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Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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smile

Share Freely

What can you give any other human being at a moments notice that won’t cost you a thing? It’s not a trick question. The simple answer is a smile. It has been proven it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Science also tells us that smiling has a direct link to the brain and can reduce stress. That’s pretty powerful. Continue reading “Share Freely”

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day is observed by many as a day to think positive. A day for looking on the bright side of things then carry that with you every day after. Do not worry and do not stress over the little things. Life is too short to let the little things bother us. Everyone knows that unexpected or unplanned things happen in life, sometimes on a daily basis. With a positive attitude, life is much brighter and easier. [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading

Be Happy

For most people happiness happens naturally. I can look out my window and marvel at the colors of the flowers, enjoy dewdrops glistening on leaves, and know it’s going to be a sunny warm day in western New York. I can hear my cat purring in the chair next to me and watch the chipmunks outside running around on our wood pile. Both things make me smile. I sometimes think about the reality of how a human body works and the solar system keeps moving. These miracles we take for granted give me reason to be happy. Continue reading “Be Happy”

Splashing is Fun

The National Day of Calendar doesn’t explain when Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day was started, by whom, or what for, but admit it, if you see a child splashing in a puddle it makes you smile. There is  something fun and freeing when you see or do it.

Way back when, my best girl chum was a classmate named Barb. We must have been seven or eight. She would come home on the school bus with me on occasion. Our favorite pastime was making “secret” mud holes in the defunct garden, so it must have been late October when we did it. Our goal was to have one of my older sisters step in it. I don’t remember that ever happening. One time we didn’t mark the booby trap and Barb stepped in it with her school sneakers on. My mother was not very happy with us and did her best to clean the sneaks. I am still laughing that it was one of us that stepped in the mud.

I picked my grandson up from school yesterday. There was sloppy snow near the exit door of the school. I can’t tell you how many fifth grade boys had to stomp in that slop. They looked at the student next to them to see if they had splashed them, then laughed if they were successful. I smiled inwardly.

When I first started dating my husband we were at a summer picnic. The weather was as warm as could be but it was pouring. We decided we might as well dance in the rain. Our friends thought we were acting like children. Oh well. It’s a great memory and we had fun doing it.

I’m sure most of you have seen the video of the toddler “walking” the dog. The one where the dog is standing there, the leash lies on the ground, and the child is stomping in puddles. It’s a good thing some parts of us never grow old no matter how many birthdays we celebrate.

It’s supposed to rain today in my neck of the woods in New York state. I’m glad there will be some puddles to splash in.

 

Grief Can Do That To You

Today is National Grouch Day. Sesame Street has Oscar the Grouch and he is constantly complaining, about something; anything. He’s a glass-half-empty kind of fellow. The picture above shows a definitely unhappy child: maybe he’s hungry; he didn’t get to have a new toy; he doesn’t know when he’ll see his Mom again because she left in her military uniform; or his father is crying and he’s never seen him do that after talking on his cell.  The reason for the tears: he just found out his favorite uncle died.

My husband and I spent the last couple of days at the funeral of his cousin Jerry. The first of fifteen cousins in his generation we had to say good-by to. It can be frightening to think our age naturally puts us in line for it to happen more often and closer to home. The fear of the unknown date can cause you to get grouchy; the riled emotions and sadness can cause you to get grouchy; trying to find a funeral home in a big, unfamiliar city can cause you to get grouchy; and so can the noise being made by other guests in the hotel you are trying to sleep in.  It’s an emotional time for everyone involved, especially for the spouse left behind that has to figure out what the “new normal” is going to be.

Jerry had been sick for a long time. Sometimes you couldn’t even tell there was cancer in his system; other times, you didn’t think he would last another week. So when the end finally came, it was not a surprise. How much it hurts was a surprise. We all said it was a blessing he was no longer in pain. We added, he wasn’t here long enough to suit us.

I’ve been to far too many funerals already. I’ll share with you that both of my parents funerals were like a party week. The relatives came, the neighbors, the friends. People we hadn’t seen in a long time made contact with calls, cards, and flowers. It was festive. The pain set in afterwards when the house was quiet, and the company disappeared. Then the mind asks, “What just happened?”

Jerry’s funeral was like that. Cousins converged on Baltimore from Chicago, Boston, Knoxville, TN, Rochester, NY, and Miami. Friends came from next door, Washington, DC and Maine. We laughed about some memories and cried over others. We hugged each other; we said I love you. One of the family members didn’t speak to me and it really hurt my feelings. I thought he was mad at me, but then I found out he didn’t talk to hardly anyone. Grief can do that to you when you aren’t ready to face it yet.

I know this isn’t my usual type post, and there are lots of other reasons to be a grouch, but this reason is on my mind. The National Day of calendar suggests spending time with a grouch on this day and give them a reason to smile or pass them one of your own. It may help them be less of a grouch, and just maybe help them to heal from the pain of loss.

 

 

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