taking the good and the bad with chocolate covered doughnuts

“New mysteries.
New day.
Fresh doughnuts.”

David Lynch
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This was not to be today’s post.
Today’s post was to be something deep and meaningful.
Something thought provoking and profound.

But after spending the day yesterday in Atlanta with Dad,
I thought profound could wait.

Last week I had shared a post entitled Status quo
a post about how, at this point with Dad, we were just happy to have the status quo.
A hanging in and on…

Well that status quo changed in the blink of an eye.

I knew he wasn’t doing well and that it’s all just a matter of time…
but the hospice nurse told me Thursday that his kidneys are failing…rapidly.
And that it truly is just a matter of time…she certainly did think he’d last the weekend,
but his kidneys couldn’t hold out much longer…
As I suppose the cancer will push the kidneys to their breaking point.
cause Cancer is just that way.

And happily, blessedly, he did last the weekend…

For the one thing about Dad that you should know is that the genes he inherited,
at least from his mother’s side, have tremendous staying power.
He is a Timex watch and an Energizer Bunny all rolled into one.
As he goes on and on while taking a licking….but he keeps on ticking!

Not so much because he is strong, full of fortitude or stamina…
far from it….
He is not, nor has he ever been athletic, health conscious or a vigorous sort of soul.
He will actually finally confess to the very truthful fact that he is,
and always has been, lazy…
As he was a man who also loved his scotch….

But what Dad does have is chocolate.
A deep and abiding love of chocolate… as it courses through his veins.

I’ve written about Dad and chocolate before.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
He can eat chocolate 24/7

Now mind you, I love a good piece of chocolate or some decadent type of chocolate dessert…
As there is nothing quite like a cold creamy slice of chocolate pie topped with a generous mound of whipped cream, a rich yet elegant pots de creme,
or a handful of M&M’s grabbed while on the run…
but I can’t just sit around all day long eating chocolate….I’d get sick as a dog!

But that is exactly what Dad’s beside table looks like—a plethora of all things chocolate.
As he doesn’t miss a beat nor does he get sick.
It’s like Popeye and his spinach.

So when I picked up their groceries,
I naturally picked up several items out of the chocolate food group.
And when I returned home, Dad demanded that I bring him one of the chocolate covered doughnuts…
as in, immediately.
Never mind I told him he’d need to eat at least a bite of lunch first…
for Dad’s appetite for real food is now almost non existent,
yet as for all things chocolatey, he’s still going strong.

So imagine my startled surprise when I walked back into his bedroom to check on him,
chatting away while putting things away…
when I suddenly look up, only to find him like a little kid,
with his mouth covered in chocolate…

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So I suppose a picture is indeed worth a thousand words…
reminding us that in those times of sadness and sorrow, pain and frustration…
we can still find a glimmer of hope, a smile, a laugh and actually something good…
of which helps us forget, albeit briefly, the bad…

So for today…we’ll take both the good and the bad as long as there is chocolate and doughnuts….

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

The pursuit of “happy”

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Roald Dahl

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(sometimes we have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find a little Happiness)

What makes you happy?
Being happy, especially this time of year, throughout what I refer to as the doldrums of the year, the months of being in-between—-as in, in between seasons, in between holidays, in between sun and gray sky, in between barren and ladened, in between football and baseball. . .is certainly no easy task. In fact most folks are walking around with heads hung low, shoulders slumped, jacket collars turned upward in the endless deflection of snow, rain and cold wind.

Sometimes it is most apparent that we just need something to kick-start that part of the brain that houses the pleasure center—something to pump up those neurotransmitters in the brain which are responsible for helping to make us happy—neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. And no I’m not talking about popping a pill, having a drink, eating a doughnut—ummmmm a doughnut. . . oh a doughnut sounds so good right about now! I haven’t had a doughnut in probably a year or so—that decadent, yeasty, sugary piece of heaven in circular form ..You are now hearing the slap slap to the face and the “get a hold of yourself woman”. . .

Nope, none of that aforementioned sort of engaging in the empty thrill of the moment indulgences that act like quick fixes to happiness—of which merely equates to emptiness. No siree, none of that for us, we want the genuinely feeling of happy, the type that can’t be found in food, drink, sex, excess, emptiness or guilt. We want innocent, joyful, self satisfying, deeply real happy. I’m talking about the sort of happiness that you work to achieve more naturally, more or less from that which is obtained from the world around us.

Today, seeing this chocolate frog helps.
He makes me smile.

I suppose there is a twofold happiness hiding in the frog—first of all, he’s just kind of cute and silly all rolled into one, secondly, he is chocolate—how can you beat that? And no, I’m not going to eat him as to do so would be, again, one of those short-lived temporary fixes of happiness that would give way to guilt and disappointment. How do you expect me to fit in a mother of the groom dress by eating my way through chocolate frogs?!

I would love to show you a photograph of a beautiful flower or a bright sunny day accented with those insanely white popcorn clouds, the type of sky and delightfully warm day that makes you want to lie down in a field somewhere, arms folded under your head, listening to the birds sing as you gaze skyward, just savoring the feeling of contentment and happiness of being alive- kind of picture —but alas, it’s a cool day as a storm moved through again. And Lord knows there’s not nary a blooming flower outside for the nearest 500 miles from here.

The frog will have to do.

I have also found a little song that seems to be working for me—putting a smile on my face and a skip in my step. . .

“Happy”
by Pharrell Williams
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
—–
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
——-
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why
——-
Hey, come on
(happy)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing bring me down
——-
I said Hey, come on
(happy)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)
——–
Come on

—-

Have you ever seen a 54 year old woman who is known for being rather subdued, low key, unemotional, always rather serious. . . “dancing” around her house, holding an I-Phone in one hand, which is blaring out this song, hopping and bounding around the house without a care in the world—for no one but the cats to take notice?!

If anything, that alone should put a smile on your face and make you happy! (Those out there who actually know me and are reading this are now pretending they have no idea who I am)

Sometimes, I think one just has to sing despite the inability to carry a tune, dance despite the lack of rhythm, and find happiness in the face of a chocolate frog. . .

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!

Psalm 92: 4-5