Author Archives: Trina Bartlett
That’s not to say that I don’t feel strongly about specific issues or specific politicians or that I don’t take my role as a citizen and my right to vote seriously. I do.
But years ago I realized that too many people consider politics to be a game of Monopoly in which the political party, the politician, the political action committee or the corporation are more concerned about securing as much for themselves as possible than they are about anyone else. They seem to believe that a roll of the dice is a fair way to determine the success and/or comfort of an individual or family.
Sometimes, they spout a few words intended to convince people they care about those who aren’t as fortunate or as wealthy or as beautiful, but their words often aren’t consistent with their behavior, lifestyle or relationships.
As someone who received a great roll of the dice on the day I was born and encounter people everyday who didn’t get such a great roll, I can see right through their facade.
And just when I feel as though I’m becoming completely cynical, I encounter individuals who step into politics because they truly care about others.
My friend Layne Diehl is one of those people.
Layne never thought she could go to college, but through the support of people who cared about her, she not only went to college but also to law school. She is a true role model for young women whose roll of the dice doesn’t afford them the security of knowing they can go to college.
Layne didn’t grow up in a family that was always safe and secure. She learned to survive and thrive because she had a mother who garnered all of her strength, skills and resources to take care of her children when the world around her family was collapsing. Layne’s mom passed those skills onto her daughter, who understands the importance of reaching out to help others who were never given the opportunity to roll the dice.
Layne has a strong sense of purpose and self. When she realized that her personal values no longer fit with her career, she took a chance and decided to roll her own dice instead. In doing so, she found a path that fits with both her values and to give back to the community.
I wouldn’t know any of this information if Layne weren’t my friend. That’s because Layne, who is running for the WV House of Delegates, isn’t making her campaign about her.
When Layne took the risk of running for the House of Delegates, she didn’t do it so she could build her resume or her ego. She did it because she truly cares about others and understands the impact legislative issues can have on the lives of the small business owner, the single parent family, the working poor and the economy of small communities.
During her campaign, Layne never said a negative word about her opponent nor allowed anyone else to do so (even when her opponent was garnering national attention as a teenage candidate). Instead, Layne chose to praise her opponent for inspiring other young people to get involved then focused on real issues affecting real people.
Layne didn’t pander to people who want elections to be about one or two issues. Instead, she adopted a platform that speaks to those who see beyond party lines to the complexity of issues.
I do have one complaint about Layne’s campaign. I can t vote for her because I don’t live in her district.
All I can do is publicly express my support and let others know how much I appreciate that she wants to improve the odds for everyone.
I had no concept of all the mean and completely self-centered people I would someday not only deal with on a regular basis but also come to accept. I would have thought I was too strong-willed and strong-minded to tolerate such people.
But a few years ago, I wouldn’t have recognized that, sometimes, being tolerant is not only the best way to deal with most difficult people, it is also a great learning experience.
That’s not to say I’ll ever accept bad or abusive behavior, but it does mean that one of the benefits of getting older is gaining perspective. And perspective has taught me that difficult people have done more to teach me about how to live my life than many of the kind and giving people I also encounter on a daily basis.
Difficult people have taught me that paying attention and listening to others is much more important than ensuring others listen to me.
Difficult people have taught me that a rude word will always being louder than a compliment that is shouted to the world.
Difficult people have taught me that being concerned with who gets credit for good deeds or successes tarnishes all that has been accomplished.
Difficult people have taught me that spreading lies and half-truths may garner immediate attention but will ultimately lead to a lack of credibility.
Difficult people have taught me that belittling, attempting to control or asserting power over others actually renders a person weak in the eyes of others.
And difficult people have taught me that refusal to adopt others’ ideas or accept constructive criticism stunts growth and limits possibilities.
I would be lying if I said difficult people no longer bother me or manage to get under skin. They do.
But I do find that the older I get, the less time and emotional energy I waste wishing I could change difficult people and the more time and energy I spend contemplating how to best apply their lessons to my own life.
My stand-off with a red fox across a small meadow should have been the highlight of my evening bike ride, but it wasn’t.
My highlight was holding a walnut that had fallen from a tree onto a road. I picked it up after my encounter with the fox.
The fox stood very still in his tracks as I walked my bike a few feet closer to get a better look at the beautiful animal. I got my opportunity as he inspected me just as I inspected him. He then decided he didn’t like what it saw and turned to trot into the woods.
I got back on my bike and pedaled a few more miles when my tire hit something and skidded a bit. I stopped to determine what had almost caused my accident.
It was a round walnut still in its green husk.
A walnut tree provided shade over the house where I lived as a child so young that my memories are scattered and limited. I remember spending a great deal of time in the yard with the tree, a wood fence that was built by horizontal, rather than vertical, pieces of wood and a picnic table.
I would sit under that tree pulling apart walnut husks to reveal the nuts buried beneath while I waited for my father to make his short walk home from his office building.
Years later, I learned that my mother had completely different memories of that time. She dreaded the walnuts falling as they were not gems to be uncovered, as my brother and I thought, but were instead dirty objects that left stains upon whomever and whatever touched them. I don’t remember the stains at all.
What I do remember is the beautiful antique furniture in our home that my parents said was made of walnut.
I also remember that my parents had an annual holiday tradition of offering an unending supply of nuts, still in their shells, with a nutcracker. That bowl always contained walnuts.
Those walnuts bore little resemblance to the black ones that had left my hands caked in a dirt and grime, but they did serve as a reminder.
Sometimes we have to look beyond what we initially observe – the inconvenience and messiness that most people carry with them – to discover all they have to offer. Sometimes, the greatest rewards come when we permit ourselves to take on situations that require us to get our hands dirty. And almost all of the time, people and situations aren’t all good or all bad but simply an untidy mix of both.
Our responsibility as people is to train ourselves to always look for the good.
Only yesterday, the crocus were starting to poke their heads through the frozen dirt, and now summer is quickly fading as autumn once again prepares for its annual debut.
I realized that the awkward stage between seasons had arrived as I was pedaling my bike the other evening.
Only a few weeks before, I had been watching the sun rise on my daily bike rides.
Now, the sun is rising later each day and making an earlier and earlier farewell, so I am riding in the evenings instead of the mornings.
As I do, I’m observing the days are getting shorter and shorter but the leaves aren’t yet changing and the temperatures can’t decide whether I should be wearing flip-flops or boots.
We are officially at that “in-between stage.” And I am grateful.
A few years ago, I would probably have tried holding on to what was slipping away while reaching out to what was just beyond my grasp on the horizon. In doing so, I would have lost the beauty and purpose of “in between.”
Now I appreciate it.
“In between” isn’t about wasting energy on mistakes or worrying about future decisions. Instead it is about accepting who we are and encouraging ourselves to do better.
“In between” isn’t about regretting all that we missed but is about appreciating all that currently surrounds us.
And ” in between” isn’t about hoping that the future holds more than the past. “In between” is about appreciating the present moment for exactly what it is.
“In between” is about recognizing the joy and potential in every minute regardless of our age, expectations or previous losses.
“In between” is about learning to appreciate the gift of the present while accepting that we can’t always control our current circumstances or our future.
And,most importantly, ” in between” is about paying attention to what others might dismiss as mundane but is actually miraculous.
Here is to “in between.”
Despite the tears and hugs and prayers about several painful situations, hope was in plentiful supply while despair was being left behind.
I was so struck by this not because we were being unrealistic but because we were being completely realistic. No one was hiding from the truth. We recognized that there are no scales of justice in real life: bad things happen to good people, relationships sometimes crumble, illness doesn’t pick victims based on age or virtues and people with large egos sometimes prevail.
But we also knew that attempting to make sense of this imbalance only results in one thing: wasted time. So instead, we chose to simply acknowledge life’s imperfections while spending our energy enjoying what we could.
That’s when I realized that happiness is not something that exists only where sadness, frustration and anger don’t.
Instead, happiness exists despite them and right alongside them, and it doesn’t require an absolutely perfect moment.
It jumps into your lap while you are feeling lost amid hundreds of other students at an elementary school assembly when one of the performers walks off the stage and asks you to dance.
It reassures you when you skip classes during your senior year of college to hang out at a lake with friends because you know you only have days left before you will go your separate ways. Despite the fear of leaving the safety of a college cocoon and being forced to test your wings, you know you are enjoying a fleeting moment that will quickly become a treasured memory.
It stays with you when a few people are saying unfair and untrue things about you yet even more people surround you with their love and support.
And it embraces you at a funeral service when you laugh at a funny story about someone you loved but who can no longer share your amusement.
I would never attempt to define happiness anymore than I would attempt to define love. But I know I can see it in every memory I have. Sometimes it is silent and sometimes it is loud. But it is always there and, even more importantly, I know it will always be in the memories I have yet to make.
We don’t have to worry about making an impression or searching in vain for something we have in common. We simply accept the fact that connecting with another human, even for just a few minutes, will always be more meaningful than comparing a long list of accomplishments, the size of our house or our connections with what we deem powerful people.
I was reminded of this last Friday on the subway in New York City.
I was lucky enough to have a seat on the crowded train, but that seat was very, very small. My thigh was wedged up against that of the man next to me. Societal rules dictated that I ignore the contact, but apparently he didn’t abide by those rules and immediately engaged in conversation.
In a thick Hispanic accent, he asked if I lived in the city. When I told him no, he told me he didn’t he either. He had grown up in the Bronx, but he now lived in Kellogg, Michigan. He wanted to know where I do live. When I told him, he asked whether I lived near the ocean and if the winters are bad. apparently, he still hasn’t recovered from the one he experienced in Michigan.
He and his wife applauded as my daughter and her friend broke into song, and he told me that his cousin had started the children’s chorus in New York City. He gave me tips about navigating the subway system, and he shared his excitement at being back in “his city.”
At one point during our conversation, his wife urgently grabbed his arm and started speaking rapidly in Spanish.
“She wants to know if you are Polish,” he explained to me.
His wife gave me a brilliant smile, and I felt some sense of guilt asking “why?”
“Because you look like her good friend who is Polish,” he said. “Your features are the same.’
I glanced back at his wife who was still beaming and shook my head. “Not Polish,” I answered.
She nodded in understanding as the train grinded to a stop – our stop.
“Have a good life,” the man said as I stood to leave.
“You too,” I said.
That ended a generally unmemorable conversation, and I know I’ll never recognize the man if I ever see him again. He was just a random person on a train with whom I happened to share a moment in time.
Yet, ironically, I’ll never forget him because he gave me a little piece of himself to me.
He and his wife provided my daughter with an audience and applause in New York City. His wife seemed to think I must be a good person because I reminded her of a dear friend. Most importantly, the man took an interest in me not because society required that of him but because he recognized the importance of humanity. And because of that, I gave a little piece of myself to him.
I couldn’t ask for more.
He, a random stranger on a subway train, taught me how much total strangers can bring into our lives and how much sharing those encounters can bring into the lives of others. I’m looking forward to many more conversations with strangers.
10. Other than Kate Middleton and Prince William I had no idea who any of the young, beautiful people on the cover of magazines were or why I should be interested in their lives. Even more telling, I had no interest in finding out.
9. As I made faces at the cute baby in the cart in front of me, the cashier asked her mother for her i.d. to buy alcohol. When the mother proudly said she was 24, I realized I was old enough to be her mother and the baby’s grandmother.
8. I also bought a bottle if wine, but the cashier didn’t even bother to ask for my i.d. In fact, I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes when I asked if she needed to see it.
7. I wasn’t wearing makeup or contacts, and the old paint-stained t-shirt I was wearing wasn’t the least bit flattering. I didn’t care how I looked, but the 24-year-old mother in the cute sundress gave me a look of sympathy.
6. The even younger woman in pajama pants behind me in line paid no attention to me or the clothes I was wearing. I, on the other hand, couldn’t understand how wearing pajama pants was acceptable but my paint-stained shirt wasn’t.
5. I asked the cashier to do a price check.
4. I was buying raisin bran.
3. I was actually jealous that the 24-year old in front of me was buying Captain Crunch.
2. The cashier called me ma’am.
1. The bag boy warned me that a couple of my bags were really heavy and I should be careful when lifting them or I would hurt my back.
I could have left the grocery store wondering how I had become one of “those women.” Instead, I left feeling proud.
I am one of those women who has enough experience to recognize that I can’t be defined by what I wear or what I buy. Instead, I am defined by years of experience – as evidenced by the lines around my eyes. I am defined by the words I say - and more importantly the words I don’t. I am defined by how I react to life circumstances – both good and bad.
Most importantly, I am “one of those women” who realizes that the truly important moments and people in our lives are never captured on the glossy photos in magazines. Instead they are captured in the angry, sad, jealous and joyful moments that those of us who are described as “those women” can use to teach the next generation.
If that makes me feel a bit old, I’m o.k. with that. And if that means I have to tolerate being called ma’am on a regular basis, I’m o.k. with that too.
After all, “those women” understand what being called ma’am really means.
Surprisingly, identifying a reason to smile every day for a year wasn’t very difficult at all.
In fact, I haven’t run out of reasons to smile as there is a new reason every day.
And that really makes me smile.
Day 365: Having More than 365 Reasons to Smile
Day 364: So I Married an Axe Murderer Day 363: Independence Day Day 362: Simple Compliments Day 361: Fireflies Day 360: Music That Touches the Soul 359: Finding Humor in Our Idiosyncrasies Day 358: John Larroquette as Dan Fielding Day 357: The Wisdom of Mother Teresa Day 356: Watching a Garden Grow Day 355: Animal House Day 354: Friendly People Day 353: Ice Cream Cones Day 352: Hiking All of the Maryland Heights Trail Day 351: Tawny Daylilies Day 350: Smart Pet Tricks Day 349: West Virginia Day Day 348: Bill Cosby Day 347: Air Conditioning Day 346: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble Day 345: Fresh Strawberries Day 344: Great Dads Day 343: The Ability to Heal Day 342: Realizing Humanity Will Always Triumph Technology Day 341: Summer Reading Programs Day 340: Margaret Thatcher’s Great Quote Day 339: Chalk Art Day 338: Tom Petty Day 337: Dogs in Cars Day 336: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! Day 335: The Sound of a Harmonic Day 334: Significant Dates in Our Lives Day 333: Rocking Chairs Day 332: Lemonade from Fresh Lemons Day 331: Feeling at Peace Day 330: Not Letting Age Slow You Down Day 329: Raindrops on Roses Day 328: Old Newspapers Day 327: When My Pets Get Attention Day 326: Odd Little Distractions from Every Day Life Day 325: Wearing White before Memorial Day Day 324: Avoiding a Poison Ivy Rash Day 323: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Day 322: Breezes Blowing Through my Kitchen Window Day 321: Iris Gardens Day 320: Ginger’s Ridiculous Wardrobe Day 319: Wildlife in My Midst Day 318: Teamwork Day 317: The Golden Rule Day 316: When Weather Cooperates Day 315: When Humans Respect Nature Day 314: Books We Pass on to Our Children Day 313: Wildflowers Day 312: The Right to Vote Day 311: Staying True to Your Beliefs Day 310: Doris Day and “Que Sera Sera” Day 309: Lessons Learned from Motherhood Day 308: When a Difficult Problem is Solved Day 307: Living Near Hills and Mountains Day 306: Recognizing How Far Women Have Come Day 305: Creative House and Yard Decorations Day 304: The Power to Forgive Day 303: Marrying Someone Who Always Knows How to Make Me Smile Day 302: People Who Sport the Breaking Bad Car Magnet Day 301: The song of the whippoorwill Day 300: Coming Home Day 299: Clean Water Day 298: Blue Bells Day 297: Listening to Books When Driving Long Distances Day 296: Walking in the Woods Day 295: The Warm Sun on My Face Day 294: Turning Loud Shoes into a Conversation Item Day 293: Seeing Something New in the Every Day Day 292: Dreams Day 291: “What a Wonderful World” Day 290: Softly Falling Petals During Spring Day 289: Home king with Love Day 288: Coloring Easter Eggs Day 287: The View From Above Day 286: The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers Day 285: The Princess Bride Day 284: All Creatures Great and Small Day 283: The Legend of the Dogwood Day 282: Sleeping with the Windows Open Day 281: Four Significant Birthdays in One Year Day 280: Discovering Great Music Day 279: Funny Names for Wi-Fi connections Day 278: Sad Cat Diary Day 277: The Smiling Cow Day 276: Celebrating 16 years of motherhood Day 275: Seeing Potential in Our Children Day 274: Stained Glass Day 273: Naturalization Ceremonies Day 272: “Let It Be” by the Beatles Day 271: Sharing Meals with Great Friends Day 270: Daffodils Day 269: April Fool’s Day Day 268: Acoustic Music Day 267: Country Roads Day 266: Sunsets on Pamlico Sound Day 265: The Sound and Smell of the Ocean Day 264: Crossing the Bonner Bridge Day 263: Mark Twain Quotes Day 262: Old-fashion Fun Day 261: The Far Side Cartoons by Gary Larson Day 260: Nostalgic Theme Songs Day 259: Appreciating Life’s Rewards Day 258: Awkward Conversations With Strangers Day 257: The arrival of Spring Day 256: Being Saved by Buffy the Vampire Slayer Day 255: Thoughtful Husbands Day 254: The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow Day 253: When Kids Want to Clean Day 252: Conversations in Cars Day 251: Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Day 250: Bonnie Bell Over-sized LipSmackers versus Egg-Shaped Eos Lip Balm Day 249: Watching Those I Cherish Sleep Day 248: Getting Back on My Bike after the Longest Winter ay 247: “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.” Day 246: Multiple Reminders of Beauty Day 245: Being Nice to Total Strangers Day 244: The Perfect Phrase Day 243: Little Girls With AttitudeDay 242: The Soup Nazi Day 241: Contagious Smiles Day 240: Oklahoma Day 239: Dr. Seuss’ Persistence Day 238: Over-Dependence on Spell Check Day 237: Only 28 days in February Day 236: Genuine Signatures Day 235: Television Personalities Who Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously Day 234: The Words “Happy Birthday” Day 233: Teenagers Who Care about Their Grandparents Day 232: “Morning Has Broken”Day 231: Avoiding Jury Duty Day 230: Melting Snow after a Long Winter Day 229: Hungry Teenage Boys Day 228: Having a DreamDay 227: Mispronunciations Day 226: Awkward Animal MomentsDay 225: Shaking Hands With Scott HamiltonDay 224: Having an Office With Windows Day 223: Watching Our Children Mature Day 222: Getting the Upper Hand Over Life’s Challenges Day 221: St. Teresa’s Prayer Day 220: Children Who Are True to Self Day 219: Frosted Sugar Cookies Day 218: Children with a Global Perspective Day 217: Enchanted Day 216: Having a “secret weapon” Day 215: Jack and Diane Day 214: The Volkswagen Beetle Day 213: Moments that Can’t Be Recreated Day 212: “The Soul” Quote Day 211: Rubber Ducky Day 210: Tracks in the Snow Day 209: Finding a Penny on the Ground Day 208: Kids who Use Their Manners Day 207: Reminders of Warm Sunny Days Day 206: Dogs Playing in the Snow Day 205: Descriptive Phrases Day 204: Arsenic and Old Lace Day 203: Reminders of Resiliency Day 102: Stephanie’s Ponytail Day 201: Being Asked to Help Day 200: Boys and Their Toys Day 199: The Most Important Person Day 198: People With Courage to Do What is Right Day 197: Being Pleasantly Surprised by My Children Day 196: Being Told I’m Young Day 195: Good News Day 194: Meaningful Eye Contact Day 193: A Sense of Accomplishment Day 192: Growing Into the Person I’ll Someday Be Day 191: Matt Groening Day 190: Tuning Out Bad News and Tuning In to What We Enjoy Day 189: Parents Who Encourage Independence Day 188: Watching Young Minds at Work Day 187: Funny Phone Calls Day 186: Healthy Lungs Day 185: Reality Checks Day 184: Coincidence Day 183: Lame Attempts to Go Retro Day 182: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 181: Goofy Childhood Memories Day 180: A soak in a bathtub Day 179: Optimism Day 178: The Year’s Top Baby Names Day 177: Reading on a Rainy Day Day 176: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey Day 175: Watching the Torch Pass Day 174: Converse Tennis Shoes Day 173: Family Acceptance Day 172: Christmas Day 171: The Mr. Grinch Song Day 170: Positive People Day 169: Watching Movies From my Childhood With My Kids Day 168: Jealous Pets Day 167: Family Christmas Recipes Day 166: Church BellsDay 165: School Holiday 164: Unexpected Grace Day 163: Letting Go of Things We Can’t Control Day 162: Anticipating a good story Day 161: Hope Day 160: When Dogs Try to Avoid Embarrassment Day 159: Surprises in the Mail Day 158: Kids who aren’t superficial Day 157: A Garage on Winter Days Day 156: Real Christmas Trees Day 155: Being a Parent Day 154: Selfless People Day 153: Nelson Mandela Day 152: Memorable Road Trips Day 151: Great Neighbors Day 150: Oscar Wilde’s quote about being yourself Day 149: Love Letters Day 148: The first day of Advent Day 147: The Breakfast Club Day 146: Marriage and Shared Anniversaries 145: JFK’s quote about gratitude Day 144: Watching My Dog Play Day 143: Having my Family’s Basic Needs Met Day 142: When Our Children Become Role Models Day 141: Random Acts of Kindness Day 140; People Watching Day 139: Sharing Interests with My Children Day 138: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Advice Day 137: Weird Human Behavior about Garbage Day 136: Postcards from Heaven Day 135: Mickey Mouse Day 134: Generous Souls Day 133: I’m Moving On Day 132: A Family That is Really Family Day 131: A Personal Motto Day 130: Mork and Mindy Day 129: The Bears’ House Day 128: Veterans Day 127: Doppelgangers Day 126: Letting Life Unfold as It Should Day 125: The Constantly Changing Sky Day 124: When History Repeats Itself Day 123: The Love Scene in The Sound of Music Day 122: Helen Keller Day 121: The Welcome Back Kotter Theme Song Day 120: Sheldon Cooper Day 119: Having Permission to Make Mistakes Day 118: A Diverse Group of Friends Day 117: Family Traditions Day 116: The Haunting Season Day 115; Life Experience Day 114: Changes Day 113: The Wooly Bear Caterpillar Day 112: The National Anthem Day 111: Parents Who Care Day 110: Good Friends Day 109: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss Day 108: A.A. Milne QuotesDay 107: Spending Time Wisely Day 106: Parades Day 105: The Peanuts Gang Dancing Day 104: Sharing a Secret Language Day 103: The Electric Company Day 102: Doing the Right Thing Day 101: When Siblings Agree Day 100: Being Optimistic Day 99: Trying Something New Day 98: The Sound of Children on a Playground Day97: Good Advice Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy Day 95: The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94: Accepting Change Day 93: True Love Day 92: Camera Phones Day 91: Bicycle Brakes Day 90: HeroesDay 89: The Cricket in Times Square Day 88: The Grand Canyon Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green LightsDay 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s VictoryDay 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His MasculinityDay 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of HayDay 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still RememberDay 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessonsDay 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street