A sense of humor is more valuable for a busy woman than all the latest inventions for making housekeeping easy. The patent dish-washer, the self-feeding and self-shaking range, the washing-machine, the bread-mixer and the egg beater all put together will not help “mother” through Saturday morning so well as the ability to laugh long and heartily.
Unfortunately, there is no school where this accomplishment can be learned. The giggling girl is not so sure to grow up a laughing woman. She may regard herself and her own affairs with a portentous seriousness. Egotism is fatal to a true sense of humor. So is a lack of imagination. So is that morbid conscientiousness which is our least desirable inheritance from Puritanism.
That family is fortunate indeed where the mother is first to see a joke and to lead the mirth. In too many homes her sole share in merriment is her dismal “I’m sure I don’t see what you’re laughing about!” The mother, an invalid for years, who could answer an inquiry about her health with a quizzical smile and a quick “Sick abed, and worse up!” was not a burden but a joy to the children who found her room “the jolliest place in the house.”
A nonsense rhyme, a droll conundrum, a lively repartee, a story of misadventure may all serve as sauce for a dull day. The appetite for fun may be coaxed to grow by what it feeds on, until the mature woman, laden with responsibilities, can smile at her own small trials and help others to follow her example. She will learn first not to cry over spilt milk, and later will master an even more useful accomplishment, and will laugh over it.
Youths Companion, 1903
We laugh a lot at our house. I mean, honestly, there are gloomy times as well like just yesterday when they (not I) decided upon the idea of going to Subway for lunch after church…ordering subs for 11 people and overtaxing the employees can put a damper on any joyous attitude.
However, in general, we are constantly laughing over things…like, for instance, the funny things that the little ones say. Yesterday Sarah was riding in the backseat with her brothers. They were playing with toy animals when we overheard her little voice saying pleadingly, “Will you please give my ear a little nibble?”
We read humorous stories from the latest Reader’s Digest out loud on the way to church.
We love watching funny movies.
Sparing back and forth with my husband…we get ourselves laughing and happy to be together. Like last week when I had to use the bathroom twice in the first half hour of church…as I pressed myself past him during a song he said sarcastically, “What did you do, drink a gallon of water before church today?”
I make up funny songs and sing them to the kids…like this morning when Sarah was trying so hard to look sad because she hasn’t seen a baby calf and I sang, “Sarah looks sad but her Mother think she’s funny!”
After the initial shock, we even laughed about the applesauce.
“Sauce for a Dull Day”
The other day, Seth wanted some applesauce so he brought me a new plastic tub of it from the pantry. I was busy making dinner with several children around me underfoot. “Seth, we already have one open, go put that back.” I told him rather impatiently, only to hear a loud crash when he went to do it.
“What was that?” I cried as I left my dinner preparations to walk to the pantry. I met Seth on his way out with a very messy jar of opened sauce. “What did you do?”
“I threw it in the air and didn’t catch it,” he explained with no remorse.
There was applesauce across the floor, into the cat food dish, and on the front of the freezer. A couple of days later I happened to look up and there was some dried to the ceiling, too.
Emily helped me make him clean it up, I was silently seething, but by the time we got done with the mess I had found my sense of humor again.
“Now, what was I doing before my son decided to throw applesauce into the air?” I asked, as Emily pretended to throw her own imaginary jar of it, sky high. We laughed together at our crazy little boy who is so impulsive. Later on when Rich was home, I took Seth to him and said, “Seth, tell Dad what you learned today. About applesauce.”
“I learned not to throw applesauce too high or it will ‘splode.”
(six words too long of an answer)
I believe in happy people, happy Christians…joyful hearts…giggling in church…life is hard and dreadful at times, so we need to laugh as much as we can…it’s the best medicine in life!
I put the morning’s egg collection in Sarah’s bike while she played and I gathered rocks to surround a flower bed down by the woods near the long pond. (thinking of Aunt Carol as I did so).
This is what the baby toads look like now. Growing so fast, they spend their days swimming.
Violets as delicate as purple tissue paper.
More violets…our property is overrun by them, to my delight.
We decided to go for a little walk with Dave, who was home from school with a stomach ache. While Sarah hesitated on the other side of our makeshift bridge, David dissevered a baby lizard in the water (unphotographable) and……………
a small snapping turtle!
He picked it up carefully by the tail. It’s little arms and legs spun around and around in fierce anger. His neck stretched out so that he could face his foe:
Oh he wanted a piece of Dave so bad. David left for home with his prize while Sarah and I continued on our walk.
I wanted to see the violet patch in the field by the edge of the forest. There were thousands of them blooming all at once.
There were also a great number of bright dandelions, fully opened with nice thick stems. I taught Sarah how to make a dandelion chain with them and she had no trouble making me a wreath for my hair, as I made one for her, too.
You can see that she was smelling them..her little nose is yellow. I tucked an apple blossom into her wreath, and some violets, too. She looked so pretty.
When we got back home, Sarah wanted to see Dave’s turtle so bad. Dave had put it in a bucket by the pond so we ran down to look inside. It was gone, completely gone, David’s head turned this way and that in disbelief. When we told Jacob later on he spoke with experience, “Oh snapping turtles always escape from buckets, every turtle I ever put in a bucket got out. You can’t keep them unless you put a lid over it.” And we wondered. How can a turtle climb out of a bucket?? And now that snapper is no doubt in the pond waiting to bite off the toes of my children this summer as they swim.
There was a box on the porch from a friend…with beautiful fiesta dinner plates contained inside! And an encouraging note and card: thank you Jami, from the bottom of my heart. God bless you.
ex library books…beautiful books…library bindings, hard covers, oldish copies of good, wholesome, living stories for my own collection of the best books for my children and someday grandchildren. all for a song at the thrift store. TWO DOLLARS!
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, by Tomie DePaola
Such a heart warming, sentimental story that David was very touched by that day he was on the couch with the stomach ache and I made him read all the books.
A wonderful story: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by Steig
and a funny one : ANIMALS SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT WEAR CLOTHING
“because it might make life hard for a hen”
Happy Monday, my friends! Hope you have a great day with lots of belly laughs.
We love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh
So everybody can hear
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we’re a merrier we.
(Mary Poppins song lyric)