Last Week’s Good Things

I didn’t write a “Good Things” post last week. It was not because there were no good things on which to report. I was out of town at a conference all last weekend, which in itself was a very good thing. There is something about getting away with a group of similarly minded people with a common purpose that can be so inspiring. To add to it, I was with a workmate who I usually don’t spend time with, so it gave great time to reconnect and get to know her better. So that is my excuse.

As for this week, these were some of the good things that happened to me:peonies

  1. Blooming Peonies – In October we will have lived in our house for 25 years. When we first moved in, there was a bizarre cat run in the back yard. This was because there were more than a couple cats that lived in the house of the previous owner (realistically, there may have been 3-4, but in my mind, cats were everywhere when we were looking at the house). Anyway, once we moved in, we took the cat run down almost immediately. The old lady who lived next door told us that there had been peonies planted along the back of the house that had been there for years (she also mentioned that she had dug some up). That next spring, shoots started popping out of the ground. Within days they were pretty tall, and within a week or two they had huge ball-like buds that ended up blooming into the most fragrant and beautiful pink and red peonies that I have ever seen. I don’t know when they were planted, but I know that for twenty-four years now, they have meant a great deal to me.
  2. Fist pumping runners – It has been a pretty lovely week in Kansas City this week. I think that spring/summer is here. Twice this week while driving, I have seen guys out running, and pumping their fist in the air.  They look so seriously happy. That made me happy too.  penfriends
  3. Remembering Pen Pals – I read an article this week about pen pals. It recounted that during the 1964-65 World’s Fair held in New York City, Parker Pen Company had a pavilion among the other industrial presenters. The theme of that world’s fair was “Peace through Understanding.” Parker attached “… Through Writing” to the theme. To demonstrate this, Parker had in its pavilion a computer that would take a form filled out by a visitor,  and match that visitor with a pen friend from somewhere in the world. During the fair, the computer matched its one millionth Penfriend. Not only did I love this article, but it made me remember my own pen pals. I had a few, but probably the one that I kept in touch with longest was a girl from England whose name was Jane. I remember that she sent me a postcard of Piccadilly Circus and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Unfortunately, I lost touch with Jane somewhere in my adolescence, but it was such a fun experience – to get a letter in the mail from a place so far away from a girl who was kind of like me! (As a small world kind of thing for me now, the Parker Pen Pavilion was moved to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri after the fair and became part of the Lodge of the Four Seasons).
  4. Ronald McDonald House – This week, some work friends and I went over to our local Ronald McDonald House at the end of the day and we cooked dinner. Using ingredients that had been donated by our group, we made spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad, garlic bread, and cakes for the 25 families staying there. Each of them had children ill in the hospital and home was too far away to travel to and fro from. After a couple hours of cooking, we left the building with wonderful smells. I think that each of us took with us a feeling of luck that we had an opportunity to bring a warm good meal to some families who certainly deserve it.
  5. Learning a new game – Last night, after dinner with friends, we got down to our usual business — playing a game. Our game of choice, however, was something new. We played a card game called Euchre. Euchre involves only some cards in the deck, partnering with another player, trumps, and guessing how many tricks you may be able to take. I made some bonehead errors – mostly which involved me bettering my partner (not a good strategy) – but it was a fun time and I kind of think that I could get better at it.