Tuesday 21st May 2019

Elfreda, wherever you are


I often feel that life’s not fair, and that I probably should get at least a partial refund on the price of my ticket. I don’t think, I’m the only one to  ever feel that way, I’ve heard others express similar sentiments. When I get those feelings, I try to remember something,  I once heard from one of the dumbest people I ever met.

Years ago, back in my incarnation as a worker bee, I used to join a a small group of acquaintances for a sack lunch chit chat session a couple of days per week during the noon hour. This was in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Our little group discussed life and it’s vicissitudes and how best to cope. We were a pretty mixed gathering of people, as to age, station, intellect and education. I was among the least formally educated people in the group. But, that is not to say,  that I was among the least mentally agile or learned.  There was this one young lady in our little group, by whom, in my opinion, the cake was clearly taken in the lack of brains department. I found her to be mind numbingly dull witted. And, in fact, it caused me sharp physical pain, down to the very bone marrow, to hear her speak on any topic. For the purposes of this story, in order to preserve her anonymity, we will call her Elfreda.

Her name was not really Elfreda, though. It is just that I need an anonymous name for this story, and I have always enjoyed the name Elfreda. I like the sound of it. I have known three Elfredas in my life. Back in the 1970’s, I was acquainted with an older couple in Delta Junction, Alaska, whose names were Elfreda and Frontenac McGillicutty.  But, that’s another story for another day. Back to my sack lunch group in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

One week, as I was unwrapping my burrito, Elfreda began to speak about how to remain happy in spite of  adverse circumstances. Before, I was able to tune her out, I heard her say, that she found, that a major secret to being happy is simply to embrace the fact, that life includes a certain “legitimate” amount of pain.  And, that once we cowboy up and accept that, it becomes much easier to recognize and enjoy the good parts.

Trust me on this, Elfreda is not a brain trust. But, her statement about embracing life’s legitimate bumps in the road, is one of the six or seven smartest thoughts, I have ever heard anyone express. I salute you Elfreda, wherever you are.

Ron Nesler New Harmony, Indiana

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