when life is good

A Personal Blog


The song, based on the instrumental music written by Charlie Chaplin for the film Modern Times (1936), is encouragement for all who feel as if the rug has been pulled from underneath their feet. The lyrics, by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons, were added later on in 1954. If there ever was a time for mankind to find strength from listening to beautiful music, it is now. The world is falling apart. Everyone faces some kind of trial or tribulation. Do you know of anyone who does NOT have a challenge or two on their plate?

This song makes me smile. Really. Although there are many versions of the standard, the one that hits a strong chord in my heart, is Bobby McFerrin’s genial rendition. If you have not listened to this in a while, take five, sit back, and let the words and melody wash over you like a gentle summer shower.

Enjoy this video of Bobby doing what he does best: making music.

Here are the lyrics so you can follow along:

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just

Are you smiling now?


Knit suits and “Pink Tinge”

Mama used to put her hair up in a twist. She stood with her back to the bathroom mirror, hung another mirror around her neck, and got to work. I sometimes sat on the side of the tub and handed the black pins to her as she needed them. After she was finished, she sprayed the twist with hairspray, which made us cough every time.

She did this routine every morning before she went to work. After leaving the bathroom, she would put on one of her knit suits. She had a green one, a red one, and a light blue one. Then, mama would flurry back into the bathroom, grab a tube of lipstick from the glass shelf, and apply the “Pink Tinge”. Avon brand, that is. Bright pink.

The name “Pink Tinge” makes me smile. Ding dong!

Avon add from 1960

Avon ad from 1960

Image: Link to Avon

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Tongue twisters and Seashells

You might remember learning tongue twisters when you were a child. My sisters and I learned several. One that still sticks in my mind (after 50 years), is this one: “Shining Sally sitting in a shiny sugar shop. Sit, shining Sally, sit.” Oh, yes, it makes me laugh. Another unforgettable one is: “She sells sea shells down by the seashore.”

I remember that we often collapsed in giggles on our beds after ruining these tongues twisters. Such fun. My love for seashells has remained strong to this day.

Seashells from the North Carolina Coast

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Now that you mention Mason Jars

My Aunt Dot canned vegetables which she picked from her own garden. The entire process could last for hours. We were allowed to sit in the kitchen and shell beans, shuck corn, snap the snap beans, and rinse the veggies in the sink. Of course, the colander was metal, not plastic. While these activities took place, a huge pot of boiling water containing Mason jars, bubbled and sputtered until everything was sterilized. Then, Aunt Dot would use tongs and remove the jars from the water.

Skip the cooling process. The jars were filled with delicious corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, and more colorful veggies. My favorite was sweet corn. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water. But, the entire event would have been impossible without Mason jars!

Mason jars filled with vegetables


Image: Wikimedia Commons


Growing up back then

I remember when the lightning bugs came out right at dusk and my sisters and I caught them in glass mason jars. We punched holes in the lids so that the little creatures could live. We thought they would live. Anyway, we took them inside, placed the jars in the window sill and watched. THe bugs flickered on and off for a while. Then they died. But, we loved watching them for as long as they fluttered and glittered.