DEAR ABBY: From time to time you print letters about finding "pennies from heaven." Are you ready for another one?
Our daughter is adopting a little boy, and our other daughter was hosting a yard sale to raise money for the airfare to bring the child to this country.
My mother, a widow, had donated my father's racing bike. It was hard for her to let go of it because Dad had won many senior Olympic medals with it.
The bike sold the first day, and I immediately called Mom to tell her the news. Right after I hung up the phone with her, I looked down at the table where my grandsons had been helping me count change. In the middle of a pile of dimes was a penny. When I picked it up, I saw it was a "wheatie." Then I turned it over and couldn't believe my eyes. The date on the penny was 1918, the year my father was born.
Although this may not be your typical "pennies from heaven" story, I truly believe it was a penny from heaven -- a message from Dad that he was glad to contribute to our yard sale and was with us in spirit. -- JACLYN IN BALLWIN, MO.
DEAR JACLYN: And don't ever let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
DEAR ABBY: When I went to my favorite restaurant recently, I noticed that the menu had changed. I asked our server if I could have an entree from the previous menu. She said she loved the dish too, and would ask the chef if he would make it for me. He agreed, and dinner was lovely.
My fiance and I returned to this restaurant last night, and I told him I wanted to order my favorite dish again. He told me that ordering something not on the menu is rude. I don't see it that way. In fact, I would think that it would be regarded as a compliment to the chef because it meant I had enjoyed the way he prepared it for me before. Besides, the chef agreed to do it for me the last time we were there.
Who is right -- my fiance or me? -- CHEF'S SPECIAL FOR ONE
DEAR SPECIAL: Your fiance may have been afraid that ordering something that was not on the menu would be more expensive, and that's why he objected. Also, if the restaurant was extremely busy that night, I could understand why asking for something "special" might be an imposition.
However, since the chef had prepared it for you before, and because restaurants are in the business of selling food, there was nothing "rude" about your request. The next time you call to make reservations, ask in advance if the chef can prepare your special dish for you.
DEAR ABBY: I read your column every day, and I never see the grammar and punctuation errors I typically encounter. Are the letters you publish revised, or are only the most literate and conscientious people moved to write to you? -- ENGLISH TEACHER IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
DEAR ENGLISH TEACHER: Everyone who writes to me is "conscientious." However, there are some errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation in the letters that cross my desk.
My staff, my syndicate editors and I try to ensure that any errors are corrected before a letter appears in print. To perpetuate the errors by printing them would set a bad example or distract from the question being presented.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600