years; I am inspired to make the most of my own. (I have to admit, the cartoons arejust the right ingredient for this batch of Chicken Soup) I am grateful!
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Format: Paperback
Whenever I'm asked to edit a manuscript of stories for Chicken Soup, it's always a task I look forward to - until the final score. Too many hearts, too many memories, in the personal excavation of one's Soul. I'm not sure this book is titled correctly, "...for People 60 and over:" For most of the stories Re-Member a time when a kindred sense of belonging to the moment links the reader with the writer regardless of age, and in that junction Magic Happens. I felt like a young man privileged, sitting on a porch step listening to people open their hearts, animate their feelings, re-membering what they loved, what they lost, and generously sharing them with me. The stories in this book made me remember the things I can never forget...I hope they do the same for you. MR
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By A Customer on December 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Readers who haven't received a recent dose of "Chicken Soup for the Soul," shame on you. In "Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul," Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Barbara Chesser, Amy Seeger and Paul Meyer present us with one of the best of the series.
I say it is a must-read for anyone on either side of 60. It is a timeless, energized, enthusiastic, motivational book written with golden years in mind, but filled with stories all can enjoy. Will be a great holiday gift for lots of folks on your list.
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By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is without a doubt one of the best in the series of Chicken Soups. I have purchased several of them and give them out for gifts in the hospital, get well , birthdays and etc. There is something for everyone in this book. What a great little gift.
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By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul is a treasure chest filled to the brim with great stories and lots of really good cartoons. I also love how each story has a quote right after the title--for example, Strike Out or Home Run? is a great story with a Yogi Berra quote: "It ain't over till it's over." And Tom Landry's story, Greater Than a Super Bowl, may just be my favorite!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this based on reviews. First time I've been snookered on that basis. I'm sixty-something and found this book sappy, couldn't last past 3 stories. Guess I don't fit the "profile." I do, however, remember one review referring to it as sappy (the only negative one), and now I find that review missing. Is this a way Amazon pushes book sales? By upping review averages? Gave this two stars instead of one because based on the title I should have had a tipoff as to the mishmosh inside. Follow your gut instinct.
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A Kid's Review on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
My mom bought me chicken soup for the kids, preteen and preteen 2's soul. I fell in love with the series. Well, my Grams and Grandpa's anniversery was coming up so I thought a rose bouquet, a card, and a chicken soup book would be perfect. I looked for a chicken soup book that would be for 60+ people and I found this! It's just great. But one thing thats not true: Anyone can read this and enjoy it! I am just a kid and I liked it. My grandparents definetly liked it. I recommend this book for everybody!
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