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365 Reasons to Smile – Day 91

Eastern_Grey_SquirrelI pretty much like everything about fall with the exception of the stink bugs and squirrels.

I’ll always dislike stink bugs, but I don’t always dislike squirrels. I just have an issue with them in the fall because they go from being cute critters to being dangerous rodents.

Their transformation is directly related to walnuts falling from the trees. The more walnuts that fall, the more dangerous the squirrels become.

They are like addicts going after the next fix, and they’ll risk almost anything to get it. Sometimes that means running almost directly under my German Shepherd’s nose while he’s on a leash. The squirrels are never at much risk of being hurt by my dog when he lunges, but I am. There have been a couple of times when I feared having my shoulder torn out of its socket.

But the squirrels’ courage around my dog is nothing compared to their courage on roads. When I’m behind the wheel of a car, I generally don’t notice the squirrels that stalk the roads just waiting for nuts to fall. But when I’m on my bicycle, I notice.  And when a nut does fall, there isn’t just a mad dash to get it. There’s a competition.

The squirrels certainly don’t care if there is someone on a bike hurtling down a hill right at them. They run in front of the bicycle anyway.

Which is why I’m glad that I just had my bike serviced and the brakes work.

And I have proof that they work well. They work really, really well  – even under dire circumstances.

And that always makes me smile.

Day 91: Bicycle Brakes

Day 90:  Heroes Day 89: The Cricket in Times Square  Day 88:  The Grand Canyon  Day 87: Unanswered Prayers  Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard  Day 85: Being Human  Day 84: Captain Underpants  Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank  Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  Day 80: The Outsiders   Day 79:  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day 77: People Who Touch Our Lives   Day 76:  The Rewards of Parenting    Day 75:  Improvements   Day 74:  Family Traditions   Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes  Day 72: Live Music  Day 71:  Sleeping In  Day 70:  Grover  Day 69:  A Good Hair Day   Day 68:  A Sense of Community   Day 67: Kindness    Day 66: Living in a Place You Love   Day 65: Gifts from the Heart  Day 64: The Arrival of Fall  Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird   Day 62: Green Lights Day 61:  My Canine Friends  Day 60:  Differences   Day 59:  A New Box of Crayons   Day 58: Bookworms  Day 57: Being Oblivious   Day 56: Three-day Weekends  Day 55:  A Cat Purring  Day 54: Being a Unique Individual   Day 53: Children’s Artwork  Day 52: Lefties  Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer   Day 50: Campfires  Day 49: Childhood Crushes  Day  48: The Words “Miss You”  Day 47:  Birthday Stories   Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us  Day 45:  Play-Doh   Day 44: First Day of School Pictures  Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes  Day 42: Appreciative Readers  Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote   Day 40:  Being Silly  Day 39:  Being Happy Exactly Where You Are  Day 38: Proud Grandparents  Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies   Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories  Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  Day 34:  Accepting the Fog    Day 33: I See the Moon  Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap  Day 31: Perspective  Day 30:  Unlikely Friendships  Day 29: Good Samaritans  Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows  Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads  Day 25: When Harry Met Sally  Day 24: Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck  Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love  Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds  Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17:  A Royal Birth    Day 16:  Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles   Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 29

broomI was riding my bike yesterday morning when I saw a tall man ahead of me on the road holding something out in front of him.  At first, I thought he was walking a dog, but I couldn’t see one. As I got closer, I became more and more puzzled.

Then I realized he was carrying a broom. He was walking along a country road carrying a broom.

Just as I reached him, he stopped and began sweeping the road.

He motioned for me to be careful as I rode through broken glass, and I turned around to thank him.

He yelled something back that seemed to be an explanation of what had happened and a comment that it happens a lot, but I couldn’t really understand him.

But I was smiling at his efforts to make the world a safer place for everyone else.

People who do that always make me smile.

Day 29: Good Samaritans

Day 28:  Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet?    Day 27: Shadows

Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads

Day 25: When Harry Met Sally

Day 24:  Hibiscus   Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck

Day 22:  The Wonderful World of Disney   Day 21: Puppy love

Day 20 Personal Theme Songs     Day 19:  Summer Clouds

Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory

Day 17:  A Royal Birth        Day 16:  Creative Kids

Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle   Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity

Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter     Day 12:  Round Bales of Hay

Day 11:  Water Fountains for Dogs    Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial

Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers  Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember

Day  7:  Finding the missing sock   Day 6:  Children’s books that teach life-long lessons

Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment     Day 4:  Jumping in Puddles  

Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill    Day 2: Old Photographs

Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

365 Reasons to Smile – Day 3

hillAs a child, I was never been much of a risk taker.

For years, I didn’t jump off the high dive even though I knew how to swim. I didn’t skip school for fear of being caught. And always managed to avoid the roller coaster that went upside down.

But when I rode my bike, I was fearless. I could ride without my hands on the handlebars and believe I was the most courageous girl in the world. And when I rode down a steep hill with no brakes, I felt like nothing would ever stop me again.

I am a little more cautious these days, but I still love riding my bike down steep hills. But my joy doesn’t come from my ability to let go and be a little reckless. It comes from the fact that every steep hill I go down is one that I just struggled going up.

As in life, the tough times help us appreciate the easier ones, and realizing that always makes me smile.

Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill

Day 2: Old Photographs

Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street

What the Sunrise Says

fogThe end of the school year marks the beginning of early morning bike rides for me.

For a few weeks during summer months when my children and I don’t have to be ready at 7:00 AM, I can pedal into the dawn on country roads.

Sometimes, the fog still clings to the fields, and I can almost see the ghosts of Civil War soldiers who once walked the land.

Usually, the deer and rabbits momentarily stop nibbling the leaves and grass to watch me pedal by.

And, during those early morning hours, the songs of the birds can be enjoyed without the roar of  traffic and other human noises to dull them.

All of this occurs as the sun is slowing making its daily appearance and providing me with advice.sunrise

The sunrise tells me that the beauty of nature is evidence that humankind will never master the paintbrush like God can.

The sunrise whispers the importance of taking time to enjoy the moment instead of constantly anticipating the moments that are yet to come.

The sunrise reminds me that it is simply a reflection of life – constantly changing with time and the vantage point from which we observe it.

The sunrise says that it will never fail me. Even if I can’t see it through the clouds of a dark, gray day, it is still there holding the same promise that it does on a bright, sunny day.

And the sunrise shouts that it will always be a wonderful gift to be treasured.

School may be out for the summer, but the wise sunrise is ensuring the lessons haven’t stopped.