The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


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Happy July!

Lake Michigan - Landsat Satellite Photo

Lake Michigan – Landsat Satellite Photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may have read that I am crazy about the first day of every month. First days are like a miniature New Year’s Day, when we get a new clean slate and have another chance to work hard and at the same time enjoy ourselves.

July is the month of my birth, so I am really happy when July 1 arrives. Even before cancer, I loved birthdays, mine and everyone else’s, and I never got depressed over an upcoming birthday. Now A.C. (after cancer) I love birthdays even more. They are proof that I have a life, that I am still alive and have not missed out on anything. My birthday is a wonderful time in which to count my blessings…and thank God. 🙂

Thinking of July reminds me of the sweet cherries that my dad raised in his orchard in Michigan (and the peaches…and the apples…and the apricots…and the pears!) and how the National Cherry Festival was always held during the week of my birthday. My mom would take us kids to downtown, we would set up our folding chairs to wait for the parade, and I would take my birthday money and buy myself more Nancy Drew books. How convenient that I had something to do (read) while waiting hours for the parade! 🙂 I didn’t receive an allowance, and the fact that I used the very occasional money to buy Nancy Drew books…well, does that explain why I love books more than practically anything?! 🙂

My dad could not go to the parades with us, as he was busy in the orchard during that time of the summer. He hired migrant workers to pick the cherries; he didn’t have shaker machines. If I recall correctly, July, August, and September, he often worked 18 hour days in the orchard (the peaches came in late August).

Thinking of July also reminds me of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. We lived very close to it. My best sunburns were achieved there on the beach, as if memory recalls correctly, I was down at the water all day, every day. 🙂  In my mind, I can still hear the slap of the water on the innertube I was floating in and the smell of the lake water that was occasionally splashed onto the magazine I was reading while floating.  🙂

Oops, I digressed again. Thank you for taking a trip down Memory Lane with me. I do hope that even if your birthday is not in July, that you have a phenomenal month. 🙂


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Ode to Sandra: A New Year’s story

New Year’s Day reminds me of my dear sister.

Although I’m a writer,

I have never had a concrete writing-each-day-in-a-diary or journal practice.

Back when I was 7 or 8

I received my first diary for Christmas,

and I can still remember the simple notation

I made on January 1st.

“Played with my new doll.

Walked down the street to Clancy Park with Sandra

to see if the ice rink was ready to skate on yet.”

Such innocent words,

full of hope and love.

Sandra was three years older than I,

so I thought it was fabulous

that SHE would invite ME for a walk.

I had to grab those great chances when I could.

Now that she’s dead and gone,

I of course wish I could make another memory with her.

I miss her most of all

when I do use a journal

and even now when I am blogging most of my words.

She had encouraged me in my writing

and had even bought me a book on publishing children’s stories.

Maybe she could see something in me

that I wasn’t aware of yet.

I miss Sandra terribly

and hope that other people can be close to their siblings

while they have the chance.

 

God's artwork

God’s artwork