Monday, April 7, 2008

The Trick is Laughter, by Susan Reinhardt

Spring finally arrived, the world readying itself for its annual ball, trees and flowers fancying up in all their colorful couture. It's hard to gaze outside and feel blue, especially when you drive by an old abandoned house, and out of nowhere, a circle of daffodils has decided to bloom where no one had invited them. Even the highways have turned from avenues of road rage to glorious streets lined with Bradford pears and Cherry Tree blossoms, opening up as if to say a better world is coming.

Winter is my season of gloom, when the bed looks more inviting than the task of getting dressed, putting on make-up, and going outdoors into bleak and cold rainy days. Rarely, do I exercise or do anything more than Computer Slugging in winter months. There's no excuse anymore. I am awakening early, to the music of birds and barks of dogs, the sounds of mowers and mulchers, a chorus rehearsing for the months ahead. While life is hard right now, and I'm going through a divorce and literally feel my heart ache when my children aren't in my home, I'm trying to find joy in the smallest moments. Who says we can't take the tiny joys and inflate them into huge balloons of happiness? Or maybe contentment, if sheer bliss is stretching it a bit?

The trick is laughter. It's finding friends who say the right things and do the outlandish. It's steering clear of whiners and grouches, people who pull us down with their black bricks of negativity. I'm so grateful for my crazy sister who lives in Rich City, Ga. I call it Rich City, because frankly, everyone there is fairly wealthy. I can always count on her to lift what's heavy and trim off the weight of worry and angst. Last week, fretting my latest book wasn't going to sell, she called in the nick of time telling me she was in a bidding war on the UK version of eBay. Of all the things in this world to buy, she was dying for a possum fur coat. Possum!!! A road kill coat.

"I have to have that coat," she said. "No one else could possibly want it more than me." She scored the coat, and called as if she'd just given birth to a healthy baby. In fact, I don't recall her being THAT excited over her sweet cherubs' births. "I was going to buy the possum pillow cases, but I thought that might be a little overboard," she said. With a sister like this, and the little snippets of joy around every corner that's decorated for the Spring Ball, it's hard to stay down. My new motto is, "Be Happy, No Matter What." If that doesn't work, there's always Merlot.
Reinhardt is a full-time columnist for the Asheville Citizen Times. Her column is available to one-hundred Gannett papers as well as other papers that subscribe to the Gannett News Wire. Reinhardt’s short stories have been awarded prizes by Story Magazine, Mademoiselle, and Writer’s Digest. She has won numerous awards for her columns and fiction, such as three “Best of Gannett” awards and Gannett’s Outstanding Writer of the Year in 1998. Reinhardt is the author of “Not Tonight, Honey…Wait ‘til I’m a size 6…” (2005, Kensington Publishing) now in its fifth printing; and “Don’t Sleep With A Bubba: Unless Your Eggs Are In Wheelchairs” is available in bookstores. Her latest, "Dishing with the Kitchen Virgin" will be available April 29. For more, visit her website at:


Barbara Quinn said...

Ha...Forget the possum coat but make mine Pinot (Noir)!

Yes, spring does have a way of lightening everything some. Thank you for visiting and for the insightful post.


Angie Ledbetter said...

What a great post! It reminds me how truly important good people and laughter are in our lives. Cannot wait to read your book. Sounds just like my cup o' tea. Blessings for your journey.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I'll take a vodka tonic with lime!

Wonderful post, Susan...

Nannette Croce said...

Winter is my season of gloom too. So glad it's drawing to an end.

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