Finding the positive in everyday situations

by Ken and Lana Levy

Life these days is a bombardment of negative stimuli. Facebook and TV news are in your face with more negative venom than anyone should stomach.

Sometimes, we forget that it’s not all horror and deception, cynicism and narrow-mindedness out there. At least we don’t think so, at least at the grassroots level, so we hit the road to find out.

We’re sharing our “findings” with you, and we think you’ll be delighted.

The odyssey began in November, 2014 with a visit to my brother after he’d had a serious health issue. With this first post, Easter Sunday 2015, Lana and I have traveled through 20 states in five months.

We started with a 17-state, cross-country trek from Boise, Idaho to Boxford, Massachusetts. We spent a good part of the November trip dodging snow storms and cold fronts, when the huge storms hit the Great Lakes communities with record snow and icy cold winds.

Dodging weather patterns – both ways – forced us to drive several hundred miles out of our way, although we would have taken a southerly route regardless. Still, we drove more than 6,800 miles round trip in under 3-1/2 weeks.

We saw the simple poverty of mining towns in West Virginia and the sometimes-opulent lifestyles in some of the wealthier communities in the country. We traveled small highways that took us through jagged-mountain red-rock cliffs and ate Maine lobster in Boston’s North End. We tried legendary barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City and tried to sleep in the back of the truck at a gas station with an all-night Wendy’s in Scranton, PA.

This is the beginning of a traveling log of how we saw folks turn their lives into positive experiences in whatever they do, wherever we went. It’s  a journey through experiences, rather than time…

The Journey Begins

It starts with a friendly and happy waitress working in a Greek coffee shop in Auburn, Mass. Cindy is a compact middle-aged woman with the most sinFeatured imagecere and happy smile on her face that she shares with everyone who walks in, friend or stranger.

We were certainly strangers, walking in from a pouring rain more than 2,000 miles from home. We could feel her joyous energy as she welcomed us and bustled off to bring us hot coffee.

She said they pay her to serve people and she loves it.

Oh, for the world to reach this level of enjoyment. Cindy understood that each day, each encounter is to be savored and enjoyed, and shared for its goodness.

She loved sharing that goodness with little intimate looks into her life. She told some customers she felt like Mrs. Potato Head in the mornings: she has to put on her eyes, her ears and her teeth before she can start her day.

“We can make the whole world a loving place by just being ourselves, one at a time, and treating everyone like family,” Cindy said. Her eyes watered with the simple happy joy she shared and instilled in everyone she met.

She was attentive and delightfully friendly as she served us. I ordered the Hungry Man Omelet with sausage, bacon, onions, peppers and cheese, eaten the normal way. I hate eggs, and my favorite Crab & Mushroom Omelet – hold the eggs – is how I normally eat them. But I decided  to go out on a rope with this one, with a side of bacon.

I was not disappointed. Nor was Lana, who had the Scrambled Egg Special, served with bacon and stuffed French toast.

Breakfast was especially good that day.

More to come…

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