This month I share a story about the passing of my sister-in-law Mattie and how a long ago kindness remained alive in memory at her funeral.
It reminded me just how important it is to be kind. We never know how much our words or actions may mean to someone else.
The Kansas State Fair
The Kansas State Fair has come and gone for another year. We are spoiled here because we live in the same town and can easily pop out to the fairgrounds at any time.
I spent less time there this year than usual for a variety of reasons, but did take a couple of Ferris Wheel rides. My friend, Greg was able to capture some fun photos. It’s always handy to travel with your own photographer! Mr. Ferris was on to something when he created his spinning wheel.
I didn’t have much time for fair-going this year but did go see the giant pumpkins and the Governor’s cookie jar and the rows of jams and jellies. Those things just seem essential for any fair experience!
Every year a friend who used to live here visits during the Kansas State Fair. He makes his temporary home in my downstairs sun porch during that week. This year I decided I’d get the room spic and span before his arrival.
What ensued was moving of furniture, washing of curtains and scrubbing of walls. I confess it is rare for me to get this motivated. The irony is that I do love to be in a clean house. There’s something wonderful about walking in and smelling the freshness that only comes from every surface having been attended to.
Fortunately, my enthusiasm extended a little further than that room. As a result I managed to get a little corner set up with a lamp my friend Greg bought me as a gift at a show in Denver. I fell in love with it. Who doesn’t love a pink/gold combo?
Now if I can only motivate myself to keep things orderly. That’s always the trick!
In the process of cleaning the sun porch I decided to stretch this 40 plus year old plant across the curtains. I think I like it. More importantly, I think it likes it. The filtered sunlight seems to be agreeing with it.
Here on the prairie, fall has made an appearance and I confess I’m happy to welcome it. Aside from the cooler weather with a little nip in the air, I love that vintage treasures abound. It seems to be the season for markets and I am always eager to go see what I can find.
At a recent flea market I found a little bit of everything I love – vintage linens and pins and interesting paper ephemera. At another market I found a vintage hat and a vintage purse. The shopping has been good!
People often ask what I do with the things I buy and I use them. I believe things should get to live their purpose. Linens were meant to be used and pins were meant to be worn – and that’s just what I do. I carry the vintage purses out and about, and people often comment on them. Sometimes I tuck a pretty hankie inside to complete the picture.
If I were small enough to get into vintage clothing, I’d be wearing that, too! I have a friend who dresses vintage all the time and she’s stunning. Love the idea but I don’t think I’ll ever be that thin!
At the Renaissance Cafe in Assaria recently I saw this book on the shelf and loved the title. I think it was especially appropriate in a restaurant – how about a helping of happiness.
For years I have been fascinated with happiness research. It is a really interesting field.
I’ve always been blessed to be a pretty happy person but I’m not sure how much of that is training from my mother and how much is natural. Either way, I go through the days pretty happy, which is nice.
I have a few little tricks I use when I am feeling down. They seem to work for me and research indicates they would work for many other folks, too.
1. Gratitude – when we pause to be grateful for what is right in our lives, it makes us happier
2. Small things – I can be really pleased by something simple in the day. It means there’s a lot of opportunity to be happy.
3. Write – Keeping a gratitude journal consistently makes people happier – across cultures and ages.
I have a whole long list of ways to be happier, but those are a good start. Sometimes I do them naturally and sometimes I have to remind myself.I suppose that’s true for all of us.
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