I was e-mailing my friend Peace to let her know that someone she had introduced me to had just given $10,000 to Obama Victory Fund 2012.  “Lewis came through!” was my subject line.

Peace wrote back, “Lewis just called me from England!  Said he felt the $ was the right thing to do.”

What I found myself loving almost as much as the money Lewis had given was the exclamation mark Peace had used.  “Lewis just called me from England!”

Speaking as someone who still gets a thrill from almost any airplane ride — I just flew to Chicago! — I embrace that exclamation mark.  Can you imagine?  Calling from England!

I know such calls are now completely routine and essentially free — even if they’re to China! — even if they’re video calls! — but don’t you see?  That just makes them even MORE miraculous.

What today’s kids may not fully grasp, and what some of my contemporaries may occasionally forget, is that the stuff we take for granted has only been around for, basically, five minutes.  I mean, can you imagine that other Lewis, with his pal Clark, trekking across the wilderness from St. Louis to the Pacific not even 10 generations ago, learning that you could do the trip now in complete safety and comfort in a few hours for under $200?  (Which was about $15 in 1805.)  Go out for dinner and be back the next day?

When my late partner Charles was annoyed at some inconvenience — and it was his nature to be annoyed with some regularity — I hit upon the shorthand of smiling, wide-eyed, with raised brows and outstretched palms, and reminding him — gently — “Sweetness!  We have hot water!  Think of it!  As much as we want!!  Whenever we want it!!!”

You might think this would only have annoyed Charles more — I would have thought so, too — and I suppose sometimes it did.  But generally, for reasons still unclear to me, it actually worked.

Which is why I have been saving this bit of treacle to share with you that has been ricocheting around the Internet.  It may just annoy you.  I don’t care.

Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America – If you remember, she’s the wife of Todd Beamer who said ‘Let’s Roll!’ and helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was heading for Washington , DC back on 9/11.

She said it’s the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him.

Lisa recalled this story:

“I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack.  About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.

With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, ‘ Class is over, I would like to share with all of you, a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end.

It can be taken away at any moment.

Perhaps this is the power’s way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day. Her eyes, beginning to water, she went on, ‘So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice.

It doesn’t have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone’s house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the “stuff” of life.

The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy.

The things we often take for granted.

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset.

Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn’t do.

If you like this, please pass it on to a friend, if not just delete it and go on with your life!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

I know: “Gag me with a spoon.”  And yet . . .

Have a great weekend.


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