Family Good


My son gave me a pair of slippers as an early Christmas gift. This morning, as I walked through the house, the sound they made brought memories of my grandmother.

When my sister and I were very young, we’d sometimes have sleepovers at Grandma’s and Grandaddy’s house. Their house had a wooden floor in the hallway and a linoleum floor in the kitchen, and Grandma was an early riser.

Tucked in, warm and cozy underneath the blankets, I’d wake up to the sound of Grandma’s slippers. They made a soft little shuffly pit-pat, first from from her bedroom to the kitchen, and then back and forth, across and all around the kitchen while she made breakfast.

When everything was ready, I’d hear the shuffly pit-pat come down the hallway. She’d open the door and softly tell us it was time to get out of bed; she’d made soft-boiled eggs and toast boats, come and get it. And so, our day would begin.

It’s funny how memories work, how they sometimes come out of nowhere, triggered by the littlest things. My memories this morning were brief but so clear, so specific. I felt the warmth of the blankets. I smelled the toast and butter. I heard my Grandma’s voice. For an instant, I was there, in my childhood, enveloped in happiness.

Here’s to Grandma, the sound of her slippers, and sweet mornings full of love.

Animals Good Nature People


Lately, I’ve been noticing stories about animals and insects and fish and the things they do that are just like humans.

Bumblebees enjoy playing with wooden balls. Goldfish become depressed if they are alone in a small, uninteresting fishbowl. Elephants use their trunks for tickling. Octopi dream when they sleep.

Yesterday, I saw a video of a mother chimpanzee reuniting with her newborn baby. The baby was born via c-section, and the mother hadn’t yet seen or touched it. It’s possible she believed it was dead and gone.

When the mother realized her baby was alive and within arm’s reach, she responded in a way that human mothers (and fathers) will understand. Watch here (you might want to have a few tissues handy):

Here’s to having fun, building relationships, learning new things, giving and receiving love, and all the many delightful similarities we humans share with other creatures.

Good People


Recently, I learned about a nonprofit organization called More Than Words.

The goal of More Than Words is to help system-involved youth (16 – 24-year-olds who are in foster care, homeless, or in the court system) with job training and empowerment. These young people run the More Than Words online book and merchandise sites and supporting warehouse and store operations. Additionally, they participate in workshops and receive case management and individual support to help them navigate their current life challenges and set and achieve their educational and other life goals.

Based on the numbers available on the More Than Words website (, it’s a successful endeavor. 95% of the participants have earned or are on track to earn a high school diploma. 88% of the program graduates have held a job for at least six months. Half of the youth eligible to attend post-secondary education programs are doing so. Testimonials from some of the program participants describe hope, help, understanding, skills, and personal growth.

Sadly, we live in world where words are frequently used to make empty promises and irresponsible claims, distract and threaten and discourage. It can be hard to trust what we’re told. Actions, however, rarely lie.

Here’s to the people who are making More Than Words a believable message.

Good Life


We have a set of wind chimes in our backyard.

Most of the time, especially this past summer, I forget about them. There’s little to no wind, and the chimes are silent.

Sometimes, however, a breeze will blow, and I’ll hear them. Yesterday, for example. We’ve had a change in the weather, the wind bringing cooler temperatures and perfectly clear blue skies.

Our chimes sound a bit like church bells, certainly not as loud but with the same deep, clear notes. I can’t help but listen, breathing in the calming melody, feeling it in my bones.

Not everyone likes wind chimes. I get it; the sound can be distracting, sometimes harsh, especially if the chimes aren’t designed well.

The right ones, in the right moment, however – well, they can be magical.

Here’s to nature’s music.

Good Life


Some years ago, I was a runner. I wasn’t hardcore; I didn’t run every day or compete in marathons. I was a casual runner, a neighborhood runner, slowly but steadily wearing away the tread on my shoes.

At one point, I did sign up for a local 5k event, mostly out of curiosity. On a warm, muggy morning, I successfully crossed the finish line, not the first person to do so that day – but also not the last. My “runner’s high” from that event seemed to last for quite a while, bringing new energy to my casual approach.

Gradually, however, I stopped running. My priorities shifted. Work involved new and increasing responsibilities sandwiched between long hours of driving to and from the office. Family schedules often required early mornings and late evenings, juggling clubs and practices and friends. Running seemed inconvenient, impractical, especially on days of blazing sun and sizzling temperatures.

But now, the kids are grown. The work commute no longer exists. Finding the time to run is no longer the challenge it once was. And currently, the hottest days are behind us, at least for a while. Cool breezes invite open windows and outside activity.

I’m older, of course. Creakier. My joints and muscles need extra coaxing and care. It’s unlikely that I can build my running stamina as quickly as I once did. It would probably be unwise to try.

Still, I’ve started looking at running shoes, comparing features and styles. I’ve been thinking about the music that will motivate me on those days when I’m just not feeling it. I’ve been scouting out running paths, reviewing my old route and considering new additions.

It might take a while before I’m back to where I used to be. I may never truly get there; I may need to adjust my expectations. That’s okay. I’m just looking forward to feeling that runner’s high once more.

Good Nature


Today started with a view of mountains and trees framing misty fog rising from the water.

The only sounds I heard were chirps and whistles of birds in the trees and an occasional rooster crow from a neighbor’s yard.

As I watched, the sun rose, gradually bathing everything with colors and warmth.

Here’s to the gift of a beautiful morning.

Family Good Life


Not long ago, my husband surprised me with a new copy of one of my favorite childhood books. I’d lamented the fact that my copy, saved for decades among my most beloved possessions, was tattered and missing sections. He quietly took note, searched for a replacement, and gifted it to me.

The book is I Go By Sea, I Go By Land, written by P.L. Travers (yes, the Mary Poppins P.L. Travers). It tells the story of Sabrina Lind and the journey she and her brother make from their home in England to the United States during WW II. It’s told from Sabrina’s perspective, a journal of days detailing the people, events, and emotions she feels as she lives the experience. It’s a children’s book, but it’s not a childish story.

As I read my new copy, I felt warm and content, like I was in the presence of a friend. I think of this kind of reading as “comfort reading.” The excitement that comes from reading a book for the first time is wonderful, but the re-reading of a favorite book creates its own special magic. I was grateful for the happy spell made possible by my husband’s loving gift.

Coming to the last sentence, I reflected on how the story, the characters and events, has gently accompanied me throughout my life. It is always present within me, ready to supply an image or a sentence. I can go for days or sometimes weeks without thinking about it and years without rereading the words. Yet when fitting and needed, it is there.

Today’s cuppa celebrates companions – the living ones who listen with their hearts and respond with love, and the ones within our souls, ready to give whenever they are needed. May we all have the good fortune of having both in our lives.

Fun Good People


Yes, I play Wordle.

No, I don’t post my results.

No, I don’t mind if other people post their results.

Yes, I enjoy being part of this collective social experience.

Here’s to Wordle and all the other games that stretch our brains and bring us together, even if it’s only for a few minutes each day.

Good Life


My earworm this morning was (is) The Air That I Breathe by The Hollies.

I woke up with the usual internal chatter, questions and thoughts and ideas rolling through my brain, the kind of stuff that makes it impossible to sleep. But there was also this song in the background. Gradually, it moved front and center, draping itself over the words in my head like a warm, cozy blanket.

Here’s to the music that brings us calm delight and reminds us that, sometimes, all we need is the air that we breathe.

Good Life People


In general, I find it easy to focus on the good stuff, the warm, fluffy, happy notes in life. I started this blog as a means of doing so and sharing those moments with others.

I also believe in the value of honest observations. Life isn’t always smiley faces and puppy dogs. Sometimes, life contains disturbing and discouraging news, front and center, ominous and unsettling. In those moments, finding the good and keeping it in focus requires a conscious effort.

Not long ago, I learned of an organization called Alice’s Kids. They have a simple goal: making things better for kids, with the perspective that a little help goes a long way. They provide targeted donations through their partnership with teachers and social workers who make requests on behalf of the children they know. For example, a teacher might be aware that a child wants to join the school band, but the family can’t pay for the required uniform shoes. Alice’s Kids provides the teacher with the means to purchase the shoes, staying in the background and allowing the teacher to take care of the details so that the experience is personalized to the child.

The Alice’s Kids story starts with a woman, Alice Reilly Fitzsimmons, who always did her best to manage through difficult circumstances in her life. Sometimes, she’d scrape a few extra dollars together to buy her children something new, clothing or other items they couldn’t normally afford, thrilled to be able to create a special moment for her family. As she got older, she continued to do what she could for the people around her, small gifts of love and care. Her adult children’s memories of their childhood and their love and respect for their mother’s generous spirit inspired them to create Alice’s Kids.

In 2020, Alice’s Kids spent $265,440 to help 6005 children. This year, thanks to donors and increased awareness of Alice’s Kids mission, they’ve almost doubled their impact. If you’d like to know more about Alice’s story and how you can contribute to the work they do, please visit their website:

It’s unwise to live in denial, to pretend that troubling and sinister elements don’t exist in this world. We can’t allow ourselves to ignore reality. Organizations like Alice’s Kids, however, remind me that the good exists, always. That is what is most deserving of our time, our energy, and our rewards.

Here’s to the reset, the shift in focus from the painful to the positive, that helps us move forward.