Tag Archives: Humor

An Ordinary Drive

Image by RitaE from Pixabay.

My husband and I often drive to Ohio to care for his elderly father.

Not like traveling along California’s coastline, with its infinite, sparkling waves. Not like coaxing our car up Appalachian heights, where scary curves rival breathless beauty.

A between-snows drive on Midwestern highways doesn’t raise pulse rates — unless a semi crosses the line.

Or if we focus on a sunrise. Pastel hues stripe the gray horizon, then amid sherbet-colored clouds, the butter-cake sun shines on dark chocolate fields —

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Sorry. I’m driving under the influence of a post-Christmas diet. But the delicious scene raises my pulse rate. Maybe a bakery lurks nearby?

Hubby points. “The sun’s position has changed considerably since the fall equinox.” As he continues enthusiastic commentary on light angles, his pulse rate probably rises to new heights.

Mine doesn’t. Until he mentions ancient tribes who built mounds in the Anderson, Indiana, area. They marked seasons by studying scenes like this.

That’s how those Native Americans survived without phones?

My fascination with human behavior — Hubby calls it nosiness — quickly spreads to houses we pass.

I indicate a typical Indiana farmhouse. “Do they like strawberry or grape PBJ? Whatever, I’ll bet it’s homemade.”

Image by Stephen Marc from Pixabay.

Hubby’s look silences my mouth, but not my mind.

Yards that sport tired-looking Santas warm my heart. Someone’s farther behind than I. Others boast shining windows and perfectly sculpted bushes. Even their snowdrifts appear symmetrical. How do people live that way?

Pristine Amish homes grab me, though, with their simplicity and clotheslines full of black shirts and dresses dancing wildly in winter wind.

Slowing for buggies lets us enjoy trotting horses and large families snuggled like birds in a nest. However, rumspringa Amish teens skating down the middle of the highway don’t generate warm fuzzies.

Small-town businesses catch my eye, e.g., Red Hot Scott’s Driving Academy. Do parents entrust beginning drivers — and insurance policies — to Red Hot Scott?

Later, after a day of hugs, time with Dad and conversations with health care workers, we say bittersweet goodbyes. Hubby and I could drive the route home in our sleep, but watch each other closely so we don’t.

Against the sunset’s fiery rose, orange and purples, steeples along the way reach for Heaven. My thoughts do too.

Glory to God in the highest.

One more extraordinary ordinary drive.

Image by adonisbluemusic from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Describe your latest amazing, everyday drive.

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Who’s In Charge Here?

Jesus, thank You for presidents who, while far from perfect, have served our country in more ways than we can imagine.

Washington image by OpenClipart Vectors from Pixabay. Lincoln image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

But, OMG, contemplating this year’s election, I’m glad You are King!

Image by Raca C. from Pixabay.

Classic Post: The Love Trials

Image by Maura Nicolaita from Pixabay.

This post first appeared on February 10, 2016.

Even successful speed dating requires major time investment to identify Mr. or Ms. Right. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those longing for true love could detect it within one day?

Ta-da! My revolutionary concept, Love Trials, cuts to the chase. This approach will benefit all humankind, plus make me a few million dollars. Each participating couple will know whether they have found their soulmates after five short sessions in which they:

Trial #1: Pack a suitcase. The girl and guy are given one small bag. Not one each — one. She does her best, but it only holds a weekend’s supply of lipsticks. And is he really going to wear that?

Trial #2: Visit a buffet with one plate. When a woman’s salad vies for space with the guy’s giant nachos topped with five pounds of bacon, she may reconsider. His passion may cool when she doesn’t want his food touching hers.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay.

Trial #3: Dig a car out of a snowdrift. Even without debate as to who should have known about road conditions, speed and directions, this trial proves invaluable in unmasking polite claims of gender equality. She dubs him the stronger; therefore, he should push. He thumbs his nose at her so-called dedication to equal rights and claims superior judgment in rocking and rolling out of the predicament.

Trial #4: Hang wallpaper. Participants ask themselves: Do they really want to pledge their lives to someone who can’t distinguish a rectangle from a trapezoid?

This is the way they imagined remodeling together. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

Trial #5: Buy each other a $10 gift. She purchases an extra-long towel and embroiders his baby-in-the-bath picture on it (winning his mother over). He buys her a heavy-duty ice scraper.

Have the starry-eyed lovers fled the scene? If not, do they still speak? (Grunts count. So do weepy “how could you!”s.)

If so, light up a huge neon Congratulations! sign. Release balloons and confetti!

In the Love Trials, if he and she have not escaped to Mars and Venus, a relationship with a real, live human being has begun. Break out the chocolates, flowers, music and romance! This couple can celebrate true love until the next great Love Trial:

Planning a wedding.

Image by Pintera Studio from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What tried-and-true Love Trial would you suggest?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: It Could Be Worse

Dear Lord, while other grandparents inherit grand-dogs and grand-cats, it’s taken some time for me to adjust to grand-rats. But You have taught me to share our grandsons’ pleasure in petting and even holding the little creatures.

After all, OMG, they could have chosen snakes and tarantulas.

Images l-r by Anktrish Kamar & Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

I’m Glad I’m Not in Florida

Image in PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

Maybe you think I, from chilly Indiana, have finally flipped?

Perhaps I can persuade you to see things my way.

First, pleasant weather conditions during winter confuse us Hoosiers worse than a time change. Is it January or June? Has someone sneaked six months past us?

Lovely weather also demands we go outdoors. If I’d been raised in Florida, my mother would never have let me inside: “Sunshine’s good for you!”

If I were a Floridian, I’d have to do (gulp) yard work. I much prefer curling up each winter with my sherpa throw to read or watch basketball.

In Florida, forget about warm fuzzies. Or the waistline-camouflage layers I love.

Besides, we Midwesterners enjoy griping about weather. Could we survive without our favorite pastime?

If Indiana’s environment resembled Florida’s, our state would be flooded with touristy relatives. Hoosier parents do bribe grown children to come home for Christmas. Soon, though, bored offspring return to nests elsewhere. As a result, parents truly own their homes and cars.

Speaking of cars, no one in the Midwest keeps vehicles clean during winter as expected in Florida.

Besides, without wintry mix, we and our cars would miss the joy of doing figure eights on the interstate. That’s the only wild life we experience after New Year’s.

Regarding Florida’s wildlife: boo for bugs the size of Volkswagens! While winter camping might prove more fun there, alligator warning signs made me rethink my antipathy toward raccoons. They might steal a week’s groceries, but raccoons don’t abscond with several limbs as well.

Becoming a snowbird requires the packing and moving I despise. Besides, snowbirds inhabit rows and rows of mobile homes so close dwellers know their neighbors are eating Popeyes’ fried chicken for the third time this week.

Finally, wouldn’t Florida’s continuous green grow monotonous? The never-changing, brilliant blue of sea and sky?

Sure, we Hoosiers endure dreary months. But nothing will excite us like the first baby leaves that invade Old Man Winter’s domain. Sunny daffodils will send us into spring ecstasy.

Poor Floridians know nothing of these extreme Hoosier joys. Pity them.

And move closer to the fire.

Image by s-wlocyzyk 2 from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Where would you like to spend the winter?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Extreme Hot Chocolate!

Image by DC Williams from Pixabay

O Lord, splurging on this one steaming cup of hot chocolate, I never realized one Aztec king, Montezuma III, drank 50 — spiked with chili peppers — daily. OMG, even this chocaholic realizes a person can want too much of a good thing! 

Image by brian261 from Pixabay.

Image by noname_13 from Pixabay.

Little Joys

Everyone loves huge joys, the take-my-breath-away, can-this-be-me, yippee-yahoo-yaaaay! joys. Some people even become speechless. (A lover of words and hyphens, I’m not one of those.)

Many, though, experience bits of gladness that barely raise adrenaline levels, yet light blahness like a candle’s flame. For example:

  • Being the very first to stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter.
Image by sebastianhausi from Pixabay.
  • Discovering an in-law’s dog chewed your shoes already destined for the trash.
Image by wixon lubhon from Pixabay.
  • Putting away groceries without remembering what you forgot.
  • Buying avocados at exactly the right stage of ripeness.
  • Almost spilling something purple on a friend’s white carpet but recovering in time.
  • Seeing someone else has reloaded toilet paper. She may have been a burglar, but wouldn’t you like to shake her hand?
Image by Carola68 from Pixabay.
  • Baking brownies with crispy edges and gooey middles — though someone will inform you they are too crispy. Or too gooey. Which doubles the little joy, as you can eat them all yourself.
  • Discovering you really did leave your phone at home, rather than at O’Hare.

Maybe that last qualifies as a big joy, an end-zone-dance celebration. But other small joys make a difference:

  • That someone held the door open for you when your arms were full. And didn’t let go too soon.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.
  • That your car, even more hostile toward winter than you, started at first try.
  • That a human hug is something computers will never replace.
  • That rain doesn’t have to be shoveled.
  • That no one cares whether pink or blue baby sleepers are politically correct. At least, not in Indiana.
  • That you finished a book delightful as a hot fudge sundae — and no calories!

“It doesn’t take much to make you happy,” critics might say.

As if everyday happinesses don’t matter. As if little joys collected throughout a lifetime don’t add up to something substantial.

On the contrary, they shine in a person’s face, walk and talk. In memories of them long after they pass on.

That is no small thing.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What little joys brighten your days?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: No Gripes Here, Lord

Jesus, You know I often struggle to assume an attitude of gratitude. But on this chilly, damp Monday, with one flush, I remembered my papaw’s outhouse.

Image by Dieter Scharnagl from Pixabay.

OMG, for cleaning two-and-a-half indoor baths, I am THANKFUL.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Do you like to ask for help? Me, neither.

Even then, I thought I knew it all.

Even as a toddler, I yanked my hand from my mother’s and ran into a street in downtown Indianapolis. Terrified by screeches and honks, though, I clung to her at the next crossing.

Maybe I learned I wasn’t ready to take charge of my life? Nope. Instead, I believed Mommy needed help with hers. She needed me to iron while she was busy with my baby sister. That I ironed my left hand (I still bear the scar) should have made me question my choices.

It did. I still avoid ironing whenever possible.

But cautions about so-called independence learned during childhood vanished during my teens. My friends and I knew everything. Parents resembled forerunners of ATMs, except they gave advice along with money.

I should have wondered why The Beatles, the 1960s epitome of youth and success, sang lines about needing help and growing older. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were only 25 and 23 when they penned “Help” and McCartney wrote “Yesterday.”

But I didn’t until I married and had our first baby. Where was the faucet to shut off drool, puke and pee? I finally admitted that perhaps … I needed guidance.

Image by Natalia Lavrinenko from Pixabay.

Did I ask my parents or in-laws? No. Instead, I consulted books.

Though I did learn from several good ones, none provided critical answers I needed.

Most of the books then and today tell us to look within. That we know all the answers.

Instead, shouldn’t we open the Book that tells us to look up? To realize Someone much bigger and smarter stands waiting to help us?

We Americans pretend every day is Independence Day — even in January. However, 2024 stretches before us, its kamikaze traffic already whizzing by. Can we really navigate it alone?

Or, when we cross unknown streets, should we reach for the Helping Hand always ready to guide us?

Image by reenablack from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Where does your help come from?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Fido’s Survey??

Jesus, today, one more survey popped up on my screen, asking my dog’s opinion of winter. You know I don’t have a dog. But if I did, perhaps he’d agree there are too many surveys in this world.

Image by Claudia from Pixabay.

Instead, shouldn’t humans, canines and all creation ask the bigger and better question:

OMG, what do You think? 

Image by sspieh3 from Pixabay.