Category Archives: Happiness & Joy

Sweaty and upset says “I do”

After 22 years of marriage, my husband is still a mystery to me. We are celebrating our wedding anniversary today and laughing about that day so long ago when we decided to marry forever. We both admit that neither one of us had any clue about how challenging being married and staying married could be. We look back and see all the marriages that ended in divorce, and are so thankful that we have made it through the gauntlet so far.

When we compared notes on our wedding day this morning, my husband recalls that he wasn’t nervous at all, until the entire church turned to look at him when he and his groomsmen proceeded out from the side altar. He was definitely unprepared for that!

I wasn’t nervous either. I definitely remember being hot. We were married in a church that had no air conditioning. It was an enormous structure and beautiful. It just happened to be unseasonably hot for mid May. I felt like a flower that was drooping. My lovely, professionally curled hair began to flatten like a mop. But that is minor compared to what happened before my husband and groomsmen arrived on the scene.

Like I mentioned, this church was enormous. The bride’s room was towards the church entrance, while the groom’s room was downstairs and towards the altar. When the organ began to play that was the cue for the groom and his groom’s men to come. The music started and duh, duh, da duh–no groom or groom’s men. The music continued. My father began to panic. He sent my younger brother to find the groom. My father started turning red all over. He actually accused my soon-to-be husband of leaving me at the altar! Now, I wasn’t only hot, I was angry! I couldn’t believe my own father had such little faith in my future husband. I began to argue with my father, telling him just how ridiculous his idea was. That’s when my brother arrives saying he cannot find the groom or any groom’s men. I seriously thought I saw steam begin blowing from my father’s ears! Oh boy.

As the organist was winding down the first song and my father is in full panic mode, in walks my husband and his groom’s men. Later, my husband explained that they could not hear the music from downstairs and were too busy laughing and enjoying themselves to realize they should be listening.

I whipped my veil over my face, grabbed my father’s arm, and put on the biggest smile I could conjure under the both sweaty and upsetting conditions of a moment ago. I think I dragged my father down the aisle. Everything was lovely throughout the ceremony and we were happily married. And then, there was the limo ride to the reception. That’s another story for another blog.

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Banana-Seat Bikes and Penny Candy

I know we tend to gloss over things in the past and make them better than they were. But this morning, I am finding tremendous joy in my memories of childhood. Come down memory lane with me!

Some of my favorite memories….

The Dollar:
Walking to the five and dime store with a dollar, and coming home with a bag full of candy.

Freedom Ride:
Riding double on a banana-seat bicycle with my sister who always ended up doing the pedaling because I was a wimp (no helmets required).

Live on Broadway or the Driveway:
Going to the library (yes, the library) to find plays which we could perform for the neighborhood moms. I even remember part of the name: “Strawberry Cake with Pink Lemonade Icing.”

All-Around Athletes:
Playing football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, softball, and hockey in your yard or the street with the neighborhood kids, and playing  any sport I wanted to try at any age because sports were only a 6-week commitment and no one expected you to pick your sport in Kindergarten. (Note: This required knowing your neighbors and that they actually decided to have children.)

Homemade Family Dinners:
Waiting for my Dad’s car to round the corner and racing him home for dinner which was always homemade from scratch.

Dial Phone with Chord:
Sitting on the very top stair with the long cord that one of my sisters convinced my parents to buy and talking with friends until the next sibling needed the phone. Never having to worry about carrying a phone or checking a phone or losing a phone.

I hope you found joy in this trip down memory lane. Please share if you have memories that bring you joy from this time, too!

How to be happy like a bubble

A thought bubble popped into my head this morning. Simply put: there is definitely power in the spoken word. If you disagree, please let me know why. For most of us, unfortunately, the easiest way to recognize this truth is through a negative example, such as put-downs, name-calling, and sarcasm. You can have a room full of very upbeat, positive people making plans together, but one person saying a negative comment at just the wrong time can deflate the room of all its energy.

I have a confession to make. One of my biggest faults is sarcasm. Sarcasm is my way of responding when I am hurt and I do not want to directly confront the painful problem that myself or other has created. I recently discovered the root of the word sarcasm means “to eat flesh” – Ouch! So although I am never physical in my attacks, my words can do as much or more damage.

Of course, the flip-side to this is that my words can also lift and inspire. Since I am trying not to repeat my sarcasm pattern in my family, I decided to ask all of my children to tell me any positive and uplifting idea that they might have. When I asked this, my children ranged in age from 8 to 2 years old. What they shared was profound. I told them if they would just say and believe each of these statements every single day of their lives, they would be tremedously joy-filled. Please let me know if you disagree after reading their affirmations:

God loves me.

God is always with me.

God is my helper.

I will always trust God.

Thank you, God, for all the animals.

Thank you for making my life a good one.

I am a good friend.

I am loving and cute.

I am happy like a bubble.