Before Dad’s Alzheimer’s and Mom’s dementia, they used a tag-team response to childish whining about “There’s nothing to do.” He would say, “Every day is a gift,” and she would say, “If you don’t open the present, you’re wasting it.”    To honor this philosophy, there are five—count ‘em, FIVE!—great gift-day opportunities coming up this week, and every one is better than April Fool’s Day was last week.

Tire Swing  April 10th is NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY. The picture I’m using here is of my grandchildren. True Irish twins (11 months apart) neither remembers a time when they didn’t have each other, and together they can make even a tire swing a great way to spend the afternoon. I, on the other hand, once stabbed my brother’s hand with a fork…but that was only once, and on numerous occasions he told me I was adopted.   Hmm…maybe I’ll use April 10th to make a list of reasons I’m glad he’s my brother…and actually, there are many.

April 13th is SCRABBLE DAY.   Our favorite version of Scrabble is the kids’ version. You empty all the letters (upside down) each person takes 20 and puts together words, drawing more letters as necessary. The first to use all the letters is the winner. We have a lot of fun, and this is a good mind/thinking exercise, too.   Gannon ~ word scrabble


April 14th Is INTERNATIONAL MOMENT OF LAUGHTER DAY. The goal is to get others laughing because, as the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.” I’ve kept my favorite “getting older” card–it still makes me laugh–beneath the dour old lady on the front are these words:  “Age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill.”     I also enjoy the humor in nature. Pictures of the Pygmy Owl and The Red-Footed Boobie work for me, and the antics of our puppy Scout keep us laughing, too. There are all kinds of ways to lighten up on April 14th.    In the U.S. it’s the day before taxes are due, so laughter is really important.

age and treachery                                                 Red-footed Boobie (Jeopardy)


pygmy owl




Or, if you’d rather, April 14th offers two other choices: LOOK UP AT THE SKY DAY (and marvel, dream, imagine, appreciate), and NATIONAL REACH AS HIGH AS YOU CAN DAY.   What are your hopes, dreams, goals? What do you really want? Make a plan and go for it.    Remember: “It is never Too Late To Be what You Might have Been.” — George Eliot, (pen name of writer Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880)                       George Eliot

look up at the sky day



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, lessons for great-grandchildren, Lessons from birds, making a difference, special days in April, special quotations


  1. juliabarrett

    I would love to have spent a single day with your parents. They are/were a remarkable couple. And individuals.

    • Before the Alzheimer’s and dementia, you could have spent an entire week with them, Julia, and loved every minute. I miss those days, which is why I write about them so their great-grandchildren will get a dose of the good memories.

  2. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Ha! Reminds me of my favorite reply to “I’m bored”: Only boring people are bored! Fun post, Marylin.

    • That’s another good answer, Nancy! Can you believe we ever had “nothing to do” and complained about it? Now, if I have a break, I curl up to read a book (and end up taking a nap)! 😉

  3. Your titles are irresistible. There is no way I can’t click on them.

    Right now, I’m a little tired of striving, so I’ll resist reaching as high as I can, and just appreciate the rolling, cumulus clouds.

    No, I don’t think are are adopted, Marylin. Your grand-daughter isn’t either. She looks just like you!

    • Actually, Grace looks (and acts) so much like her mother, but then people say Molly and I are very much alike, so the tradition continues.
      Like you, Marian, I feel a little pushed and pulled by all the striving lately, but I’ve decided I can try for one day. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  4. Five good reasons to keep smiling for another few days Marylin. Your grandchildren will be storing up some superb memories of your lovely parents and of you from these posts. Be careful not to give them to much to hold over their parents.It might rebound.
    Have a fantastic weekend
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • I do try to be careful about that, David. 🙂 My goal is to set down in writing the stories that give Grace and Gannon positive and happy details about their lives before the Alzheimer’s and dementia, but sometimes I get a little carried away with stories about their mom as a child. You write things are a legacy for Reuben and Amelie, too. There’s nothing better than our grandchildren. A fantastic weekend and massive hugs to you! ❤

  5. Five good reasons to get up. I must remember to tell my brother how much I appreciate him tomorrow. I never stuck a fork in his hand but there were other things. Love the picture of the grandchildren!!

    • Darlene, I suspect there are many of us who did things to our brothers like stabbing them in the hands with forks. There’s something about brothers and sisters that sets itself up for rivalry and hard play, but when it comes down to the truth, we’re so glad we have each other! 😉

      • Yes, I have often felt sorry for only children. In fact, I have one friend who has no siblings so I let her borrow mine. She actually has introduced them as her brothers on occasion.

  6. Super gifts, indeed!
    I love that photo of your grandsons with the tire swing!
    I picture Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey saying the age and treachery line. 🙂
    I’m going to have to remember the April 14th days especially–laughing, looking up at the sky, and reaching as I as I can–all wonderful!

    • Actually, Merril, the one peeking around from behind is my granddaughter, Grace. Your comment made me laugh. When I was eight and we were at Ginger Blue Restaurant in the Ozarks, I went to the bathroom isn my flannel shirt and overalls. An older lady was washing her hands; she looked in the mirror and smiled at me. I smiled back, and she said, “What a pretty little girl you would have made.” She thought I was a boy, and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to correct her. 😉

      • Oh, sorry about that! For some reason, I thought you had said grandsons. I misread it. But that’s a funny story, and sort of a strange thing for the woman to have said to you. 🙂

      • Not a problem, Merril. The memory it brought back was sweet, as the old woman was looking at me through very thick glasses, and maybe she was also just trying to tell a “boy” that this was a Ladies’ bath room.

  7. Yesterday should have been “Look up at the Sky” day here, Marylin. We had the most beautiful clouds and brilliant blue mixed in.
    Oh, I love the photo of the “twins.” they’re adorable!

  8. I only get to know of these holidays when I come here.
    Have a pleasant weekend Marylin

  9. I’m a sky watcher so I love” Look Up to the Sky” day. Promoting my book is on my mind and my wonderful summer wedding schedule is looming ahead. I am finding ways to achieve even while being a part time caretaker to my mom, and now my granddaughter. Penelope is about ten weeks old and her mom has gone back to work. I get two days a week with her and I’m just loving it.
    Blessings, Joanne

    • Two days a week will wear you out and fill you up with the happiness of cuddling Penelope. What a special time for both of you, Joanne.
      My Kindle proudly carries your book, and I’m loving it. Next week I go to visit my mother, and I’ve already chosen sections of “God Is In The Parking Spaces” to read to her. ORDINARY IS EXTRAORDINARY is very well done, and it reflects your optimism, sensitivity, humor and faith. Well done!

  10. Popping in to say hello to you Marylin! Thanks for making me laugh–I’m going to add “age and treachery” to my bag of tricks!

    • So good to hear from you, Tracy. The “age and treachery” was a birthday card many years ago–“preparing” me for old age whenever it came–and it’s still one of my favorite cards. None of the cutesy, sweet cards make me laugh like this one. 🙂

  11. I don’t need National Look at the the Sky Day to be uplifted…I need only come and read your blog posts, Marilyn!
    Thank you for the run-down on the upcoming special days. And thank you for the alternate way of playing Scrabble…I don’t think my grandson and I have ever tried it that way…it looks like fun.

    • Thank you so much, Vivian. I couldn’t resist the choices for this next week because my parents would have had great fun with them.
      Last week was spring-like in Colorado Springs, and we had some stunning morning and evening skies. Rain and light snow is due the next two days, but we need the moisture, plus I’ve learned not to get too excited and plant early. As you probably remember, planting early is tempting frost!
      I think you and your grandson will love playing the kids’ version of Scrabble. Our whole family sometimes takes turn drawing letters and seeing how big the one continues group can become. 😉

      • Oh yes…I remember those late frosts…and the early ones also that nipped the tomato plants I had growing in patio buckets. 🙂

      • I learned the hard way to “never plant ANYTHING in Colorado until after Mother’s Day,” Vivian. The weather had been so warm for so long that in late April one year I planted seeds, bedding plants, everything. For a full week it was gorgeous, the WHAM! A freeze. I lost it all.

  12. Look up at the sky day is the one for me Marylin – and I always need reminding that it’s never too late to reach for it 🙂

  13. I love the idea of every day being a gift. How wise your parents were! The picture of your grandies is adorable. And for different reasons, so is that Pygmy owl!

    • Actually, Jenny, the reasons are pretty much the same. Isn’t the Pygmy owl wide-eyed and adorable and oh-so-lovable? Calls forth happiness, hopefulness…and my protective instincts. Just like my grandchildren. 🙂

  14. You always know the special days. I always forget to search for them but you keep me posted! Am loving National Poetry Month as it seems like so many more people are recognizing it now. So many good things to think about. Have a good weekend…this afternoon is gorgeous here!

    • National League of American Pen Women is posting online one member’s poem every day this month, Claudia. The variety is amazing, and the second week all seven poems are about the same theme, but by very different poets. It’s so much fun.
      It’s been really nice here, too, for Colorado in April. But I know Kansas, especially southeast Kansas, will be in full color and blooming radiance. I’ll be coming to visit Mom soon, and I’ll enjoy everything.

  15. I love all those special days and yes, every day is a gift.

  16. Beautiful gifts. Thank you for each of them, and for sharing those precious words of your Mum and Dad. They gave a philosophy to hold on to.

  17. Your parents were obviously very wise and you have very cute grandchildren, Marylin. Love that they’re Irish. I set half my debut novel in Ireland, fell in love with the place when we spent a month there. And because I’m in the midst of doing my taxes, I can appreciate the suggestion you made for International Moment of Laughter Day. Sending you an early chuckle from Canada.

    • Irish twins (11 months apart), a wonderful combination of their red-headed English-German mother and red-headed Irish cop. And right now where they live in Kansas, the countryside is as green as Ireland!
      If you’re just now doing taxes–oh no, Diana!–take some time for International Moment of Laughter Day…many moments! 😉

  18. I LOVE that there is a special day for scrabble 🙂

    • I know, Elizabeth. And in our family, if we play the kids’ version I described, we could play it the entire day, stopping to eat in shifts! We have so much fun, and I think it makes us all smarter!

  19. Jim

    National Siblings Day is a great time to say thanks to my wonderful sister. She is three years older than I, so we shared the same house for fifteen years during which she was my best friend and confidant. I don’t think we ever had customary sibling fights, and if we got frustrated with each other, it didn’t last long. She was my role model. Her example taught me how to do well in school. Doing well was expected. It was the norm for her and became my norm. When I struggled, Donna was my best support. She knew when to compliment me as well as when to encourage me to do better. When we got into ‘deep’ trouble, it was often together–like the time we went door-to-door to sell cookbooks we found in a neighbor’s trash. Mom and Dad didn’t appreciate our business acumen, but we thought we did real well. We had to return all the money. 🙂 Needless to say our remarkable relationship has continued over these many years, and today is the perfect day to shout out a great big ‘thank you’ to my beloved sister.

    • And Donna has equally wonderful tales about you as her little brother, Jim. What a combination you are! National Siblings Day could have been set up to feature Donna and Jim! 🙂 ❤ ❤

  20. Molly

    As an only child I don’t have any sibling stories of my own to share today, BUT being the momma to Grace and Gannon has shown me the true beauty of siblings. These two really are each other’s everything. Yesterday when Grace was at her archery tournament all day, Gannon was almost lost without her. He got so bored without her that he took a NAP. Tonight they decided to have a sleepover in Grace’s room. Gannon loves to sleep on her top bunk. I think that because they do not remember any part of life without each other they just are much happier and more comfortable in each other’s presence. I hope and pray that they will always be so close, and that together they will always be strong.

    • They really are each other’s everything, Molly. They really are what siblings should be: each standing alone, but also having each other’s back; arguing and fighting, but never hurting each other and always trusting that when push comes to shove, especially from the outside, they know their sibling will be there to help. And neither one of them can go shopping or on a field trip without finding something they’re just sure the other one would love to have. They’re generous, helpful, normal bickering kids, Molly. As as their mom you’re seeing their true beauty as siblings, a beauty you encouraged. We love you all so much.

  21. Ahh Marylin, how I have missed you! I’m slowly making my way back to blogging, but I’m making writing my memoir a priority now that my mum is recovering so well. I hope to update in a post later in a week…I say hope! Your parents had the right idea about life across the board: every day is indeed a gift. I soon learnt never to say I was bored to my mother as her response was to mention various chores I could do to keep me busy 😉 My brother teased me too, even though I’m 18 months older – I don’t think he ever got that I only wanted to look out for him! Adorable photo of your twin grandchildren…and oh for those beautiful blue skies. George Eliot’s quote is one of my favourites as you know dear Marylin ❤ I'm so sorry I've missed so many of your posts, but I so much wanted to pop over and say hello…have a lovely week and see you again soon! 🙂 xoxo

    • Pop over any time you get a chance. It’s only across the ocean 😉 but via emails it’s oh-so-close. Your memoir writing–plus living your live and caring for your family and life in general–is keeping you busy, so I love hearing from you. We both learned from our parents to never complain about being bored, and the truth is, sometime we wish things would slow down and let us be bored for awhile. 🙂
      George Eliot’s quote is a favorite of mine, too, and the other I get the more sense it makes and the more hope it gives me. Hugs to you, dear friend.

      • Ha…yes, I know what you mean Marylin…I wonder if there is such a thing as being bored anymore? 😉 Lovely to pop over dear friend, I missed you so much! Have a wonderful rest of the week…see you soon and more hugs back to you, from across the shining sea 🙂 ❤

      • Uh, Sherri, I don’t think you have time to be worried about being bored! 😉 ❤

  22. Oh so many wonderful things to do and be thankful for in April, Marylin. I chuckled when reading about your fork antics with your brother, and your card. The “twins” photo is so precious. And your mom and dad’s take on life was refreshing! Happy April! ❤️

  23. April’s first week, with April’s Food Day starting off the month, quickly evolves in week of wonderful reminders of things to do and enjoy, Tracy. My brother wasn’t all that pleased with the fork jab into his hand, and I think the older we get the more we appreciate each other.
    Enjoy all the fun opportunities, Tracy! 🙂

  24. Fun post. I didn’t know about the kids’ version of Scrabble, but you (and yours) might enjoy BananaGrams, which is similar. We like it.

  25. Oooh, I really like the age and treachery quote, especially with the accompanying picture. Reminds me of what I say to my kids when we play fight: Watch out! You may be stronger but I am meaner. 🙂

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