Happy Thanksgiving. While we have had a rough 2020, I've had many blessings this year.
I tend to be an optimist unless I sit alone in my office too long or listen to the news. I'm generally a happy person and feed off others to keep that positiveness going.
There is nothing like a good hearty laugh to get the blood pumping and of course we've all heard that laughing will make you live longer. At least that's what researchers in Norway and Japan seem to think.
The two people who I used to love to make laugh the most, my mom and my grandmother, are gone, but I can still make others laugh with some of their stories.
Like the time my grandfather, a cocky individual, was entertaining a group of people at his place in the mountains while munching on some snacks he had found on top of my duffle bag. He asked what they were, I stammered knowing what he was eating. Before I could collect myself to answer, my grandmother asked him, "Is it the dog food, Dear?"
He made a little laugh, went white and disappeared around the corner. In the distance we heard retching.
For days, I'd notice my grandmother's shoulders suddenly start shaking uncontrollably. "The dog food?" I'd ask. She'd turn around with tears in her eyes from laughing so hard and nod, yes.
I'm thankful that she could get so tickled for so long by such a simple thing.
Another kind of laughter is good too, I think.
I was on a farm a couple of weeks ago with a producer. His fields were becoming increasingly rutted because he was forced to harvest after recent rains had dumped a lot of moisture in his area.
We chuckled at things throughout my visit. Mostly we chuckled at the absurdity of things – that he was picking cotton in the mud, that the weather had unloaded a double whammy and that you never know what will happen.
I think we both came off in a good place, considering what a mess everything was. And, that was mostly on him - having a good attitude considering the situation. What can you do about situations you can't control?
I'm grateful that we can laugh through adversity. I don't think it means we need to be flippant. There's a fine line there and not everyone knows how to manage it.
But, a positive outlook with some smart humor will generally lift you up. It also helps to keep people from fleeing.
And, that's the problem I have about those masks in this unbelievable year. You don't get to see the smiles under the mask.
Early on I painted a big toothed smile on one of my masks. It made my friends and family laugh. I'm thankful I can still make them smile.
Have a joyful Thanksgiving.