Keep On The Sunny Side

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Christian D. Larson

The Middle

The middle years brings first a relentless restlessness, that eventually blossoms into a melancholy sweetness, a mindfulness of the passing of years. No bitterness allowed here, only a tender tendency to remind ourselves that the world brightens with grace and gratitude.


We see summer now for what it is fleeting with it’s sun soaked glory days and hazy afterglow appeal. Now we linger in autumn’s red leaves and take time to appreciate the moss under our feet, the hand holding ours, ready to go anywhere, to adventure and explore.


We know winter will come soon enough, moving like liquid lead over our lungs. For now we breathe, Now still, in this moment that is ours. For today let’s create some
unforgettable music. Music that will sustain us on future days when the world seems less possible. I’ll provide the lyrics.
You can hum the tune.


Years on my dear, we can dance under nostalgia’s moon and let our melody move over our souls, reviving and replenishing in the spaces between the here and hereafter.


-Tosha Michelle


‘We found our place
On the branch of an old oak treeOur feet would sway
To a voice in the breezeAnd birds would sing
On the banks of a narrow streamThese memories will stay with me’https://youtu.be/j6Keg3XKKjM

Just for Laughs

We’ve been watching a bit more TV since the Covid insanity started. Here’s a few of our favorite sitcoms to binge. We could all use a little levity during these trying times. These shows always make us laugh (so grab your snuggle buddy, a blanket and let’s begin the binge).

I’ve been told I’m the Lesley Knopes of the South so it’s no wonder this show made the list.

Parks And Recreation

Miranda “such fun” I totally relate to her klutzsy moments.

Schitt’s Creek You have to adore this one. Quirky goodness at its finest.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and funny too.

And now we turn to Tucker, who doesn’t have his own comedy but should.

End notes

Awareness

I remember when we thought everything would go our way before 911, before mass shootings, before division and racism became amplified and highlighted, back before we realized just how slow progress really is. Back when we stood for nothing but comfort and apathy, oversummering in our lounge chairs, oblivious to the bees circling, the wolves feeding near our doors, the terminal frost ahead.

These days there’s no closing our eyes to the ice laced rain, to the world’s breathless history, the cruelty of humanity foraging it’s way into our collective consciousness. We lounge no more. We wade out, knee high into the water punctuated with slippery rocks. We stand hand in hand in the middle of a turbulent river. Knowing there’s no getting around the realities of humanity short a few stem cells.
Still, we don’t lose hope. We know if we channel our anger into proactive socially aware  behavior, a new membrane can grow. Together we can cover the hills with our diversity song, drowning out voices of hate and bigotry. We can leave behind artifacts in the shape of question changing growth until the taint of today is nothing more than a microscopic bygone scene of old. Knowing now everything may not always go our way but finding purpose in the knowing. 
-Tosha Michelle

Bonfire Hearts

I haven’t written a proper blog in ages, this post will be no different. Ha ha. To be honest, I haven’t been writing that much. What I have been doing is reading obsessively, watching Ken Burns documentaries, and picking out paint swatches for our home office. What’s that? Did you just say I was a nerd? RUDE (but true). My latest hobby is collecting old books. You can’t have a home office without lots of books. We’ve also taken to cooking more and trying new recipes. When the pandemic is over, everyone is invited her to my house for supper. 😌


In other news, is anyone else glad 2020 is behind us? 2021 is shaping up to be a more hopeful year with a new president and the promise of inoculation against Covid. It’s just heartbreaking all the lives that have been lost. I don’t know anyone it hasn’t affected in some way. My brother got the virus last month, but has recovered. My sister-in-law is currently in the hospital battling it. Say a prayer for her. Thankfully, she is getting really good care The medical field has really made strides when it comes to treating those with Covid, it’s just sad that some hospitals are so overcrowded and people can’t get the help they need I wish that this pandemic had been handled better from the start. Our government really let us down, but let’s not get into politics.


Anyway, I just wanted to touch base with you all. I hope you are well and managing. I think that’s all any of us can do at the moment. On a random note, Jon Stewart is now on Twitter. Oh my God, my tweeting life is complete. 😜❤️


How about we end with a little music from Dashboard Confessional…

The Makings Begin Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

-Langston Hughes