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Laughter

            “A Day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

These flowers and butterfly I saw at the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix didn’t make me laugh, but they certainly put a smile on my face. — Photo by Pat Bean

Giggling is Good for the Soul

The more I live on this planet, the more I enjoy, and am thankful for, anyone and anything that makes me laugh. I’ve even begun recording things that bring a smile to my face in my journals so I can smile a second time down the road a bit.

But my friend, Kris, who always makes me laugh, brought a big smile to my face as turned into a butterfly during our visit to the gardens. — Photo by Pat Bean

As I do so, I’ve begun noticing that the kind of things that make me laugh the loudest – belly laughing I call it — are more likely to be things that have me laughing at myself.

For example, the quote: “Writer’s block is only a problem for those who can afford it.”  This made me laugh because while I occasionally suffer from writer’s block these days, I never once had it before I retired when I wrote for a living.

I laugh at the who-walked-into-a- bar jokes that one son is always telling me, and the knock-knock jokes a young grandson has discovered, or the corny jokes told in a melodrama a friend and I recently saw here in Tucson at the Gaslight Theater. It was called “The Vampire” and the show had me giggling throughout the night.

Meanwhile, I’ve also come to notice that I’m not laughing at the late-night comedians – you know who they are — who mock people and what’s going on in the world today. For one thing, I don’t consider this kind of material something to laugh about.

For another, it seems like such rhetoric is a kind of bullying, certainly not the kind of laughter that will help a polarized nation come together, encourage people to practice kindness or set good examples to young people who make fun of or bully any kid who is different.

Am I alone in feeling this way? I really want to know.

Bean Pat: Another Unscheduled Interruption: Michael   https://1writeway.com/2018/10/10/another-unscheduled-interruption-hurricanemichael/#like-19323  Hope we learn what happened next.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Autumn Back Roads

A 2015 road trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon to see aspens in the fall. — Photo by Pat Bean

“You can’t travel the back roads very long without discovering a multitude of gentle people doing good for others with no expectation of gain or recognition.  The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.: — Charles Kuralt. 

A fall hike in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh. — Photo by Pat Bean

A Break from the Chaos

Fall along Texas’ Gulf Coast. — Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t know about you, but I need a break from hearing people being unkind and downright nasty to each other. I’m tired of people who are rudely unaccepting of anyone or anything that is different from them or theirs.

I don’t expect everyone to think the way I think, or the way you think, but that doesn’t mean we can’t at least be civil to one another. Being different or thinking different is not a crime.

I think I need to take a back road road trip to remind me of all the good people in this world. And what better time of year to do it than in autumn, when Mother Nature showers the vistas with color.

Anyone want to join me?

Colorado’s Cumbres Pass in the autumn. — Photo by Pat Bean

Bean Pat: Breezes at  Dawn https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/a-monday-meander-surprise-adventures/ Another blogger who likes to wander.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Fall at Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

 

 

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Polifax in the 1999 TV movie The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax. Other actors have also played this character, but Angela is how I always pictured the character when I read Dorothy Gilman’s books.Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. – Boris Pasternak

The Write Words

One of my favorite authors back when I was trying to figure out life, which of course I still am, was Dorothy Gilman and her Mrs. Polifax series. For those of you who haven’t read any of the books, Mrs. Emily Polifax is a white-haired widow who adored hats, had a brown belt in karate and worked for the CIA as a spy.

Life”s surprises are a gift, like a butterfly that unexpectedly appears. — Art by Pat Besn.

What I liked about Gilman’s heroine was that no matter how difficult a situation she found herself in, she was always hopeful she would find a surprising way out of her difficulties.

Reading back journals, I discovered I often used the character’s dialog as quotes. The gist of the one I remember best is that life is not like setting a table where everything can be placed exactly like you want. I thought about this on reading this month’s prompt from my online writing circle, which is:  Write about a journey you’ve been on where you got sidetracked and ended up with a much more fulfilling outcome.

My second thought was: just my whole life.  

            Dreams I had of how my life would go – to quote one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings – went to hell in a handbasket. Other dreams turned out better than I could ever have imagined, even though they bumped forward on a rocky path with many detours along the way.

Looking back, I’m glad life didn’t go the way I had planned. It wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.

Bean Pat:  https://lithub.com/alice-walker-on-writing-dancing-and-bursting-into-song/  I  loved this.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Weekend Friendship Catch Up

There is nothing on this earth to be prized more than true friendship.” – Thomas Aquinas

Kim and me just before we jumped out of an airplane to celebrate my 70th birthday.

            “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.,” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Required Sleep Catch Up on Tuesday

            The text from my friend Kim, whom I met 39 years ago, simply said: What are you doing this weekend?

My immediate reply was: Hopefully spending it with you.  And then the telephone rang, and while we talked, she booked a cheap flight from Ogden, Utah, to Phoenix. I was more than happy to drive the two hours to the airport to pick her up.

Kim with a new friend just before we left for our African Safari. — Photo by Pat Bean

Kim and I were work colleagues; rafting and hiking buddies; travel companions (including a 16-day African Safari); and adventure cohorts. One of our best escapades was sky-diving on my 70th birthday, and another was an all-day unpaved, muddy road trip up Nine Mile Canyon in which we got lost, and had to scrape mud off the headlights of her new four-wheel-drive SUV to see to get back down the canyon. We finally made it back to town at midnight– starving. We also climbed to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion during a snowstorm one year.

This past weekend, Kim got my lazy butt out of my armchair, and up to Kitt Peak National Observatory, followed by dinner at my youngest daughter’s new home in Tucson. Kim knew Trish from when I first started working at the Standard-Examiner newspaper in December of 1979. Back then, my daughter was a rebellious teenager, and I would vent loudly about her occasionally at work. For my part, I watched Kim’s son go from diapers to fatherhood, and today claim him as one of my own.

Kim first came into my life when I was a fairly new single parent, and beginning to try out my unbound wings for the first time. It was a surprise to both of us that we became friends and adventure partners. But the joke between us eventually became that we would always have to be friends as we knew where each other’s skeletons were buried.

Kim and me hamming it up at the photo booth at her son’s wedding reception.

Anyway, Kim’s second day here in Tucson, we drove through Saguaro National Park, which is right next door to where I live – but which I hadn’t yet visited. Then we took in a show, “The Vampire,” at the Gaslight Theater, which had both of us roaring with laughter. There were also a couple of 3 a.m. nights in which Kim and I sat up talking and sipping Jack and Cokes.

By the time I got back home from taking her to the airport on Monday, I was pooped – but feeling mightily blessed for having, and keeping, despite time and distance, such a good friend.

And that was my weekend. I hope everyone else had as good of a one.

Bean Pat: Marfa, Texas https://mrspadillystravels.com/actual-contact-marfa-texas/   As a native Texan with a penchant for oddities, this is a site I will visit the next time I visit family in the Lone Star State. It reminds me of Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo. Thanks for sharing Mrs. Padilly,

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

What Life Has Taught Me

Completing a painting, whether it’s good or not, makes me feel happy. — Crow by Pat Bean

“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.” — Richard Bach

20 Things that Make Me Happy

I’m not one to give advice. The choices I’ve made in my own life have not always been perfect, and often disastrous. But I was recently thinking about things that have made my life better, which I did feel good about sharing. I came up with the following.

Having a dog and walking her daily:

Not taking anything personal unless it makes me feel better.

Realizing people are more concerned about how they look than how I look.

Writing and bird watching.

Watching birds, like this snowy egret, makes me happy, too. — Photo by Pat Bean.

Believing in myself.

Accepting that I’m not perfect – and even prefer it that way.

Learning something new every day.

Getting enough sleep, but not occasionally missing out on a special opportunity to keep going until I drop.

Smiling

Hugging someone

Laughing often and loud, especially at myself

Beating a pillow with a tennis racket when I’m frustrated, or simple screaming the anger out.

Eating chocolate

Taking a hike in the mountains, or forest, or beside a stream, or on an ocean beach.

Completing a project.

Saying no when I don’t want to do something.

Not breaking promises to myself.

Giving myself credit for reaching goals, like finally publishing my travel book or simply finishing a painting.

Doing something I’ve never done before.

Watching sunrises and sunsets.

So, what’s on your list?

Bean Pat: Live to Write https://nhwn.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/write-now/#like-18435 Good advice for us writers.

Now available on Amazon

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

 

Going Back in Time

             “One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory prompt…”  — Gretchen Rubin

Salvaging Old Slides

This was the slide my son attached in his email to me today. It’s from a rafting trip I took down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1991. A friend took the photo with my camera. Looking at it makes me happy.

I used to take color slides with my great, old Canon camera because they were cheaper than having prints made.  Yes, that was a long time ago, well before the days of my great, point and shoot digital Canon that I use today. No, I don’t take pictures with my phone.

These days I paint as much as I shoot photographs, and this is my latest piece. I call it bird watching. — Painting by Pat Bean

Over time, the slides and an antique slide projector that I used to view them, got packed in a box and stored away. I kept telling myself I was going to go through the slides one day and figure out which were worth saving in an easier-to-view form. The idea stayed in my head for years until I finally figured out that it wasn’t a task I wanted to do, and accepted that I would never get around to doing it.

I asked my oldest son, D.C., if he was interested. He was. So, I packed the whole shebang up and took it to him when I visited Texas in July.

Earlier today I got an email from him with one of the photos attached, and a note letting me know he had just finished scanning the last of about 1,000 slides. He told me he had bought a special slide scanner for the task.

Along with all the nature shots I had taken were a lot of family photos,  including graduations, weddings and vacation photos, my son said. He’s now going to put them on USB memory sticks and will share them.

I think looking at them is going to make me very happy.

Bean Pat: Breezes at Dawn  https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/a-monday-meander-elemental/  This blog is another photo treat, especially for nature lovers.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Two Sad Days

“Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.’ — Leo Buscaglia

My friend, writing colleague and mentor Debra, living life to the fullest while she lay in her hospital bed shortly before her death. I love her dearly and will miss her forever.

Life Goes On

Today is the 17th anniversary of 9-11 in which 2,996 people died. Yesterday I learned of the too-young death of a writer colleague who was one of the most giving and kind people to become a part of my life.

Life is simply not fair. But I know my friend would be disappointed in  me if I let her death drag me down. And I suspect that this is the same for everyone who ever lost a loved one – be it 17 years ago, or just yesterday.

I was city editor at the Standard-Examiner on 9-11, and helped put out the sad news on that fateful day.

It is what I know I want from my friends and family when my times comes. Celebrate my life, not my death.

None of us truly know when our time will be up on this earth. Once I accepted this, I began to appreciate just how precious every moment is. My goal is to try and live every moment to the fullest. While I know every moment can’t be productive and perfect, I know I am still blessed to have had it – and thankful to have had it, too.

Bean Pat: It’s time to smile now, and you can do this by reading Emily Dickinson’s Refrigerator

https://tricksterchase.com/2018/09/10/emily-dickinsons-refrigerator/?wref=pil And may my soul always be blessed by laughter, especially when I laugh at myself.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com