Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog


When I write each day in my journal, I sign off by saying "I just can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store", or words to that effect. Sometimes this gets me a little flack from a reader who looks at life differently than I do, and thinks that I "don't have a clue." :)Perhaps they are correct.

I awoke this morning at about 1:30 AM and lay there in bed thinking about this subject. Finally, unable to get the brain to quiet down, I got up and am sitting at my computer now at 2:45 AM. This only leads me to think that I may not have it all together. :)

The truth is that we all make choices in life and can look at the glass as half full or as being half empty. I choose to see the glass as half full. Marilyn and I have had our share of tragedy in life and could easily have chosen to go the other direction.

When our 25 year old daughter was killed, our sorrow was so enormous that we could have failed to survive, if it hadn't been for our faith and our friends who carried us and were there for us every day, until we became strong enough to go on. Only five months after the death of our daughter, my grandfather passed away, and on the day of his funeral, my dad died of cancer and heart failure. The family had just returned from selecting a casket for my dad when the phone rang, and it was a call telling my sister-in-law that her brother had just died from a massive heart attack. We were numb with grief and sorrow. Family and friends were there for us as we could barely function on our own. Then, nearly three years ago, my lifelong best friend, my younger brother, Bill, died from cancer. I write about this only as a way of saying that we have seen the other side of life.

Marilyn and I worked in prison ministry for a few years and have seen a seamier side of life. We have close friends who continue to dedicate a large part of their lives to helping others in this way.

Marilyn and I lost nearly half of our life savings during the stock market tumble of 2000. I only blame the guy I see in the mirror every day for that. Once again, I mention these things only to say, yes, we have had bad things happen in our life.

So why do I choose to see things so optimistically? I have pondered that question.

The answer is that I choose to see the brighter side of things. I have seen the ugly side of life and didn't like it, so I choose to look at the good things. It is like the song by Louis Armstrong, "What a wonderful world". Listen to the words to that song sometime, and you'll get an idea of how I feel about things. Oh sure, I get angry from time to time, mainly when I see people being unkind or uncaring, rude and inconsiderate, thinking only of themselves. The problem is that I get that way myself, sometimes, and yes, I get angry with myself when I recognize that I have said or done something which hurts another person.

God has blessed Marilyn and me with two wonderful daughters, a fine son-in-law, and soon, our first grandchild, along with wonderful friends, and it is those who make our lives what they are today.

We choose to return to the valley for the winters mainly because of the good people who have become our friends, and who also return here each winter. Oh, the sunshine and the warm temperatures help a bit. :)

We have wonderful friends back in Missouri and in other parts of the country, and that is another part of what makes this lifestyle so enjoyable. We can choose to travel to where these friends are living, and stay for awhile to enjoy their company. I am sure that for many snow birds that choose to spend the winter in a particular location, it is the friendships of the people they have met, which calls them back.

The landscape here in the valley certainly isn't so beautiful, as to call us back each winter. The terrain is mainly flat, with cactus, sand and twisted, gnarly, mesquite trees. Even the beautiful palms swaying in the breeze have been imported, not being native to this area. :)

The important thing is that I choose to see the beauty of this place. Marilyn and I look for the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and enjoy the camaraderie of good friends gathered together for a cocktail in the evening.

It was one of those good friends who inspired me to write about this subject today. He is one of those people who questions and challenges us, and I like that when it is done with honesty and sincerity. Dan makes me think about what I write. Ted & Sue hosted a going away party for Pat & Dan yesterday evening. The weather was cold for the valley but we enjoyed the good food, the hot punch, and the company of good friends. We will truly miss Pat & Dan when they are in Del Rio having cocktails with friends they have met in previous winters in that area.

We don't get bored here because we choose to look for the unusual adventures waiting to be discovered.

We simply choose to enjoy life as we find it, and to anticipate with some degree of excitement, the next day and whatever it has to offer.

So, I hope that you will bear with me when I say that I just can't wait to see what tomorrow has to offer......

Merry Christmas to each of you! May God bless you and your family with love, laughter, peace and happiness, during this wonderful Christmas season and throughout the coming year.



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