We need a dose of happiness from famed bluebird

We need a dose of happiness from famed bluebird By Bob Karolevitz Jack Breckenridge, my old college friend, presented us with three bluebird houses which he had built.

Dutifully I nailed them to fence posts according to instruction � but no bluebirds showed up.

Bluebirds, they tell me, are harbingers of happiness, so we're looking forward to their appearance this spring. We know they'll come because 2002 is going to be a joyous year!

Cardinals have brightened our winter along with the chickadees, finches, nuthatches and juncos, but no matter how they delight us, they don't have quite the promise that bluebirds do.

Consequently we'll be watching the nesting boxes with anxious eyes because this time will be the charm. The colorful thrush with the plaintive song will signal a season of cheerfulness ahead.

We've been looking over the Christmas cards and welcome letters we've received, and we've noticed that there's much emphasis on the events of last September and a hint of pessimism on the state of the economy.

What the folks need is a little bit of that World War II song with the lyrics which say "there'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover." It was the kind of optimism we needed then � and maybe now, too.

The New Year is a time for resolutions, and Phyllis has made a few for me. The big one, of course, is that 2002 will be a happy time, and I'd better have a smile on my face.

I've got to admit that this is a better attitude than glumness, so I'm going to try to do what my wife says!

She also wants our house to be filled with music all through the year. That's a good resolution, too. We've got the Bose and a lot of unplayed CDs which we don't listen to enough; we should also change that.

The upshot is that we're going to face the next 12 months with less emphasis on the ol' arthritis and more on the good days upcoming.

First off, we'll pay less attention to television and the public media news which is filled with downers. We don't need that. The commentators tell us that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but methinks that kind of information is contagious � the wrong way.

I can remember a long time ago in Seattle when the Boeing Company announced a huge layoff. The news spread throughout the community like wildfire. Individuals and businesses tightened up their wallets before anything happened to them, and some wag put up a sign which read: "Last one out of town please turn out the lights!"

The result was a local recession fueled mostly by the negative news which permeated the area. The city rebounded, of course, but the pessimism took its toll.

At another time I was hired to write copy for Republican candidates, but when I went to meetings, I found that the party bigwigs were a bunch of sourpusses who looked down on things in general. Facetiously I wrote that, under the circumstances, the GOP must stand for Gloom, Oppression and Pestilence. I don't know if that turned them around or not.

Now I'm afraid that people are tending to reflect the bad that they hear, and they, too, need to be turned around. What we could all use, then is a good dose of that bluebird of happiness.

Thanks, Jack!

© 2002 Robert F. Karolevitz

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