Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Cool Side of the Pillow

The other night as I was passing through the family room I heard Frank Gifford say " like the cool side of the pillow." I am not sure it was he (it was a football game) nor under what circumstances he said it, but it has been on my mind ever since. My first thought was that it was such a great example of the universality of the human condition that most authors strive for.

Since then I have been thinking of all other kinds of things that reflect the same recognizable tie to mankind everywhere. Little things that make our lives better--things that we take for granted. Like the ray of sunshine that I get dressed under (when it is sunny) every morning. Its warmth comes down so far--all the way from the heavens and is so welcome and so warm. (I's retired so I can get up after the sun comes up)

Some of the other things I thought of are sort of the same thing but not as good an example as Frank's remark. Maybe you can think of some other ones that are better.

Marveling at the beauty of a full moon as it shines on the lake or on the new fallen snow.

Loving the aroma of bread baking in the oven.

Holding our breath at the heavenly show put on by the Plieads August 12th. (I saw these as I went for a walk the night Julie was born and I thought it meant that she would become famous some day. She might--you never know!!!!)

Feeling content with the first gulp of coffee in the morning.

Enjoying the warmth that comes from a fire place after being outside on a cold day.

Loving a dog who loves you back without reservations.

Surprised and pleased by the first soft breeze of Spring.

Lulled by the sound of the waves hitting the shore of our favorite lake. This love of water is surely universal and evidenced by the high prices of lake property and the scarcity of same

Scenes from my favorite lake in Minnesota.

I'm sure you will think of many of your own universal truths. Share them with us!!!! Best of all this is all free to everyone and a host of happy thoughts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


As I look out my upstairs window at the still cold twilight, I can see the many dog angels that Dodger has made in our back yard. You didn't know dogs made angels in the snow? Dodger does. He must have about 8 or 9 of them out there right now. He rolls on his back and swishs around and joyfully makes his version often.

Then I look around the neighborhood and see the Christmas lights displayed. People are getting better at it every year. Some are beginning to realize that less is more. Others not so much. But they are all colorful and beautiful to brighten up the night.(The angel on the tree above is one Julie made in Sunday School when she was very little and we have had it on the tree for every year since.)

Then I look up into the sky and see the stars come up. Some are one of the newer ones. The lately- get- to- heaven ones. And finally I feel a little glimmer of the Christmas Spirit awaken in me and I hear in the background of my mind the wonderful Mormon Tabernacle Choir that was on the TV the other night singing "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" and ending with "Angels we have heard on high with the Glor-ee-a chorus reiterated over and over at the end and I find myself singing along with them. The Christmas story is also read and my heart finally opens up wider to receive the blessings of Christmas.

I know one family where the mother is fighting an upcoming battle with double breast cancer; another where they recently lost their father; another where they are fighting for the the life of a man with a quadruple bypass who had a heart attack and some who have been without a job for over a year; and all the children in Africa dying every day from cholera. But in spite of all these and more bad things, I wish for you to take some time to let the Spirit of Christmas in your heart. Let it gladden your lives for just a moment. It surpasses all our troubles for they will pass, but Christmas and what it stands for will never go away.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't Forget Your Passions

As you look back on your life, what things do you remember? Other than the usual biggies like your wedding and perhaps your births of your children and stuff like that, what are some of the highlights of your life?

Years ago Bill and I drove to Chicago to see THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and we enjoyed it so much and I have never forgotten it. In fact, I can't stand to listen to a rendition of some of its most famous songs because then it lodges in my head for two weeks constantly playing over and over. And then we saw CATS and LES MISERABLES and they stand out in my memory too.

Bill took his mother to see OKLAHOMA once before we met and she never forgot that and would mention it with such fondness and I am sure it was one of the highlights of her life. We took Jewel to THE NUTCRACKER SUITE in Minneapolis once and Jon and Julie to hear the Golden Strings at the Radisson when they were too small to get in the lounge. But the orchestra director saw how they loved it so much and there was hardly anyone there so they let them in the foyer and left the doors open. They play the CD to this day.

Bill was always one to pass by special attractions as we traveled saying we would catch it later. Most times later never came. But once or twice we did catch something like the Field of Dreams in Iowa and also a genuine horse farm in Lexington, plus Churchill Downs. We also did go to the Washington D. C. area and there we did hit all the points of interest. I remember particularly seeing the capsule John Glenn rode into space and the Hope Diamond. At that time, you could still tour a goodly portion of the WHITE HOUSE . It is fun to see a TV reporter standing outside and think "I have been there" as I can at 10 Downing Street in London also.

You may all be wondering where this is going and my point is to stop and do the sometimes too expensive things. Though the cost at the time seems high, the value to the quality of your lives more than makes up for that. I feel my life has been so much richer because of these memories.
Perhaps the things that enrich your lives are entirely different. A camping trip, a ballgame, a ballet, a trip to someplace you always wanted to go, a concert --whatever.

But some time in your life while you still can, be extravagant, be impulsive, do something you really have a passion for and you will not have any regrets--nothing but joy that you did it. Don't wait for retirement or when you get too old to really enjoy the walking and sightseeing you want to do. Do it now while you are young. You will never rue the day.


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