Two recent columns brought an unusual amount of reader response. At least this week is a mixture of smiles and joy, instead of shock and tears.
I was touched when a woman in the Midwest said the smiley face stickers are just what she needed. She lost her husband not long ago. They were high school sweethearts, with a long marriage. All around her home are reminders that made her sad, until she put smiley stickers on her husband’s mementoes — his American flag, his dog tags and service medals, the framed photos of him in uniform. Now she walks around her house and smiles.
Larimee Ward, of Newport, started this smiley-face movement. Her letter appeared last week, and I hear there is now a shortage of smiley face stickers. Larimee is anxious for a visit so she can see my plastic dancing flowers. A young reader says my garage living room is hysterical and should be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. I rarely manage to answer the mail, but I told this youngster my new “living room” is better suited to Popular Mechanics. I wonder if someone under 50 knows about Popular Mechanics.
A local reader said, “We are planning to make our garage like yours and will put in an electric stove for winter entertaining.” Hmm, good idea. I immediately dug up an old circulating floor heater that still works — so now I’m even more prepared for garage visitors when winter gets here.
Meanwhile, lovely weather is holding on the coast, and three guests arrived the other night. As they walked through the garage and headed out to the deck, one female friend spotted my old (really old) beach and garden coat. She asked to use it if it got too chilly on the deck. Bingo! I would not have my worst enemy putting on that ratty coat and made a mental note to add a rack with a selection of winter jackets. You just never know when someone will inspire you with a neat idea.
Here is a favorite recent email from a gal I usually describe as “my horsey-friend Ruth.” We have known one another since we were both married to doctors. We had daughters at the same time, and those little girls are still best friends. Ruth has almost always had horses, except for a brief time when she did not — but I did. We have ridden together for years, mostly trails on the famous Paramount Ranch (across the highway from Ruth’s ranch). In the ’60s, we rode my horses all through property once owned by Will Rogers.
Ruth and I have always kept in touch. Here’s her response to last week’s subject: “So very true about a sense of humor — I can’t imagine not having one and going through life in a steady fog. In fact, I used to check if strangers had one by commenting on what they were doing, so they had to smile or turn away ... when I then nicely reminded them that life is short and they had to smile, and then they did. Sometimes people need help in learning how to live life.”
Then Ruth adds a bit of news that could be shocking to someone else, but not to me. “I just got over a three-month stay at home with a broken leg, but now I’m back to riding. I tripped over one of my dogs and landed hard, my fault not hers. I need to learn to look before leaping!”
Ruth and I are the same age. I hope she is an inspiration to you older folks, as she has always been for me.
If the following doesn’t make you smile, smirk or snort, then I give up.
• • •
A doctor that had been seeing an 80-year-old woman for most of her life finally retired. At her next checkup, the new doctor told her to bring a list of all the medicines that had been prescribed for her. As the doctor was looking through these, his eyes grew wide as he realized Grandma had a prescription for birth control pills.
“Mrs. Smith, do you realize these are birth control pills?”
“Yes, they help me sleep at night.”
“Mrs. Smith, I assure you there is absolutely nothing in these that could possibly help you sleep!”
She reached out and patted the young doctor’s knee and said, “Yes, dear, I know that. But every morning I grind one up and mix it in the glass of orange juice that my 16-year-old granddaughter drinks. And believe me, it definitely helps me sleep at night.”
• • •
Ya gotta love old people!
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]