ON MY MIND: Surprise, surprise

On My Mind | Maureen Burns

Sometimes the simple things surprise you. I had my grandsons this week for three days of Nina camp (they call me Nina). I had a lot of things planned to entertain them. One thing I didn’t have planned, but just happened, surprised me. I stopped by several parks to hike or read to them. What I found, was that they just loved playing on the playground equipment. They joyously ran to them and played with much gusto.

As I sat at Fallasburg Park, Veterans Park, and the Danish Kingdom, the thought hit me that they are still just kids who love to do kid things. It was a delightful surprise.

I think there is a message for us. What are the simple things in our lives that we just forget to enjoy? We go, go and go. We do, do and do. We buy, buy and buy. Do we just do some of the simple and old fashioned things we used to love or have we sort of let them go by the wayside? Is there a surprise of joy just waiting for us in a neighborhood park or sitting on a bench along the trail?

One of the things we did was we sat on a bench and I read to them. We were off of Clay Street in Greenville, along the rolling Flat River on the new trail. Not another soul was around. It was just us, nature and our book. Oh, wait, we had the dog along too.

He sat on the bench with us but he never said if he liked the book or not. So, that was a surprising nice thing that happened this week. I am hoping it might get you to have your own similar experience of joy.

A sad surprising thing that happened this week was Pearl, our own post office Pearl, told me that she was retiring in a few days. “WHAAAAAT?” I couldn’t believe my ears. I told her I couldn’t even take it in, that I was happy for her but, oh, so, sad for the rest of us.

Who is going to greet us by name when we go in to buy stamps? Who is going to ask how our kids are? Our grandkids? Who is going to say silly stuff with us and make us laugh?

Perhaps someone else will pick up the slack. There are other nice people who work at our post office. But, Pearl, she’s special. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone on the street. They will back me up. Pearl’s a gem. We have been very blessed to have had her in our lives and community. She deserves this retirement. I am hoping she will now have time to join choir as she wanted to, but was just too tired. I am hoping life will shine on her in many bright ways. She deserves lots of joy.

To help send her off, stop in right away and wish her well. Her last day is Sept. 7, so don’t hesitate. You probably need stamps anyway.

I will close with a fun thing that surprised me and made me laugh out loud when I read it. As you know, Phyllis Diller died recently. She was a lovely lady and a hysterical comedian. One of the funniest things she said was, “I like to serve chocolate cake because it doesn’t show the dirt.” Hah! May life continue to surprise us in oh, so many ways.

Maureen Burns, a Greenville resident, is a professional speaker and author. Her e-mail address is maureenburns@maureenburns.com.

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