Tag Archives: Laughter

Late is Becoming the New Normal For Me

I’m late again. It seems the 9th has a way of arriving when I’m in the midst of chaos or travel. This time, I was in Orlando for work from Wednesday to Friday and then spent the weekend with my son and daughter-in-law. I got home last night a little after six but it’s an almost 7 hour drive and even though I knew it was my day, I was too lazy to type. Alas.

So, here I am today. I usually take the grand dog, Primm, a toy when I visit. This time I got her a weird yellow creature (picture below). She wasn’t thrilled with it when I got there Wednesday night, but by Friday, she’d warmed up to it. Saturday, she was pulling the stuffing out of it. My son said, “And this is why we don’t buy her soft toys.”

I told him it cost less than lunch at Wendy’s and if she destroyed it, it lasted longer than digesting a meal. I also picked up the fuzz that came out of it. 😁

It seems I’m already a bad influence on the grand dog. And since my daughter-in-law is 17 weeks pregnant, I’m sure I’ll be in trouble some more as the future unfolds. 😁

We’re super excited to have our first grand baby. I was happy to be able to go with my son and his wife to shop for some baby items and some maternity clothes for her. She has just a little bump right now, but she tried on the fake one at the store to see how the dresses would fit later. She was precious as she giggled every time she looked at herself in it.  Lots of fun ahead for them— and us.




20160916_140445I love September, the colours, the early morning chill which often turns to warmth midday and cool evenings. The song  Autumn Leaves,  especially Nat King Cole’s version, expresses my feelings about autumn which has become favourite of mine over many years ago and a newer version by Andrea Bocelli conjures more recent memories.  There is an underlying sadness but also positive tones in the words.  A must do for my family in September is to go blackberry picking, make a pie but also freeze some berries for Christmas.  It has become a tradition with my son’s and daughter’s families which Peter and I keep too.  Recently we had a session over our local fields which have a bumper crop of sweet, succulent berries this year.  It has been important to keep to these rituals for me as my summer months have not been as I anticipated, autumn and winter look set to follow a similar pattern.

I began a personal journey in June this year when a breast abscess developed in my left breast. Subsequent tests revealed early cancer cells too so early in July I had a biopsy followed in August with an operation to remove the cells, abscess and two lymph nodes. Tests showed all was clear.  September is a rest period of sorts waiting to begin radiotherapy in October.  Hopefully just after Christmas I will get the final all clear. I have been helped on my journey by family, friends, especially tremendous medical care and support which is ongoing.  People I have met along the way have been truly inspiring. Lots of humour has smoothed some difficult times but I feel so LUCKY. Odd word some may think but if I had not had the abscess the cells would not have been discovered until next summer when I was due a mammogram, there was no indication that anything untoward lay hidden away. So dear friends please have regular medical checks and scans.  I wasn’t going to write a blog this month or talk to you about this journey but I realise how much help I have had and want to share what a positive experience I am having.  Not everyone is so lucky I know.

Tricia recommended a book called Show Me by Laurie Ryan, yes our Laurie, which is so positive and well written, though poignant even sad at times it made me feel positive myself.   Tricia has been one of my mainstays through this process but the main thing we do is laugh!  Books, Music and the odd glass of Prosecco have been companions too and your blogs.  I do not want this blog to be depressing and hope you all understand that my journey is very different from other people’s experiences.  One thing I have learnt is that we are all different, react differently to situations but a smile along the way helps so much.

Enjoy September in your own ways but keep smiling.

Bobble-head Gilbert and Clutter by Valerie J. Patterson

Bobble-head Gilbert and Clutter almost sounds like a comedy duo, doesn’t it?  Well, that definition certainly fits these two ladies who never fail to make me laugh no matter what kind of day I’m having!

Every once in a while God blesses me with the gift of friendship from extraordinary people.  These are people who enter your life and leave fingerprints upon your heart—touches so deep and so rare that you know in an instant they are very special and will have meaning in your life for a long time to come.  A short time ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon with two extraordinary women whose gifts of friendship I will cherish for a very long time to come.

Bobble-head Gilbert’s real name is Zenia—there’s just something special about her name.  I knew the moment I came across it several years ago that she would be a woman as lovely as her name.  Clutter—Tina—is her sidekick and niece and together, this duo leaves me with sidesplitting laugher and tears in my eyes.

The circumstances surrounding our introductions are not important to this writing, but they set into motion a trio of friendship that survives long periods of inactivity, and bridges the gaps in our lives.  As I was preparing for my visit at their home, I knew the time would be filled with laughter, some tears, sharing of our faith, and moments of hilarity.  I was not wrong!

Circling a kitchen table filled with fresh fruit, cheeses, crackers, bread, and various other dishes, we three sat and ate and talked and shared and laughed and cried until our tongues were tired, our sides ached, and our stomachs were full.  The gifts these two bring to my life are treasures that don’t seem to come along as often as a person would like.  My father always told me—during difficult times growing up—that the true friends in life are oftentimes the ones met during adulthood.  He wasn’t wrong.  Sure, I have people I stay in contact with from high school, but they’re not the people in my life that I turn to when I’m down, ill, or wanting to share happiness with.  Those that I turn to are my friends.  The ones who pick me up when I’ve fallen.  The ones who love me despite the fact I’m slightly odd—I admit it even if they don’t!

Tina has touched my heart on so many occasions that I just know she has a direct phone to God.  I’ve gotten cards or calls or email on days when I’ve been put through the ringer.  Days that I just needed a gentle touch or a smile.  I can’t repay that kind of care.  Do you know what I mean?

Bobble-head Gilbert is as un-self-involved as they come.  She’s humble.  She’s gracious.  She’s able to laugh at herself.  Plus she has a crown that proclaims her to be queen—but that title has never gone to her head!

When we get together—whether a great length of time has lapsed or not—we’re able to pick right up where we left off, and that’s usually in the middle of laughter.  The richness they add to my life cannot be measured in dollars or gold or silver or jewels, but I know with each hug I receive that I have been blessed.  That God hears our laughter and chuckles to Himself and knows that I value what He has given me.  I hope there is a Bobble-Head Gilbert and Clutter in your life.  I hope you know they’re a blessing.  I also hope you’re a Zenia or a Tina to someone else.

Until next time, hug a friend and I guarantee you’ll exercise your smile muscles!