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Published: Saturday, 11/16/2002

Daily search for good yields a lot to celebrate

Snipers, warnings of terrorism, teenage abductions, robberies, favorite candidates losing the election - isn't there any good news, we ask?

Good things do happen, if we pay attention in our day-to-day schedules. No longer can we take them for granted; we must savor them and think maybe things aren't so bad after all.

I want to share some examples that, perhaps five years ago, I wouldn't have noticed, but I do now in the daily search for good:

  • When I stopped to buy a couple of pumpkins at a neighborhood stand, the young mother came out with two of her three children.

    In our conversation the young woman offered a loaf of homemade bread she had just taken from the oven. She explained that she was focusing on whole grain baking and improved nutrition for her little brood. Not only had she made the bread from scratch, but she had ground the wheat into flour. Wow, I thought, as I sliced the warm, fragrant bread, and with some reluctance shared it with a friend.

  • The deaths of the spouses of two cousins within weeks last summer were very sad. You wonder how the surviving mate in long, close marriages will get along. The one cousin had depended on her husband for house repairs and for half of the work in their craft business. They never left the house, even to go to the supermarket, without the other one. The other cousin can fix or build anything, but he knew nothing about cooking or ironing. A loving wife spoiled him for more than 40 years.

    Children and grandchildren came to their rescues, in most cases driving many miles to help. For the man, the young women prepared a freezer full of single serving meals and desserts and gave tips on ironing. For the woman, home repairs that had gone undone during her husband's illness were fixed.

  • Not once, but three times, I learned a lesson at DeVeaux Junior High School. It is a good memory that I keep returning to when young people are ridiculed. My assignment was to talk about Ohio Amish lifestyle and traditions during three consecutive class sessions. It is a subject dear to my heart, but I predicted it wouldn't be particularly interesting to the students.

    I was wrong! They listened intently and asked questions that their speaker didn't always have the answer to.

  • Lastly, Sunshine, the yellow and white, half-grown cat that I took in two weeks ago, has a new home and just in time. I was beginning to get attached to her and her to me.

    On a shopping trip to USA Baby, Janet and I got into a conversation about cats and I am sure that I said I don't know what I am going to do with the cat I took in. I have asked many people and no one wants a cat, let alone a female.

    On a return stop to the store, which Janet and her husband, Jim, own, she began asking questions about the cat and admitted that she and Jim were thinking about a second cat. Lo and behold, they wanted a female.

    “We'll take it, “ Janet said.

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