Read It's Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens: Enjoying the Fruits of Middle Age Online

Authors: Martha O. Bolton,Phil Callaway

Tags: #Education & Reference, #Humor & Entertainment, #Humor, #Religion, #Satire, #Literature & Fiction, #Essays & Correspondence, #Essays, #United States, #ebook, #book

It's Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens: Enjoying the Fruits of Middle Age

BOOK: It's Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens: Enjoying the Fruits of Middle Age
3.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Books by Martha Bolton

Didn’t My Skin Used to Fit?

I Think, Therefore I Have a Headache!

Cooking With Hot Flashes

Growing Your Own Turtleneck

Books by Phil Callaway

Laughing Matters

Who Put My Life on Fast Forward?

Parenting: Don’t Try This at Home!

Golfing With the Master

It’s Always
Before the
Fridge Door

Martha Bolton
Phil Callaway

It’s Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens
Copyright © 2006
Martha Bolton and Phil Callaway

Cover illustration by Dan Vasconcellos
Cover design by Boven Design

Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations identified NLT are from the
Holy Bible
, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of the publisher and copyright owners.

Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438

Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-0307-7
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0307-X

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bolton, Martha, 1951-
   It’s always darkest before the fridge door opens : finding joy in the cold places of life / Martha Bolton and Phil Callaway.
      p. cm.
   Summary: ‘‘Comedy veterans Martha Bolton and Phil Callaway, who believe that God intended for his people to laugh, team up to find the humor in an increasingly trouble-filled world’’—Provided by publisher.
   ISBN 978-0-7642-0307-7 (pbk.)
   ISBN 0-7642-0307-X (pbk.)
   1. Conduct of life—Humor. 2. Christian Life—Humor. I. Callaway, Phil, 1961- II. Title.
   PN6231.C6142B65      2006



To our loving parents.
We would have settled for money,
but you gave us the gift of laughter.
A million thanks!

About the Authors

MARTHA BOLTON is a full-time comedy writer and the author of more than fifty books, including
Didn’t My Skin Used To Fit?
She was a staff writer for Bob Hope for fifteen years and has written for Phyllis Diller, Wayne Newton’s USO show, Ann Jillian, Jeff Allen, and many other entertainers. Her writing has appeared in
Reader’s Digest, Chicken Soup for the Soul,
magazine. She has received four Angel Awards and an Emmy nomination. She and her husband live in Tennessee.

PHIL CALLAWAY is the award-winning author of fifteen books, including
Laughing Matters, Wonders Never Cease,
With God on the Golf Course,
and his articles appear in many publications, including
Leadership, Decision,
Marriage Partnership
. A popular speaker for corporations and conferences, he also is a frequent guest on television and radio, including
Focus on the Family
. Phil, his wife, and their three teenagers live in Alberta, Canada.


About the Title


Part One: Fridge Magnets
(Bringing Joy Back to Life)

Chocolate Therapy

You Can’t Keep a Good Man (or Woman) Down

In Pursuit of Your Passion

Fresh Veggies

Eat Like You Were Dyin’

Dinner’s Done, Call 9-1-1

Laughing Matters

Magnetic Joy

The Funny-Bone Quiz

Part Two: Smelly Cheese
(I Could Cope With the World If It Wasn’t for the People)

Cold As Ice

Is This the Party to Whom I’m Speaking?

The Trouble With Pharisees

Enemies: What Would We Do Without Them?

‘‘Blessing’’ Those Who Curse You

Unfaithful Friends

Even Steven

Out of the Dust

Clearing Out the Fridge

Prayer for My Enemies

Joy Comes in the Mourning

Part Three: Chill First, Then Serve
(You Can’t Be a Smart Cookie If You Have a Crummy Attitude)

Last Nerves

Empty Shelves

Welcome to Whine Country

Ten Things We’d Like to Hear Someone Say

Slice of Life

The Best News Yet

Ten Lessons Learned in the Kitchen

Balance Keeps the Fridge Shelves From Collapsing

In-Flight Misery

Driving Us Crazy

‘‘I’ll Be Right Back’’

Hard to Swallow

Part Four: Empty Shelves
(Overworked, Overstressed, Overwhelmed, and Underappreciated—and That’s the Good News)

The Stress Diet

Choose Your Rut Carefully

Not So Smooth Moves

High Hopes

Sometimes the Answer Is Right in Front of You

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Part Five: Just Desserts
(The Best Is Yet to Come)

In Case You Haven’t Noticed, This Isn’t Paradise

Best Before 1983

Sweeter Than Honey

The Sky Is Always Falling

But We Don’t Have to Live in Fear

Top Ten Fears


Out of Control

The Last Laugh

About the Title

We started talking about writing a book together back when Phil had hair and before Martha was officially banned from kitchens all across America. All we lacked was the right title. We considered titles like
The Whine Driven Life
The Elvis on Velvet Code,
but the legal eagles at Bethany House caught wind of these and squashed our hopes. Finally, after at least ten minutes of tax-deductible brainstorming sessions, we decided on
It’s Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens,
the book you now hold in your hands. We believe the title works well because:

a. The Chronicles of Narnia
was already taken.

b. Several publishers offered us contracts.

c. The title made us think of dessert.

d. The title is vague enough for us to insert random humor chapters, then switch to serious things we really believe in, before the reader is fully aware of what is happening.

e. All of the above.

The answer, of course, is
all of the above. We hope that by the time you’ve finished this book, you’ll agree with us that
It’s Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens
is the perfect title because, well, it really is darkest before the cheesecake, the leftover pizza, the refrigerator light, and a double scoop of laughter and renewed hope are all staring us in the face. We hope this book is a double scoop of laughter and hope for you.

The Funny Gene

We have both spent a lifetime making people laugh. We have given hundreds of humorous talks and written one-liners for comedians, gags for cartoonists, and text for greeting cards, magazine articles, and newspaper columns. We’ve even written for politicians. For writing about our quirky views of life, we have both received certificates and awards. We never turn these awards down. We forward them to our high school teachers who told us we’d never amount to anything if we didn’t settle down and quit joking around.

Now that we’ve both hit middle age, many of our parts have indeed settled, and in a southward position, too, but we haven’t as yet ‘‘settled down.’’ We have found that our humorous take on life has helped us to get through some difficult times, not by laughing at them but by laughing through them.

Laughter has saved our jobs and our marriages, and it has kept us both relatively sane. It has unclogged our arteries and kept us uncommonly thin. . . . Okay, our arteries aren’t totally unclogged, but so far the cookie-dough ice cream lining our aortas hasn’t broken loose and caused any major damage. Laughter is our life. And it is the only thing left on earth that the government can’t tax (though we understand they are working on it).

As much as we both love to laugh, we must confess that there are times we have found ourselves in the ‘‘cold places’’ of life. Swamped by discouragement, trapped beneath our circumstances, robbed of laughter and joy. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Although we believe that a sense of humor is a gift from God, too many of us seem content to surrender that gift to the joy thieves of life or, worse yet, leave the gift unwrapped, high on a shelf somewhere. Leaving it unwrapped is like undergoing a root canal without anesthesia. You may be able to do it, but boy, is it gonna hurt!

God knew laughter would be important in life. That’s why the equipment was installed on the assembly line, but we sometimes choose to ignore it. The emergency brake release button is right there in plain sight, but we bump along neglecting to use it, wondering why we’re seeing all that smoke in the rearview mirror, forgetting that we have a built-in release valve that we’re not taking advantage of. Surrendering our happiness to bullies or joy thieves is equally self-defeating.

You may be surprised to discover that even comedians don’t always live a joy-filled life. As odd as that sounds, many will confess to the truth of that statement. They can stand before audiences of thousands, making them laugh, knowing all the while that their own funny bone is broken and should be in a cast. We both have friends in the comedy world whose lifelong struggle is restoring and maintaining their joy. Before his death, Rodney Dangerfield was asked by
magazine, ‘‘Do you think being depressed is an occupational hazard for a comedian?’’ He answered, ‘‘That’s the way it is; what can I tell you? The better the comedian, the more depressed he is. When I was 15, I tried to escape being unhappy by writing jokes.’’

BOOK: It's Always Darkest Before the Fridge Door Opens: Enjoying the Fruits of Middle Age
3.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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