What I Learned From the Not-So-Good Things in 2015



"In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love." ~Mother Teresa

“In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa

Flat Tire
Jerry and I didn’t have a care in the world as we rode down the street in our ancient, yet still running very nicely, Ford Explorer. Mainly, we didn’t have a care since the car’s AC kept us cool. The heat outside could sizzle eggs on the sidewalk, should anyone want to try it. Suddenly…Bam! Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump. “We have a flat,” Jerry announced and pulled the car over, got out and began to change the tire, kneeling on the soft, melting-to-a-boil asphalt. “Do you want help?” I asked while silently thinking, pleeeze-say-no. Jerry said, “No, I’ve got it.” Suddenly out of nowhere a man in a pickup truck pulled up behind us. “Need help?” he called out. Jerry thanked him and said he had it under control. “You sure?” the guy asked. Jerry assured him all was well. I realized then, no matter how much we hear on the news of terrorism, murders, and general hatred between various groups, kindness for humankind still exists. A stranger in a pickup offered to sweat in 100-plus degrees in order to help Jerry, and for no other motivation than kindness. After all, what else could it be? We didn’t post a sign on the road stating that anyone who helped us would get ten bucks.

This is the badge I wore while on the 'Walk In Walt's Footsteps' tour. Unfortunately, we didn't walk in Walt's footsteps, unless Walt was booted out like we were.

This is the badge I wore while on the ‘Walk In Walt’s Footsteps’ tour. Unfortunately, we didn’t walk in Walt’s footsteps, unless Walt was booted out like we were.

Booted Out
“Please exit, the park is closing,” said a Disney cast member (that’s the fancy term they call themselves rather than the unfancy term ‘employee’). What? We were at Disneyland! We paid for the entire day, which included the evening. It was only 4:30 p.m. This wasn’t the first disappointment of the day. We had also paid for the ‘Walk in Walt’s Footsteps’ tour, a behind-the scenes-look at Disneyland from Walt’s point-of-view. But the Dream Suite and Peter Pan attraction were taken off the tour that day. Instead, we were taken to the Tiki Room to listen to automated birds sing and crack jokes. “California Adventure is still open,” the cast member said, adding, “We’re closing because we have to get ready for the 60th anniversary celebration.” In other words, “we’re getting ready for the real people.” Jerry and I spent the rest of the evening at California Adventure, but it didn’t seem right to pay admission to Disneyland when so much of it had closed. Back at home, I called Disneyland and explained our disappointment. (By the way, the cast members cheerily answer the phone by asking how they can make your day magical, or how they can turn your pumpkin into a carriage. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone answered the phone in this manner?) Disneyland’s admin staff decided to send free tickets to Jerry and me due to the fact we had paid for a tour that didn’t have all the events promised and we were asked to leave the park early. This reminded me that it’s best to speak up when things don’t seem right. And I’m glad I did since Jerry and I will now be returning to the Magic Kingdom this month. And with our admission free, I will have money to buy the delicious Matterhorn Macaroons.

Sometimes you just feel like talking.

“If you don’t choose your daily words wisely, negative words wouldn’t hesitate to choose a painful future for you.” ~Edmond Mbiaka

My ears hurt, my tongue hurt, I had some kind of infection. I said to Jerry…(well…I actually didn’t say anything to Jerry because it hurt to talk). I needed antibiotics, but I decided to hang on another day to see if I would start feeling better, (thereby saving myself a trip to the doctor). Since it hurt for me to talk, I didn’t say anything unless it seemed very important (or profound). And you know how often I say important, profound things. Many times I thought of something to say, then decided it wasn’t that important and remained silent. I realized then how often I jabber. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Poor Jerry. With the infection, I had to think, ‘how important is it to cause myself pain so I can say (whatever)?’ I’m healed now, but the experience made me realize some speech can be wasted energy, such as complaining. That’s the kind of speech that doesn’t do anyone, myself and others, any good. It took an infection to help me see it wouldn’t hurt to consider more thoughtfully what I say before I say it. It’s okay, however, to complain about complaining.

This is a review picture as I've posted it in a previous blog. I borrowed my niece's leggings and put my jacket on while the only clothes I had were bing washed in the ship's laundromat.

(This is a review picture as I posted it in a previous blog.) While I washed the only clothes I had in the ship’s laundromat, I wore my niece’s leggings and my jacket.

As you know, my sister Jodee, niece Becca, and I missed our flight to London, causing us to miss three days of our cruise while also losing our luggage in the process. At first, I focused on our loss, the sights and events we would miss. Plus, I worried how we would enjoy the rest of the cruise while nearly naked. You must know how difficult it is to stroll the deck of the Royal Princess with no clothes on. The goggly stares are not to be envied! A month after our cruise, I asked Jodee, “What was your favorite time on our trip?” She said, “Staying at the International Cork Hotel.” I agreed. We would have never checked in to the hotel if we had not missed our flight. But we had to fly to Cork in order to catch up with the ship the following day. Therefore, we stayed the night at the Cork hotel. The next morning, we woke to a radiant green landscape dotted by cottages and farms. At breakfast, served at “half seven,” we dined on a buffet of porridge, bangers, black pudding and all kinds of Irish delicacies. In addition, we met Wendy and Tammy, two delightful ladies who had also missed their connecting flight and who were booked on the same cruise. They stayed overnight at the same hotel and planned to embark the Royal Princess the next morning along with us. To our amazement, both Wendy and Tammy live in the Phoenix area, and Jodee and I had a reunion lunch with them in Phoenix last month. Although it was disappointing to miss out on seeing Guernsey, the surrounding sights of Cork, and to be practically naked for the first week of the cruise, I wouldn’t change a thing. Jodee and I had a wonderful experience at the hotel and made two new friends in Wendy and Tammy.  I learned, if things don’t work out as planned~ sometimes what you want may not be as good as what you get. Also gratefulness, no matter what the situation, cancels out disappointment.

If we hadn't stayed the night in Cork, I wouldn't have greeted the morning to a view like this or hollered "Hello Ireland."

If we hadn’t stayed the night in Cork, I wouldn’t have greeted the morning to a view like this.

This is how I express my joy when learning I will no longer need to wear a gas mask.

This is how I express my joy when learning I will no longer need to wear a gas mask.


Jerry’s Bucket List
Jerry has only one thing on his bucket list. To build a trike (three-wheeled motorcycle) and when completed, to hop on it, crank up the music, “Borrrrn to be willlld…” and zoom off down the highway. The project of building a trike includes fumes from ghastly chemicals, sanding, grinding, dust. I can only say that my bucket list causes a lot less noise and fumes. What I have learned is that Jerry is very considerate, caring and even sacrificing to make life more pleasant for me. He told me that he plans to rent a space outside of our home to finish his project. I removed my gas mask to thank him.

born to be wild

The best cookie on earth, unless you don't like coconut or white chocolate.

The best cookie on earth, unless you don’t like coconut or white chocolate and prefer churros.


♦♦♦♦Happy 2016, God bless, and may your pumpkin turn into a carriage.




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