“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.” 

Sean O’Casey

So far, 2019 has certainly given me some challenges.

Many of these trials, if not all, have been a result of aging. Don’t get me wrong, I understand my life is a gift. I know these “golden years” are not given to everyone. It’s the clustering of events that’s caught me off guard.

It’s the memory of the sorrow and tears that make the attached picture so very special. I wish it came with sound effects because the laughter and the sounds of puppy kisses are beyond special.

This little bundle of energy is Abby, a pure blessing. The influence she has on all of us has been magical. It is impossible to be crabby when you start each day with Abby kisses. There are some days when we are all a little bit crabby here. Her magical powers are so impressive I have given her a new nickname–Abby-ca-dabra.

The dark days before her arrival opened my heart for a whole new level of joy. I find I am focused on the positive moments which seem to grow as she grows. Not only has she opened my eyes to a whole new appreciation of time, she has helped me see our oldest dog, Bud, differently as well. Because I take the time to notice, I see how she persistently pesters him, trying to get him to play with her. For the most part, I see how Bud is slowly accepting her, tolerating her in the same way I saw with our first Lhasa, Pearl, put up with Bud when we first brought him home over thirteen years ago. As I am learning, ready or not, I’m being given a glimpse into the future–the circle of life continues.

For this and for the life I’ve been given, I am thankful.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” 

Kahlil Gibran

I am…

B…simply being. 


The Yellow Slicker

My husband has a yellow jacket that always makes me smile. Every time I see him slip it on, I think of being on the safety patrol when I was in sixth grade.

My School Safety Patrol card is another one of those things that surprised me by surviving fifty plus years stuck in little corners of big boxes. I have misplaced dozens of things over the years but this little card somehow held on to its space.

As sixth graders, we were the class that “manned” the safety patrol. That meant at noon and at the end of the day, kids from our class were sent to guard crosswalks around the school. I volunteered because I would have time away from the classroom. That was just too much to resist.

What I did not think about as I enthusiastically threw my hand up in the air that first week of school, was the weather. This was Iowa. Sure, at the beginning of the school year the weather was perfect. Before long, the warm Indian Summer and windy Fall days turned into the blustery, cold days of Winter. Like mail delivery, safety patrol guards could not be deterred by the weather. Rain, sleet, or snow, we headed out to our posts. To protect us from those elements, the school had a number of bright yellow slickers. These rubber slickers felt and smelled ancient. Heaven only knows how old they were but we HAD to wear them when we went out in the rain.

As lunchtime got closer and closer on my day for patrol, I watched the sky get darker and darker. The rain started falling harder and the temperature fell.  As my fellow patrol person and I left to go to our posts, we were told to wear those yellow slickers.

“Be careful,” Mrs.Kvidera told us, “with it getting colder, it could be getting icy.”

I walked to the locker, grabbed the crunchy yellow jacket, pulled the hood up, and walked toward the front door. Mr. Lenth, the school superintendent, and a teacher were standing at the entryway, observing and discussing the quickly changing weather. I nodded my head, the stiff and scratchy hood falling across my eyes as my legs pushed against the heavy rubberized coat. I was concentrating on walking against that added weight while constantly adjusting the stubborn hood.

I pushed the heavy door open and headed outside. As my foot hit the wet pavement, I felt it slip. I was moving too fast to stop. My other foot never made contact. Before I knew it, I was on my back. That yellow slicker was exactly that–slick! In a mass of crackling yellow, I was propelled across the sidewalk, down a little asphalt hill that was the side parking lot, and under a bus.

I looked up to see the teacher and Mr. Lenth looking down on me, saying in unison, “Looks like we need to end school early today.”

They helped me up, brushed me off, and sent me back to class. Shortly after, an overhead announcement declared due to weather, school was dismissed.

So, the little card survived to remind me of a time when I fell–literally–and was helped up by the kindness of others. There are times when we all need that type of gentle reminder.

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. 

Mary Pickford

I am…

B…simply being…

Remember, ask for help if you need it.

I love you.







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