Tag Archives: stories

Another Book Review

Britte Marie was Here

A story about a sixty three year old woman, who’s marriage has frayed, and after not working outside of the home for nearly forty years, she has to now venture out and find employment. The unemployment office finds her the only job they can – a caretaker of a recreation center – that is soon to be shut down- in a very small and failing town. Britte Marie is socially awkward and when upset cleans everything. Everyone is measured by Britte Marie, by their cutlery drawer in their kitchens, although she is quick to remind the reader and herself, that she does not judge anyone,. She is of the type that wants all thing to be in order.

What happens to Britte Marie when she gets to the run down town, is that she is forced into situations and connections with people that are beyond her normal limits. Britte Marie imposes structure that she requires in little bits on those left in the few remaining people and places .

The kids in the small community are a rag tag bunch that just want to play soccer – even if the county has now destroyed their field and they no longer have a coach. They ask Britte Marie to be their coach so that they can play in a county tournament. She has never liked or understood the game of soccer or why people would want to even watch it. As she stumbles through being the adult in charge of the team, she begins to know the stories of the kids and families. Just like anywhere, there is history that impacts who and how they show up in life currently.

She also starts to realize that following one team or another is not always about who the best team is. It can be about who you get to share those times with, who instills hope, who expects to win, and who has the team that aligns with your heart.

Through the learning of soccer, she learns about life once again and of being a part of something bigger than oneself.

It is a story, heartbreaking yet uplifting, of how we can all have an effect on one another. How, sometimes people come into our lives and by just being true to who they are, they stir something deep in others to remember who they are and want to be again too.

It’s a story that reminds us that we are the ones who set boundaries of what we are capable of and what can occur when life moves those boundaries and puts us in a new starting place.

Thanks Anita for the book recommendation. I enjoyed meeting the characters and spending a week getting to know them and their stories.


Comfort Zone


Here is how my mind worked this morning.

Back up. Let me say that now that I have decided to jump back into this adventure of blogging, I’m often thinking about how many stories I’ve passed up over the summer.  Not the hard ones, but the seemingly easy ones that should go down without thought.

Problem is, they are not flowing as easily as they should, or I can’t seem to get a feel on the order they should be presented and it is causing the funnel to clog.   See, the truth of it is, I want to be witty and glib and the ones that gnaw on me to come out are not of that emotion.

So this morning, in a bit of prayerful meditation, I ask if I might be directed in what I can convey today.

I take a shower and before putting on my jeans, I find that there is well washed folded up paper in the back pocket.  Wanting to check it out to see if I can even tell what it once was prior to a wash or five, I just grab the paper, my jeans, socks and shoes and walk out to the kitchen to start the coffee.

washed paper

It isn’t until I walk into the lights of the kitchen not fully clothed, that I remember that we have company spending the night.  Well, wouldn’t that be special for my hubby’s high school buddy to walk in and see! NOT.

I quickly get into my jeans (I was going to write “slip into my jeans” but seriously, that isn’t how it happens), and think about how I am in my comfort zone of my own home but I need to remember when others might be about.  I don’t worry about my family, they are never up when I leave for work.

Then it clicks in my brain that my current problem with the blogging is that I want to keep it in my comfort zone and that is not where the special things happen.

comfort vs magic

I started this all by stepping way outside of my comfort zone in the first place, so I need to let go of my restraints and allow the stories that hit me to come out as sometimes those stories might be more for a reader than for me anyway.

So bear with me as I try to establish a groove, get you caught up on the little tales of the summer and other anecdotes that cause me discomfort as well.

move out of your comfort zone

It’s funny how life gives you little reminders.


I was thinking during the morning at work that I should finish or change the blog at lunch today while I have some free time. During this time, a friend sends me the photo above  from her walk.  I smiled as I took it as an affirmation that even the turtle has to come out of his comfort zone of his shell to move forward.

Love Sally

Paula’s Lighthouses

In keeping with cousin inspired stories this past month: This is my story about my cousin Paula.

If you are friends on Facebook with Paula then you have seen the many lighthouse photos she has shared.  The beacon of safety and guidance resonate with her as does the solitary beautiful settings.  She feels drawn to them as a symbol of faith and that is true but is not all.

She chooses many of the photos showing the changes of the day or weather – the beautiful sunset or sunrise or the fog covering the landscape.  Some of the photos show birds flying nearby.

What she may or may not realize is that these lighthouses hold more than the light of faith for her. They have stories that she has heard or felt relayed in a tune.  Oh, not the lyrics in a song on the radio or choir hymn at church, no these are the tunes the birds have been singing and calling to her.

Those quiet moments on her deck in the morning with a cup of coffee, she has heard the warbles and chirps of stories.  The times at night sitting around a crackling fire outside when the owl or other night feathered Aves would call out their song of narrative. She was hearing the legends and memories of these solitary places and how the birds would watch over the people stationed alone or as a secluded family.  How the birds would drop a feather to use as a quill so that the lonely folks could write their far away friends, lovers or family.

They told stories of the changes the lighthouses had endured. Of seeing the children play in the surf and building their stone castles and fishing for sea creatures.  Harrowing tales of storms and near shipwrecks.  Chronicles of gentle old couples struggling to maintain the lighthouse when no one else would come to take over the job in their declining years.

Paula can look at the photos she pulls up of the lighthouses and feels the faint knowing of it.  It is like seeing a photo of a place you have been told about for years and recognizing the nuances of the spot described.

When I see a new lighthouse photo being posted, I wonder if she remembers the story that goes with that one.

So, what I would like some (or all) of you to do is this:  Take one of the photos below or choose a lighthouse photo of your own (link of images below as well) and tell the story that comes to you when you see it.  It can be a few words, a poem, a short story, a novel or tome of any length.  Lets see if we can get enough stories or chapters to fill a week or month or volume of lighthouse stories shared here between us.  What say you?  I think it could be fun.


lighthouse 7

lighthouse 6

lighthouse 5

lighthouse 4

lighthouse 3

lighthouse 2

lighthouse 1

The Knife and Two Feathers Story



A few days after Jasmine sent me the photo of a knife and two feathers with no explanation,  I sent off the following email:

You might have a simple explanation of how you came to take a photo of the knife and 2 feathers, but let me tell you the true story:

There is a girl named Jasmine who travels to many places visiting and meeting people from all walks of life and walking and hiking to incredible wondrous places. She is able to capture the magic of the scenery with her camera but that is not where the magic stops.

While out on these hikes, she sometimes takes a moment in pause and someone – a friend, or acquaintance, or a family member will flash into her conscience. Not always will she even realize that she is using her energy and that of the serenity around her to help dial in or tune the other person’s energy rhythm into a more harmonious level for them. She doesn’t know that the person she had thought of had a bad day or diagnosis or was struggling in another way and that her moment in reflection brought a calm moment, a needed tear or laugh or just a renewed peacefulness that they had needed.

That other person also can’t quite ascertain why it seemingly came upon them at that moment, but it did.

It was on one of these seemingly simple fun hikes with friends that Jasmine had borrowed a knife from another person in the hiking party to obtain some hardened sap from a tree.

It made her think of a new friend (Sally) that she had made when supporting an old friend at a Native American Sun Dance ritual. She had borrowed Sally’s knife while collecting resin from the many coniferous trees around the Sun Dance grounds while at the event.

It was as she was gathering her current collection of resin that she came across two feathers. They happened near her in such a way that all at once she was unsure if they had always been where she was just now looking and got caught up in a breeze, or if they had drifted down to her just now.

For reasons that she could not convey, she took a photo of the knife with the two feathers and sent if off to Sally.

Little did Jasmine know, but just a year prior, after Sally had participated as a supporter in her first Sun Dance, as she was walking along one day, two small feathers fluttered out of the sky to land right in front of her.

She could not recall seeing any birds but picked up the feathers and brought them inside thinking they could somehow be meaningful with all the recent events of the Sun Dance and such.

Like so many signs in life she was unsure of what it meant or when it would relate or link to something else.

It wasn’t until a year later that Jasmine sends the photo of the knife and feathers that Sally realizes that it just may be the same bird that visited her last year and has grown and matured and has sent now two larger feathers to Jasmine to ponder.

And it is just another link in their shared experience together to help bind and solidify the connection they established and to remind them of time well spent together.
That’s my version anyway.

And that was the beginning of the writing that I am now becoming more accustom to.  That is my email unedited.  I was fearful of how it would be read by others so I had my good friend Beth clean it up for me.  You know her of the kookaburra guest blogs.  You’ll get to read her version tomorrow along with an epilogue.

Love Sally


The Guest Blogs


step  up to the plate

I have to say that I am thrilled about the number of you whom have expressed a desire to possibly write a guest blog for me.  I just might take a month off!

Oh, probably not, but it would be nice to have some extra blogs in the Betty email that can be drawn upon. Those times after a long and drudgerous day when there are no words coming from my head or fingertips. (Wiktionary has drudgerous in there, so quit thinking I’m making up my own words – even if I looked it up to make sure that I wasn’t the one making it up)

I do not have a date that I know I will need your guest blog as I cannot see the future and do not know when life will throw a curve ball.  If you send them to the betty@thelaughyouknow.com, I will post them in the general order that they come in – but on the as needed basis. I could end up keeping it in my back pocket for a while, so if you send one be patient and I will be sure to email you the day it goes up so you will not miss it.

I’m looking for stories to share and you may choose your own format as long as the content doesn’t get me booted from my own site!

comfort zone

I have a trip planned a month from this one, so you needn’t worry that you can only write one and it will be used in the next two weeks or not at all.  I will continue until we are all tired of sharing stories.

There might even be a grander trip on the horizon so you can write a several part story if needed to keep you from writing War and Peace all in one post.

go for it


Thank you for the help.

Wilma, you actually get to choose when your guest blog goes up if you write one.

I guess for the rest of you, if you have one for a particular day that you would really like the blog to post, I can consider those as well.

Love Betty