3 Things – 8/13/12
I have had many things this last two weeks that have brought big smiles to me and my family; so, I’ve had a difficult time choosing how to narrow this down to just three items. But I think that I have finally figured out which three I want to share.
1. Revisiting the past – not all things bygone are worth a mention and no, not all of the things I remember growing up would bring a smile. Think rainbow sweaters that go from sleeve to sleeve or pinning your blue jeans. But on a road trip with some friends, I came face to face (well sort of) with an old love from my past. Actually, my old friend was relegated to the top shelf in the convenience store cooler. You know the shelf where store-brand colas, Yoo-hoo’s, and that milk product that doesn’t actually need refrigeration sit. There among the other “less popular” beverage choices sat a blast from my past – Pop Shoppe sodas. I was immediately carried back to when my family first left the South and moved to Valley City, North Dakota where you could mix-n-match of case of sodas. Of course, now the pop has its own website www.popshoppe.com, unlike when our friendship began in the early 80’s. If you have a few minutes, check out the website and have yourself a chuckle at the humor found within. I enjoyed every sip of my root beer thinking back to the days of playing balloon volleyball in the basement for hours on end. With every memory that came flooding back from those days, my face was carrying a great big smile.
2. Visiting old friends– this is actually a play on words. Last week I was able to return
(FINALLY) to my volunteer position at the Minneota Manor (nursing home) with my faithful sidekick, Huckleberry. Actually, I am the sidekick (because he is much more popular there than I am) as Huck makes his rounds and visits his friends. I love to see the spring in the old boy’s steps as soon as he sees me get out a bandanna scarf (of which he has quite a collection). Huck has his favorite people and as soon as we arrive he has to go visit at least one of them. He has always been a special dog, but I think as he gets older he recognizes a kindred spirit when he sees one. I am glad that Huck takes me along because there is one special grandpa there that has held my heart for a long time. On his good days (when the dementia isn’t so bad), he recognizes me (or at least, Huck), and then even my heart smiles!
3. Taking a last minute vacation – last Friday, our family took a last minute vacation to go to the zoo and to go back-to-school (shudder) shopping. We had made a promise to the smallest Stevens to let her see dolphins this summer. Sadly, we learned that the dolphin bay at the zoo would be closing down soon due to lack of funding. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the dolphins, but we relished our time with the dinosaurs’ exhibit. Gladly, the dinosaurs were life-sized recreations that were robotic and somewhat interactive. All of my kids have taken strolls through the “Land before Time” series, and we have shared a love of dinosaurs for many years. I am certain this won’t be our last foray with dinosaurs (having dug for mammoths in South Dakota and visited Sue in Chicago’s Field Museum). Somehow just being together sans technology (thank you Minnesota Zoo for having terrible cell phone coverage) was what this momma’s heart needed. Watching our little Sally Gal have the same reactions to the dinosaurs that our once little red-head did at a similar dinosaur attraction brought tears to my eyes. Knowing that that same red-head had to be looking on with pride from Heaven – definitely made me smile!
Whatever it is, BIG or small, find the things that make you smile! It’s definitely worth it!