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by Carolyn Brown *as published in the February 2022 issue of the River Valley Sun

Our resident, Joe Cronkhite, out for his walk. No one can do a better job of lifting your spirits than Joe!

I often sing the song by that title and it always reminds me that is exactly what we have to do because really, it is the only thing we can do. We can’t rush tomorrow until it arrives and we surely know we can’t go back. Speaking to our residents on a Sunday, I demonstrated with a can opener asking the question, “what would we do if it was the only can opener in the house and we were really hungry and we needed to open that can?” First thought when it breaks is ‘well darn’, and throw it out. But remember, it is the only one you have, so you decide to try to fix it. Like that can opener, we too, can feel broken at times, but how nice to know we won’t get thrown out but will have wonderful opportunities with God’s help, to get fixed.

Fixing in” the big yellow house” can take a few different avenues. First Avenue might be wandering in the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and chatting with the staff readying the meals. Second Avenue features a puzzle on the go in front of the TV with a resident looking for company. Third Avenue is the gang down listening to Bill call “under the N, 47” while Fourth Avenue is the clank of pool balls and laughter in the lounge. Fifth Avenue might just be a resident with their door open meaning you are welcome to come in for a visit. It is amazing how broken you can feel, how swamped with things to do, and yet, how easy the fix.

The residents here have heard me say many times two different phrases. One is “why would a reasonable person do that?” When you step back to answer that question rather than being instantly offended, the thing to remember is, you are not wearing the other person’s shoes and so you let it go with no hard feelings. The second line I often ask when caught up in a million things that seem to be going on is “what is the one thing God is asking me to do, right now, right in this moment?” Surprisingly, I always get an answer because it is such a settling thought and makes me realize, yup, I can only do one thing at a time!! I can be the absolute worst at trying to balance twenty balls at a time!!

So, like living one day at a time, we can let things go and settle in to do one thing at a time. We can enjoy the moment, the time and place we are in and luckily here, just wander around the house to find a welcoming smile to lift your spirits. You might say our house is a true “fixer upper.” Welcome to MacLeod Riverside Court!!