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Saturday, March 9, 2013


Something I know from racking up a lot of yesterdays is that most people don’t want to learn from the life lessons I’ve learned.  Oh sure, someone might listen to me when I say don’t order spaghetti on a first date, but other than that, probably not – and for that matter, go ahead and order spaghetti.  I had a date when I nervously jabbed a fork in my salad and sent the bowl flying across the room into an innocent waiter.  The whole restaurant laughed.  You can’t buy stories like that when you’re holding hands with someone special and laughing at your memories together.

I told a young couple once that the most important thing about making a relationship work is to stay engaged with each other.  They thought that was too obvious and thought that would be easy.  Of course it was for them.  They were young and in love.  Years later, they’re separated.  It’s sad.  Why couldn’t they learn from my experience that flying salad bowls aren’t enough to keep a relationship together unless you make an effort to keep laughing about it together?

I write a lot about yesterdays on this blog.  It helps me center myself.  In reminding myself of happy times, I can remind others to think happy thoughts too.  I mentioned to an old lady recently that the longer I live, the more I realize that everyone has a story and pain.  She nodded and gave me a little smile that made me feel like I passed a test I didn’t know I was taking. 

My mom is buying property next to the house where I grew up.  I have a lot of memories of that land, some good, some bad.  I’ve been thinking a lot that I have a choice about what I’m going to remember and how that’s going to affect my now and my future.  I’ve written about some of my conflicted feelings connected to that land last year here and here.

So, should I think about the bad man who once owned that property or my friend who died too young, or should I think about picking raspberries and making stuff from old farm equipment?  I can still hear aluminum pie tins tinkling above blueberries and crows calling and feel the warm summer sun as I lay on my back and look at the blue sky while I listen to Dad talk about how much lime to put on raspberries.

It’s a choice.  We can be as happy or as miserable as we want to be.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.  If we’re grieving, all we feel is our pain.  We aren’t thinking about how fortunate we are to have had someone we loved enough to grieve over.  If our bodies hurt, we aren’t thinking about the times when all those nerve endings were exploding in ecstasy -- but we can rise above emotional or physical pain, and all those happy memories give us tools to use when we need them.

The sky is mostly blue today and it’s warmer than it usually is in March in Ohio.  I’m going to walk that property where I have all those memories and remember good things.  I’m deciding to have a happy day.

In Penny news, my geriatric puppy seems to be recovering from her emergency surgery last week.  She’s still got a cone on her head so she won’t pull out her stitches, but she’s eating pretty well and can do her business outside.  Yay!  Let’s hope she lives a long and happy life!


  1. "we can rise above emotional or physical pain, and all those happy memories give us tools to use when we need them." Wise words Linda, thanks. :o)

  2. With all our pains in life Linda the one thing which helps us rise above them is acceptance. Sometimes pain does go away but sometimes you just need to accept it is there and enjoy life despite it. I am also glad you made the choice to enjoy your happy memories and to hear your pup is doing well....despite those awful cone things! Try explaining that to her ;0) I love the berries.
    Jane x

  3. I can't imagine a day without yesterdays! They made us who we are now. Beautiful raspberries, and I'm glad to hear that Penny's making progress!

  4. Yay for Penny! One of the best things about "yesterday" is that it is great fodder for memories, stories to tell young people and balm for the elder years. They're not all bon-bons and ice cream, but then life sure isn't! Thanks for another yesterday memory. :)

  5. It's been one of my hardest life lessons to realize that mostly other people don't want my hard-earned advice, even when they ask for it. When I don't take that personally (and it's hard not to sometimes), I realize that we all learn best by our own trial-and-error mistakes and failures...nobody can learn to walk except the baby himself. I suppose that's why I like the written word so much: there's no pressure at all from the person offering her own point of view or experience, and she can't take it personally if I don't respond well because she won't even know. :-)
    Wish I could lie in that field with you this week, Linda!

  6. Just stopping by to say hello. I'm glad your puppy is recovering.

  7. Hey Linda, as always I enjoyed reading your posts. It's alwaysa pleasure to hear your thoughts, to peek into your life, there's something warm in what you say, but always well considered,. It's like you make us laugh then show us how painful life can be. I like the picture too :) And that's great news about Penny. I hope you didn't think I was being flippant about Husband deafness last time I visted!! As far as giving advice... I used to give a lot ofadvice to my friends on how they could improve their surfing - took me ages to realise that they just wanted to be told that they were great surfers instead :) So I always lie now.... I hope you are well and enjoying the warmth. It's so hot here I have to get up every morning and put the wax back on the candle wicks - one day I should light them and save myself the twouble :) see you!!

  8. March in Ohio isn't exactly balmy Andrew, but I did manage to go outside without a coat for once this weekend.

    I so agree with you Susan about books. Much easier to take advice from an invisible author -- but then why do people ask for advice if they don't want to take it?? Of course nobody's asked me for surfing advice. Maybe it's obvious that I don't know how, or maybe nobody has thought to surf Lake Erie?

    Thanks for all the comments and Penny wishes!!

  9. You have taken the right decision. Just cherish the good memories and let the rest go.
    I hope your mum will be happy with her new place and I hope you will like the place too.
    Best wishes for Penny too.
    I think you, your mum and Penny will enjoy spring soon, exploring new and old places with new eyes.

  10. Thanks for the good wishes Paula! Yay for Spring coming!!

  11. Thanks so much for your sensitive and thoughtful post. Life has so many lessons for us, some of them hard, some of them fun, and the trick is to be grateful for all of them. Thanks for sharing!

  12. A post full of wise words, Linda. As Jane above says, very sensitive and thoughtful. The essence is that we all have positive and negative memories (the balance might differ from one person to another), but it's what we emphasize that will make an effect on us. We can indeed choose to grieve over painful memories or we can fill ourselves with positive energy from the happy memories.

  13. Troubles do not disappear, but somehow we get better and better at living... most of us. You do. :)

    I like the salad story. lol

    Hurray for Penny!!!

  14. The sum of all our yesterdays inspire all our todays and tomorrow's- You're absolutely right in keeping that inspiration stoked with the good ones, and if necessary, filtering or at least recycling the not so good ones! Like that you chose the berries for this one- Obviuosly good memories of gardening? Hope your Penny is past her sentence of the "cone of shame" and on to being a happy girl again! :o)

  15. I love reading your comments! It's like you are all finishing thoughts for me that I haven't quite thought for myself yet :) Thanks!!