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May 1, 2012

School of Smiles and a Printable

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{source}
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. 
It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
{H. Jackson Brown Jr.}

This is an older post from a blog I had years ago.  I thought I would share with it with you, as I still reflect back on this experience when I'm strolling through a store and catch a friendly smile from a stranger.  Small moments can have such big impacts.  Enjoy!

On my connecting flight today in Chicago/O'Hare airport, I sat at gate F11, patiently awaiting my boarding call. As I sat there 'people watching,' I saw this elderly man approaching me with a big smile on his face and a partially eaten grilled cheese sandwich in his hand. I politely smiled back as he asked, "Do you mind if I fight with you for awhile?" I started to laugh and replied, "Well, sure -- why not?" As he took a seat next to me, he proceeded to ask, "What should we fight about?" I continued to laugh as I told him, "Whatever is on your mind."

Bill, an 84 year old retired architect, happened to have a four hour lay over in Chicago and was simply looking for some company. Little did Bill know that he would become a bright spot in my day. What a pleasant conversation we had about where we were from, our families, occupations, health, travel, hearing aids and the list goes on. I must say that we laughed a lot during our time together, with a number of glares and stares being thrown our direction. Actually, the hearing aid conversation was hysterical. He told me to plug my ears and count to five out loud. Of course I hesitated, but how could I say no to this dear old man. So, there I sat in the gate area plugging my ears and counting out loud. After I concluded, he said, "Did you hear the echo?" I smiled and said, "Yeah." Bill then proceeded to explain, "That's what it's like wearing these things -- and sometimes the problem is people just talk too fast. $1500 for these." I remember just sitting there and staring at this precious man and thinking "Bless your heart." Actually, I'm almost certain that I even said it a couple of times. He was such pleasant company.

Knowing that I would be boarding shortly, Bill said, "Ya know -- I look for the smiles. I like people who have graduated from the School of Smiles. You smiled back at me.... You see, that's when I ask a question and the response tells a lot about the person. If someone doesn't want to talk to me, that's okay." I told him that I couldn't agree more.

I'm glad Bill picked me out of that crowded gate area to chat with. I felt as though I was sitting with my grandfather catching up on life. Both of my grandfathers passed away when I was very young, so I never really knew them -- which allowed me to have a greater appreciation for this moment with Bill.

I can't help but reflect upon one of my favorite quotes by Cesare Pavese: We do not remember days, we remember moments.  I may not remember Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 but I will always remember the pleasant conversation I had with Bill at gate F11.  Make every moment count!

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April 30, 2012

A Road Trip to Rolla, MO

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Live Laugh Rowe is moving to WordPress.
Please be sure to follow me on:
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We just have to stay in touch or I'll miss you terribly!
You'll find me at www.livelaughrowe.com


Last Friday, I took a road trip to Rolla, MO.  It's been over 5+ years since I've seen Nancy and we tried many times to make something happen, but life just seemed to get in the way {smile}.  We FINALLY put a lunch date on the calendar.  We would meet approximately halfway between our homes -- Rolla, MO.  I have to be honest that while I'm not a big fan of Rolla, it holds some sentimental value to me.  When my hubby and I were dating -- I lived in Springfield, MO and he lived in St. Louis, MO and guess where we used to meet up when we couldn't make the weekend visits possible? At this very Panera in Rolla, MO (pictured below).  This is where Nancy and I agreed to meet.  I did a lot of reminiscing on the road trip, remembering those good ole' dating years.  

Pencil Sketch Picture of the Panera in Rolla, MO

Nancy and I used to work together years ago --- and she's always been a great friend to me.  This quote would be appropriate:  A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same. (Elbert Hubbard

She has seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of Kelly and yet she loves me just the same.  

I used to call her Lucky.  Everything always seemed to play in her favor {giggle}, so Lucky seemed appropriate to be an appropriate name.  However, about a year and a half ago,  Nancy fought a battle against cancer.  She and her family made innumerable trips to St. Louis to see a specialist.  Those were challenging days for her -- but she won that battle.  Praise the Lord!  While I couldn't sit with her during those dark days,  she was the optimistic Nancy I always knew.  It was evident in her FB updates, e-mails and blog posts.  She's a wonderful woman of God!


We caught up a bit on each others lives -- and then we jumped full force into the wonderful world of Blogging.  Nancy is an INCREDIBLE writer, she does a great deal of free-lance work and is ready to take on blogging.  YAY!  She's in the beginning stages -- but I told her we all had to start somewhere.  If we wait for the perfect design, perfect plan and perfect pictures -- well, it might be awhile (a long while).  Wouldn't you agree?  So, I'm going to give her new blog a shout out.  If you have a few minutes, swing by and say hello.  You can find her at Daze of Grace.

One of the bonuses of this lunch date, was meeting her little guy. 
Oh. My. Gosh.  

Was he ever the cutest!?!  Let me tell you something -- he knew EVERYTHING about the Cars cartoons!  I'm telling you what, he added a great deal of entertainment to our time together -- and I left well educated on Cars.  
{source}
So, here's to friendship, new blogging endeavors and a sweet four year old that made me want to come home and watch cartoons.  Oh to be young again!

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