Laughter helps you get through the hard times

by grace booth

Ordinarily, Doug and I find something that's organically funny during our day. We enjoy a good laugh. Lately, with so many challenges piling up one behind the other, nothing much readily presents itself. However, we decided we would watch a season of "Laverne and Shirley" DVDs and found ourselves with several belly laughs while watching each episode. We limited our viewing to one episode per day and looked forward to these respites from the tedium of being restricted from our normal day trips, our usual excursions of delight and discoveries.


As we watch and wait, we continue to pray for God's direction for our lives and our ministries. Over the years we found such fulfillment in teaching together, beginning when we first met 55 years ago. We taught Sunday school each Sunday to 3-year-olds. I remember the Sunday a friend decided she would come in the classroom to team-teach our group. One little child ran around the table the entire time while she attempted to teach! We laugh now about that, although we didn't laugh at the time. We didn't want her to get discouraged. In today's world, this little boy's parent would no doubt have medication recommended for her child!


I remember that first Easter Sunday we taught together. Someone in the congregation had donated a box of Elmer's chocolate eggs to our class. Not having had much experience at the time, I allowed the children to open the wrappers and eat their egg before class ended. Boy! The chocolate melted and not only decorated their chins and faces but ran down onto their beautiful, freshly-starched Easter outfits. I was embarrassed to see the parents' reactions when they came to the door to retrieve their little ones. Funny now, but not so much then!


Laughter has always been a desired part of our Royal Writers classes. Some of our writers have brought true explosions of fun with their sense of humor threaded through their readings of their articles and stories. What fun! When laughter comes unexpectedly, it brings the greatest guffaws. We have experienced these at almost every class, and we are thankful!



Another episode of unexpected laughter during our time of lockdown came when we decided to upgrade the kitchen by removing the old vent hood and replacing it with a new, stainless-steel model to match the appliances. Simple, right? Well, not exactly! Doug easily removed the old, yellow-toned range hood and set it outside on the patio. Then the new one should slip right in, or so we thought. Doug had measured carefully, not once but several times. At first, he held the replacement up and attempted to make it fit. Nothing doing! I stepped in to "help". Well, my efforts holding up one end didn't make a dent in relieving the problem. Again and again, we tried. On the fourth try, Doug pushed with all his strength, hoping the top of the piece would fit into the vent tube extended down above it. Nope! Instead, as he removed the new item, the metal vent above came crashing down from the attic!


"That's it! We're calling in professionals," I said. Then, I realized that no one would be available at this time. We had shopped at local appliance stores and no one would even deliver a new appliance if you purchased one. Deliveries were not happening during the Corona virus pandemic.


After I calmed down, I remembered a neighbor who just might know how to do this installation. I called and he said he would come out to look at the problem the next day. Doug said, "Guess I should try to remove the stuff from the stove so you can cook supper, Grace." I told him that I didn’t think so, that we should just order from a restaurant and pick it up. So, we did.


The next day, our neighbor came out and said, "Looks like a simple fix." Really?! His words brought such relief. He climbed the steps to the attic, surveyed the area, and said he would hold the top part of the vent while we once again pushed the new hood into place. That worked! Something simple could happen with the right position and a stable force at one end. What a relief! Now, I wouldn't have minded meals picked up on a regular basis, but having my stove top back without the intruding vent sitting on top like a smoke chimney would help inspire me to make homecooked meals—more nutritious and a whole lot less expensive.


Life has its moments, even during trying times. It presents its levels of levity without introduction. It helps lift the burden of too many concerns for life and peace as we had previously enjoyed seemingly limitlessly. Wonder of wonders! Life would resume with an assortment of new adventures and we could look forward to wandering into a pasture of entertainment on some country highway worthy of recording the fun. Bursts of unexpected laughter would always be welcome inside our door!

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