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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This year I decided to make a list of the perhaps lesser thought of people and things for which I am thankful on our national day of Thanksgiving.  I am quite thankful for my beautiful daughters, loving husband who puts up with me, and my brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews, also my surviving aunts and uncles. What follows is a list of some of my other thanks.

-the lovely, fun, fabulous, hardworking, loving women I work with.  They make every work day pleasurable.

-Jackie who takes care of Hillary at school every day. 

-the chiropractor without who’s expertise, knowledge, interventions and guidance I would be most uncomfortable to say the least.

-my favorite pharmacy technician.

-having a “merry heart” and Helen Hooven Santmeyer who introduced me to that term in her book “And Ladies of the Club”.

-my smart-aleck phone which allowed me to keep in touch during our 8 day power outage following
“Superstorm Sandy”.

-the members of my writers group. 

-my Facebook friends who enjoy my nearly daily status rhymes.

-electricity & heat.

-the opportunity to share my story of caregiving with a live audience last summer.

-Alexandria Bay, NY (SIGH)

-NCIS and The Mentalist reruns


-free pie

-the freedom to write whatever I want without fear of repercussion

-fond memories, and funny memories

-curbside garbage pick up

-the random scraps of songs that float through my head and cause me to hum throughout the day


Monday, November 12, 2012


Oh my dear Readers! I've been neglecting my little blog here--life's been busy and this old body gets tired easily these days.  The past two weeks have been a bit crazy what with Sandy the Superstorm the size of Europe attacking my dear home state and knocking out our power and internet for the better part of 2 weeks.  Man, I don't like being cold and in the dark for long stretches of time!  I pray that I will never end up homeless, because I can't imagine being that cold all the time, and wondering where I was going to sleep and eat.  Having said that, I wanted to share a little bit of a light very short story I wrote for the last time we were able to hold our writers group (we missed the last one because of Sandy, and still the library is without power which makes me sad).  Hopefully we'll have one in December.  At any rate, the writing prompt was: "Panhandling can be fun...."  I wrote the story as if I were a newspaper reporter, hopefully you'll find it a pleasurable read.
**I made up the name, sorry if there is a real person with that name**

Panhandling Can be Fun
                by Susan Donald

            In a recent interview with Jesse Williams, the so called “Happy Pan Handler”, I learned what lies behind his happiness.  His main mission is to have fun and spread merriment wherever he goes.  He can usually be found at the corner of “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” in front of the “Coffee Place CafĂ©” during daylight hours, except on Sundays.  “I take the Lord’s Day off”, he said, “To be thankful for all the blessings I have.”  When questioned about his strategies for keeping begging from getting him down, he willingly shared some tips.

            “Only ask folks who look like they might need something to brighten their day.  Not the ones who look hostile, just maybe the ones who look a little down in the dumps.  Usually they’re uplifted by helping someone less fortunate than them.”

            “Sing some silly songs or make little rhymes to thank people when they give a little something.  That way it doesn’t feel so much like a hand out, gives me some pride, makes them smile.”

            “Sometimes I offer to carry their bags, or pick a flower and give it to them.  That really opens up the wallet and makes them feel good about helping me.”

            “Just telling a lame little joke brightens their day and they usually show their appreciation with a bit of money, or sometimes a sandwich and cup of coffee.  Some folks just smile and nod and hand me a dollar.”

            Jesse just has an appreciation of life stemming from a life changing event several years ago when he lost his job, his home, and his family.  Even though he was really down for a while, he says one day he realized that he has only one life to live no matter where he resides or how much he has, he wants to make people glad to be alive.  So the next time to you see The Happy Panhandler, give him a smile, and if you’re feeling generous, a dollar or two.  It’ll make your day.