Monday, October 17, 2011

Live, Laugh and Love!

We had the opportunity this weekend to apply this simple prescription to help find the Good Life:  Live, Laugh and Love.   It almost sounds too simplistic to be of real value but there is much truth in its plain, unvarnished approach to finding happiness.   How often do we hold ourselves back from truly engaging in fun and games with our family and friends and then wonder why we don't have strong bonds with them?    This weekend we had a good old fashioned backyard bar-b-que and then played a silly but fun game that had all of us laughing and competing fiercely for bragging rights.

It has been quite some time since Larry and I have had the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with his sisters.    So recently when his oldest sister indicated she wanted to come from Arkansas for a visit , we quickly hatched up a family get together that included his younger sister, Amy from Opp, AL, Larry's Mom and her husband, Jack, two  cousins from Helena, MS and a niece, Tori,  from Panama City, FL.  Unfortunately Larry's sister, Lisa, could not join us due to a new job but she was invited and was with us in spirit, if not physically!    Our intention was to spend some time with the sisters initially and have the bar-b-que on Saturday that included the other family members who drove over here for the day.   

So we spent the first part of the visit with Linda and her grand daughter, Carlie, just catching up on life and all the things we have missed talking about for the past few years.     It was good to relax with a cup of coffee and just talk about nothing in particular and everything in general to reconnect our lives again.  Then Amy and her daughter, Cayla, joined us on Thursday evening.     We ate supper together and just had a grand time being a family.    It felt good to catch up on all the things everyone has been doing lately and how their jobs were going and to take a trip down Memory Lane talking about the "good ole days".   It was not earth shattering, important news but significant, never-the-less, just to feel the connections and bonds that tie us together.    

When the other family members joined us on Saturday we pulled out the bar-b-que grill, seared some hamburgers and enjoyed the simple fare of a backyard bar-b-que.    Tommie and Rayner (the cousins) brought more cold drinks, chips and a huge four flavored cheese cake to add to the table.    So we all ate plenty of burgers and beans and sat in our backyard enjoying the wonderful October weather we typically have here in Northwest Florida.   The skies were blue, not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze held the 80 something degree day in check from being too hot.    It was as if we had ordered the day from the "perfect day" check list.    

Later that night we gathered around a table in the living room and played a highly competitive version of the game, Taboo.   If you've not played this one, you should give it a try.    The object is to get your partner to say a certain word or phrase without using any of the forbidden words on a short list below the word or phrase you're attempting to convey to your partner.  It is much harder than it sounds!    However, it IS a lot of fun and I assure you that, in spite of the competition going on, we all were laughing at least as much as we were plotting to win!   It also activates some brain cells that may have gone unused for a while.    And the endorphins released from all the laughter and good natured ribbing going on had us all in a very good mood!  

At some point during the evening as the night wore on, I got a whiff of something cooking, wondered what it was and almost said something but was involved in the game and didn't say anything.     Pretty soon, Larry came waltzing into the room with a paper plate covered up in Turtle Flavored Chocolate Chip cookies, hot from the oven and filling the whole room with the amazing smell so unique to hot cookies.     It was the first thing that had diverted our attention from the game all evening!    It didn't take us long to empty the platter and call for a refill which Larry happily did, much to our delight.    

Finally, when we literally were propping our eyes open to keep ourselves awake, we decided to declare the evening over and the cousins departed for Mississippi and the rest of us all collapsed in our beds.    We slept soundly until the next morning when I distinctly heard someone say, "Hi, Sam!" and then, amazingly enough, I heard Sam's voice answer back.    Turned out that Linda was Skyping with her son who is in the Air Force and finishing up his assignment to South Korea, hoping to depart for the US in mid-November.     We all took turns talking to him and were happy for the chance to see him and know he is doing well but eager to come home.     It was a great way to end our family together.

Even as the call with Sam was ending,   several of the family members who had spent the night with us were packing up their bags and loading their cars, ready to depart for home.    With hugs and kisses, and declarations that we must do this again, pretty soon our house was quiet as one by one, they pulled out of our driveway.    As I reflected over the time we had spent together for the four days, my eyes fell on a plaque that is hanging over my back door.   It reads:   Live Well, Love Much and Laugh Often.  I could not help but think we had done just that these past few days.   And I couldn't help noticing how good it felt to reconnect with family and realize that it is those connections that help us stay strong and able to make our way through the world.    

The simple fact is that the world is not always kind to us.    Life can be really challenging and difficult at times.    With the love and laughter (and sometimes tears) shared with our family, we can get strength and courage to face almost anything that comes our way.   If you have lost those connections with your family and even some dear friends, I urge you to give the simple philosophy of Live, Love and Laugh a try.    It really can refresh you and make you realize that your Good Life is within your grasp.    But you do have to reach out to get it.    Make the effort.   It's worth it.    

Happy Trails,


  1. What a great post! It's wonderful to have family times creating memories and just enjoying each other.

  2. I'm glad y'all had such a great visit--a time to reconnect. This is a great post :)

  3. Great post. Sounds like ya'll had a great time Laughing.


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