Carolyn L. Braun (

Enough already …

More snow …

Guess what? It is snowing … again. At the moment, it is snowing heavily. Once it’s done, they are predicting no snow for a week. Instead, it will be cold with subzero temperatures at night. I think a lot of people – except perhaps outdoor snow activity enthusiasts … have had enough. But what is there to do about it?

And more snow …

Strangely, this situation reminds me of being in the hospital – in pain. The nurses often suggest that you (mentally) ‘go to your happy place’ to lessen the pain. For me, my true happy place is Lake Superior. That doesn’t work well this time of year because it is — cold and frozen. My second ‘happy place’ is a stretch of private white sand beach in Pensacola, Florida – owned by the Navy. I visited there once with my Navy Commander friend. We had a small group that went out in a bay on a pontoon. There were no other people in sight. All we could see was white sandy beach, light green/blue water, and clear blue sky in every direction. It was incredibly beautiful! That is the image I picture in my mind when I go to my happy place.

My mother took a slightly different aproach. When she was down, she would think about her favorite things. Below is a poem she wrote that was published in her column Shirley’s Second Sampler (a senior federation paper). I found the clipping in one of my file folders (as I was de-cluttering); the only date indicated is June/July issue.

Some of My Favorite Things

Today I am sitting at my kitchen table, looking out at the dull, dreary sky that has been Minnesota’s spring this year. To cheer myself up, I started thinking of things that invariably make my life brighter. Here, then, are some of my favorite things:

A good book

A quite walk in the woods

A drive through the countryside

Old furniture

Brick houses

Family reunions

Wind chimes

Fresh clean curtains

The church choir

A baby’s smile


My mother’s locket

A freshly scrubbed floor

Lilacs and lilies of the valley and peonies

The tug of a sunfish on my hook

Lots of pepper

Cucumbers and corn on the cob

A hug from my kid

Violets in the spring


Peace and quiet


My grandchildren


A patchwork quilt

A cooling breeze

A new dress

The many colored leaves of autumn

A cardinal at the bird feeder

A good cup of coffee


What are your favorite things?

by Shirley Olene, Shirley’s Second Sampler

If this weather is getting you down, perhaps you can go to your happy place or think about some of your favorite things. If nothing else, you won’t be thinking about the snow and cold for a while.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return.

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