Maria Yeager

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Sick of This Election? Here’s Something to Make You Laugh!

It seems like I tend to write about serious stuff most of the time, and today, I was going to write about narcissistic rage. I will eventually write about that, but with only three weeks left until the election, everyone seems stressed, so I decided to write something that would make people laugh just to forget about all this political nonsense for a while ūüôā

Probably about ten years ago or so, I took a flight from Greenville, South Carolina to Washington, D.C. A lot of things were going on in my life, both personal and work-related, and I had a lot on my mind. I sat down at the gate as I waited to board the plane. About ten minutes or so before I expected to board, I decided to run to the bathroom.

My mind was just a whirlwind of thoughts. As I walked toward the bathroom, I was so engulfed in my own thoughts that it was almost as if I was doing everything on auto-pilot. I didn’t even really remember walking into the bathroom. Once in the stall, I came out of my thought coma and suddenly realized that everything seemed to be so clean.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “This place is cleaner than my own bathroom!” Anyone that really knows me knows that I am a germaphobe and very clean.

Still in awe at the cleanliness of the stall, I opened the door, took one step out of the stall, and then realized that I was staring at a wall of urinals. I quickly realized that a man was standing at one of them not far from me. I backed up and shut the door as fast as I could.

“OMG!” I thought to myself. “How did I not see that coming in here??” It actually scared me to think that I could be so engulfed in my own thoughts that I walked right past an entire wall of urinals without even noticing them!

Realizing that there was no way out, I peeked out the door. The man was still there, and I saw that he was dressed in a pilot uniform. I stepped back inside the stall, uttering a couple of cuss words to myself. I was so incredibly embarrassed, but I had to get out of there. I quickly walked out with my head down, my hand cupped around the left side of my face so I couldn’t see him. I quietly said “I am so sorry” as I passed behind him. As my steps increased to almost a sprint to get out of the bathroom, I ran right into a woman exiting the woman’s bathroom. She gave me the weirdest look as she realized that I had been in the men’s restroom. I burst out laughing.

“I went into the wrong restroom!” I shrieked through my laughter.

She burst into laughter. “Oh my goodness!” she said. “Oh, honey, we’ve all done something like that!”

“I am so embarrassed!” I responded. The two of us continued to laugh as I walked into the ladies restroom to wash my hands. I couldn’t stop laughing. As I walked back toward the gate, I tried my best to control my laughter and then suddenly I saw him…the pilot that had been in the bathroom. I kept my head down hoping that he wouldn’t recognize me. If he did, he didn’t say anything.

I was so thankful to get out of that airport that day! It was certainly a day I wouldn’t forget!

 

 

A Little Laugh to Start Your Day Off Right :)

Years ago, I took a flight out of Atlanta to go on vacation. As the plane backed out of the terminal, I looked out the window and saw a large sign that said “Baggage Carts Must Yield To Oncoming Aircraft”. I started laughing and thought “What idiot in a baggage cart is going to take on a 747??”

Is that sign really necessary??

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Laughter IS the Best Medicine!

Have you ever laughed so hard that you feel like you can’t breathe and your abdomen is going to explode? ¬†Well, that’s a good thing! ¬†All that wonderful laughter is an excellent workout of your abdominal muscles! ¬†What a fun way to do an abdominal workout – no panting, no sweating – just laughing your head off!

Laughter is chock full of health benefits, both mental and physical.  This will be a two part blog, and today I will focus on the physical benefits of laughter.  Just watching something really funny and having a good, hearty laugh can improve your health in many ways physically!  Just check out the benefits below:

1.  Strengthens your immune system by increasing the levels of immune cells and antibodies that fight infection.

2.  Lowers blood pressure by increasing blood flow.  This can have a protective effect on the heart.

3.  Has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.

4.  Reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and triggers the release of endorphins, relaxing the whole body.

5.  Increases memory and learning.

6.  Improves alertness and creativity.

7.  Reduces pain and increases energy.

So go ahead, laugh like you’ve never laughed before! ¬†It’s great for your health!

I am a huge Seinfeld fan. ¬†The following video is part 1 of Seinfeld bloopers involving Julia Louis Dreyfus. ¬†I found these videos several years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. ¬†Check it out…..I hope you laugh til your abs ache!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Laugh and a Smile

I am the luckiest person in the world to have had such a strong and wonderful grandfather.¬†¬†His incredibly positive attitude had a tremendous impact on me.¬† He endured unthinkable tragedy during his lifetime, but he always managed to keep everyone laughing and always had a smile on his face.¬† He always told his children that when bad things happen, “Just bend over, pick up the pieces, and keep going.”

Grandpa was born in 1901 in Kentucky, and he lost his father, Caleb, in 1905. ¬†Caleb was also a very strong and likable man although he would become difficult when he had a few drinks. ¬† One night while out drinking, he managed to anger a group of men, and they ended up stabbing him. ¬†On his death bed, Caleb told the family, “If I live, I will take care of it. ¬†If I don’t, I want you to forget about it.” ¬†He did pass away, and the family did as they were told. ¬†These men were never convicted of murder.

Grandpa was never close to his mother. ¬†In fact, when she passed away,¬†it was the first time Grandpa’s children knew they had a grandmother. ¬†The story is that Grandpa lived with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, but it wasn’t an easy life. ¬†When he was about 11 or 12 years old, the family cow got her tail hung in a fence during a lightning storm.¬†¬†His sister-in-law told her son to stay in the house, but she told Grandpa to¬†“go out there and get that cow loose. ¬†If you get hurt, I don’t care.” ¬†It was at that point that he ran away from home and ended up living with a farmer helping him¬†to raise¬†tobacco. ¬†His wages for a year’s worth of work was a suit of clothes. ¬†Eventually he ended up working in the steel mills during World War I.

My grandmother, Mary, was very shy and quiet, and she and grandpa had four children – John Jr., Wayne, Jim and Marian (my mother). ¬†Grandpa worked¬†in oil fields, and the whole family lived a very simple life. ¬†Although he loved to laugh and smile, he was also a bit onery. ¬†At one point he was fired from a job for calling his boss a “lying son of a bitch”, and the family says he really was!

Mary suffered terribly from allergies, and each year they would drive up to Michigan in the springtime so she could get some relief.  One year, Mary and their two oldest took off for Michigan leaving Grandpa, Marian and Jim behind in Kentucky.  Grandpa went on to work, but an hour later he came home and told them to pack up.  He borrowed a 1937 Ford Coupe and ended up arriving in Michigan about an hour behind Mary and the boys, much to their surprise.  He was so worried about them driving to Michigan alone!

Mary passed away in 1940 after struggling several years with breast cancer. ¬†She was at home and died with family all around her. ¬†Marian was only five years old, so my grandpa made sure to protect her from seeing what was happening with her mother. ¬†“Take her down to the drug store and get her anything she wants.” ¬†He handed Jim, John Jr. and Wayne a $5.00 bill which back then was a huge amount of money. ¬†He didn’t want her there when the undertaker came to take Mary to the funeral home. ¬†His family was always his number one priority. ¬†Even though he clearly was struggling terribly with the death of his wife, his first priority was to make sure his family was alright.

Rhoda was grandpa’s second wife. ¬†They had two children together and ended up being married for over¬†50 years. ¬†I always knew Rhoda as my grandma since I never knew my biological grandmother.¬† Rhoda was such a sweet and positive lady.¬† In fact, a priest told Grandpa, “J.C., I will never understand how an old devil like you got an angel like that!”

In 1956, John Jr. suddenly became¬†ill. ¬†He came down with a terrible headache at work and went home to his wife.¬† Later when he¬†was taken¬†to the hospital, the doctor¬†determined that he had a ruptured brain aneurysm. ¬†The neurosurgeon told the family that there was nothing he could do, and it was just a matter of time.¬†¬†He passed away the next day.¬† Grandpa really suffered¬†with¬†this loss of his oldest child.¬† He always said, “It hurts to lose your mother, and it hurts to lose your wife, but the greatest hurt of all is to lose a child.”¬† Even so, Grandpa again¬†was the rock of the family, and his strength kept him going even through this tragedy.

Even after all these terrible events in his life, Grandpa was still able to maintain his sense of humor. ¬†He always found a way to make others smile and laugh.¬† According to Marian, he would always get his words mixed up. ¬†Sales tax would be “tale sax” and seat belts were “belt seats”.¬†¬†Marian and her cousins¬†would give him a hard time about this, and they would have Grandpa laughing in no time. ¬†He never stayed angry. ¬†His favorite songs were “You are my Sunshine” and “Precious Memories”, and he would whistle or sing these songs off key….but he was happy and smiling! ¬†His favorite foods were soup beans and cornbread, and he loved to fish, go to horse races, have picnics, watch and listen to baseball games, and tell jokes. ¬†Although he liked to fish, he was afraid of boats and water. ¬†He had a chance to go to Argentina for a job in the oil fields, but he didn’t go because he would have had to ride on a ship.

Marian attended Nazareth College in Kentucky, and at one of the campus concerts which were very formal affairs, Grandpa’s sense of humor reared its head again. ¬†While walking into the concert, a student handed a program to him. ¬†He looked straight at her and said, “I can’t read.” ¬†My mom was so embarrassed! ¬†Of course he could read! ¬†He walked into the auditorium laughing and smiling, yet again.

Grandpa chewed tobacco for most of his life, and I vividly remember him sitting in his favorite armchair with an old red ¬†Folger’s coffee can next to him. ¬†He would sit and spit into this can while telling us old stories and smiling. ¬†Many times, he would ask his grandchildren if we “wanted¬†a chew”. ¬†Of course, he was kidding as my parents would have had a fit if we did that, but he would always ask us and laugh about it.

Grandpa also used to love to tease my dad. ¬†Every time we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa, my dad would forget some item of clothing – belt, shoes, socks, and the like. ¬†One time, my dad forgot his sport coat, and grandpa let him borrow one of his.¬†¬†My dad didn’t get away with it without a smart remark from Grandpa. ¬†He said “I hope you don’t ever forget your pants. ¬†Son,¬†in this state, they’ll put you in jail if you come down here without your pants!”

My biggest memory of my grandpa was his storytelling. ¬†One of his favorites was about his father-in-law. ¬†While working¬†in the oil fields, Dan (Grandpa’s father-in-law) flew up to Winchester, Kentucky in an open cockpit airplane. ¬†He chewed tobacco and would spit through the cracks in the floor of the plane.¬†¬†Suddenly the plane hit a downdraft, and the spit came back up and hit him squarely¬†in the face! ¬†I can still see it today – Grandpa sitting at the end of the dining room table and laughing while telling this story!

One of my cousins recently shared a story with me about a visit with Grandpa.¬† They were talking about how smart their dogs were, and Grandpa insisted that his dog was smarter.¬† My cousin said “Maybe, but I can tell my dog to go to the pasture and get cow #32 and bring it back to the barn, and he would do as told.”¬† Grandpa chuckled, said a few choice words, and then got up and went home.

Even though he loved to laugh and smile, things still bothered him. ¬†One day, he and Jim were riding in the car, and he suddenly blurted out “That son-of-a-bitch said he got it all.” ¬†Jim replied, “What are you talking about?” ¬†Grandpa said, “That damn doctor said he got all your mother’s cancer.” ¬†Even after 45 years, she was still on his mind!

In the late 1980’s, Grandpa had the first of several strokes. ¬†After the second stroke, he was confined to a hospital bed in his home, and Rhoda cared for him. ¬†I went to visit him, and it hurt me to see this vibrant man in such a condition. ¬†He called me over to the side of his bed, pointed to a picture on the wall¬†of him and Rhoda and said, “You see that picture?” ¬†I said “Yes”, and he¬†replied “You know I had to marry her. ¬†I was her last chance.” ¬†I looked at him and a huge smile came across his face. ¬†We both started laughing, and that sadness quickly left me as I knew Grandpa was still happy even in his weakness. ¬†Rhoda went walking by, and she saw he was up to something. ¬†She said “What’s he saying?” ¬†I told her, and she just waved him off saying, “Aww, you know how he is.” ¬†She walked away smiling. ¬†Even though¬†he was very sick, he still was able to make us all laugh and smile.

Eventually, Grandpa had to be moved to a nursing home.

The last time I saw Grandpa had the most impact on me. ¬†It was a visit with him that I will never forget. ¬†I was told before this visit that he may not know who I was. ¬†I walked in, and Rhoda introduced me as Marian’s daughter. ¬†Grandpa looked intently at me, but there was no reaction. ¬†I knew he didn’t know who I was, however he never took his eyes off me. ¬†I talked to him, and he looked like he was just trying so hard to figure out who I was. ¬†I was so sad, but I never let him see those emotions because I wanted this to be a good visit with him. ¬† I just knew this would probably be the last time I would see him. ¬†When it was time to go, I said goodbye, and a¬†flash came over his face, like a light bulb just turned on. ¬†Rhoda saw this reaction, and she said, “This is Maria, Marian’s daughter. ¬†Do you remember her?” ¬†He smiled and gave me little nod to indicate that he knew who I was. ¬†That was the last time I saw him. ¬†I will never forget that the last memory of him and his precious smile.

Even though grandpa had some deep valleys in his life, he was always able to keep a positive outlook.  My memories of him were always accompanied by a smile on his face.  He constantly looked for ways to laugh and joke around.  I was so amazed at his strength and his ability to smile even under the bleakest of circumstances.  He has taught me so many lessons, but the most important is that we have the choice of how we respond to the events in our life.  Even in the darkest valleys, we can choose to respond with a laugh and a smile.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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