Friday, October 17, 2008


Difficult times make laughter hard to come by. And yet, it is during these times that laughter becomes important for life, enjoyment, and healing. Some days I watch "Ellen." She makes me laugh. My favorite prayer book at the moment, "Praying Through Cancer" by Sorenson and Geist has a prayer about humor. Eva Rice, one of the contributors laughed about how her eldest daughter referred to her as the family zombie as she was enduring her chemotherapy. She saw the humor in wandering from room to room without being able to focus on a conversation. I find that chemo does the same to me. I cannot always focus on my morning newspapers and reading entire books has become difficult. What I have found myself doing is wandering around the house to make sure my knick knacks and pictures are straight and precisely where I want them. Ok, it is weird but it gives me some control and happiness. I guess I am a knick knack zombie!

Here is Eva's wonderful prayer that this zombie has read a number of times---because I cannot remember it after reading it once:

Heavenly Father, You are my hiding place. You preserve me through difficult times. You surround me with songs of hope. I know that my future is in Your hands. You know what's best for me and my loved ones. I thank You for how You have brought me healing and for Your peace that passes all understanding and guards my heart and mind through Jesus Christ.

Even though there has been much weeping, I know that You have said, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Thank You for all the joy You have brought through family and friends. Thank You for all the healing that comes from visits. It pulls me through. I have felt Your presence in their loving care. I ask that You always make me hear joy and gladness even when humanly impossible. You have said, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." I want Your good medicine to flow through me and produce a cheerful heart. Thank You!

This past Sunday's Seattle Times had an article in the travel section about Chico Hot Springs in Montana. It just so happens that we have been to Chico two times with the kids. The place is an old resort that crumbled and was used as a church retreat in the 60's. Dave had been there more than once with church groups as a kid and always loved it. It is near Bozeman and Yellowstone Park and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In 1973, some people bought the place and have spruced it up into a wonderful hot springs destination. I hesitate to use the word resort because it is Montana and full of Montana flavor.

A quote from the piece:

Most of the area residents who show up for overnight stays have been coming since they were kids, and their grandparents probably came to Chico as well. Then there are the newer neighbors who come by to dine and hang out at the bar. People such as Tom Brokaw, Michael Keaton, Jeff Bridges. Dennis Quaid, who has a house about six miles from Chico, on occasion joins the bands on stage at the Chico bar, singing and rocking with his electric guitar.

I hate to disagree with the Seattle Times but Dennis Quaid is no newcomer. The first time we took the kids to Chico along with a trip through Yellowstone, Kaley was two and Lucas was five. Our stay included a fabulous breakfast buffet in their outstanding dining room. My Mom was with us so the five of us were seated at one big table with Kaley in a high chair. Only one other person was in the room eating breakfast with us. I immediately recognized Dennis Quaid and whispered to Dave, "You know---the guy from 'The Big Easy.'" Of course, I had to get a closer look so I approached the buffet table near him for more orange juice. Sure enough! I was rather excited but did not bother him or ask for an autograph. Celebrities like Montana because Montanans generally mind their own business. We saw him later walking around the lobby.

Anyway, ever since, I have been a Dennis Quaid fan considering he is about the only movie star I have seen in person. Earlier this week, he was on the "Ellen" show and since I had just read the article about Chico, I did not want to miss seeing Dennis on the TV. Kaley was home for an extended weekend visit and we were watching it together. Ellen had a segment where she sent Dennis into a Starbuck's with a hidden camera and microphone. She told him to repeat everything she said. He walked in yelling, "Dennis Quaid is here" and "Dennis Quaid wants a latte" and "Dennis Quaid wants water." Ellen then made him gargle the water and spit it back in the cup and he started to sing "Deo." Oh my gosh, Kaley and I were laughing out loud. He appeared to be out of his mind until he explained to the barista that he was on the "Ellen" show. Luckily for me, Ellen repeated the segment on today's show and even though Kaley is back at school, I still enjoyed the craziness just as much.

Thank you, Ellen, for providing me some moments of hilarity. And it helps for this zombie to have seen it twice! Off I go. Some of my pictures appear to be a bit crooked.