Tickled silly

The stage is set for the performance of your life.  Break a leg! California Shakespeare Theater, Orinda, July 2003

The stage is set for the performance of a lifetime. Break a leg!
California Shakespeare Theater, Orinda, July 2003

“Optimist: someone who isn’t sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play.”Robert Brault

One year ago I wrote about my precious Aunt Peggy, who has survived things that might have left less optimistic people feeling bitter.  Peggy is one of those people who are tickled pink just to be in the play, and she’s still one of the leading stars in my cast of characters.  Comedy or tragedy, her timing is perfect and her spirit is one in a million.

We all need some optimists in our life, to remind us that the show must go on, and we’re lucky to be part of the production!  Who are the stars in your show?

One year ago today:

A virtue in itself


  1. singleseatfighterpilot

    The stars? Three bushes (George H.W.,Barbara, and George W.); and working in closer to home: Jackie, Carla, and julia.

    • Don’t forget Barbara Billingsly, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver!

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    Oops, change last three names to Jackie (the man), Carla, and Julia. Also featuring Al.

    • Too late! I’ll go back and omit the last names. You forgot to add, “special guest appearance by Don Knotts as Barney Fife.”

      • Sheila

        Is there a sniff coming on? 🙂

  3. HarryS

    Are you an endless wellspring of inspiration?

    • Wow, Harry, what a compliment that is! I’m a wellspring of something, but I haven’t yet figured out what. I do know that I have a mind that is never still, a family that managed to put up with me, and a God that never gives up on me. 😀

  4. Heba

    I couldn’t agree more! 🙂
    I believe Julia that you are one of those optimistic, reminding characters in life!

    • Heba, thank you so much! How are you? I hope that this post has found you doing well. I appreciate your encouragement.

      • Heba

        I’m fine! Thanks for asking ^_^
        Thanks for this kind and lifting environment!

        • ❤ 🙂 ❤

  5. Good morning, Julia! Thank you for that quote from Robert Brault. I think I will have to post that in my cube at work. Sometimes we all take ourselves too seriously (myself included) and need to step away from the situation to see the humor of it.
    My Granny Becky laughed quite a bit toward the end of her life – yes, she had all of her faculties about her – but she re-married when I was in eighth grade, about eleven years after my grandfather passed away, and she was almost giddy ever since! It was so delightful.
    Have a great day!

    • Susan, WOW, your Granny’s second husband must have been an amazing guy. No doubt that was one reason she kept all of her faculties intact! They say laughter really is the best medicine.

  6. raynard

    Julia, Correct me if I’m wrong . If someone said ” The whole world is a stage( As I sing that song” He’s got the whole world in his hands) then I’ll stand behind” the cartoon lady on the into of the old Carol Burnett Show and the Old street sweepers that use to ” clean up behind the horses” I digress. I accepted the role of” the behind the scenes guy / Dirty jobs that dont always ” get glory and recognition”. Most sports is like that but too many want” to be on the highlights of” ESPN sports centers every night. I was just doing one of my men’s devotions reading 1 Samuel 17. I call it today ” My spiritual Rocky as the trumpets sound.. It was just what I needed as my wife and I face a uphill battle this coming weekend going to NJ.. If I just speak what God wants me to say and when to say it, I’ll be fine.. Keep us in your prayers. Be blessed

    • Raynard, I just love that Bible story too. It is kind of like “Rocky” in a way, isn’t it? Everybody saw David as a long shot, but he knew better. Speaking of playing the role behind the scenes, it reminds me of that line from my favorite Jethro Tull song (“Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day”):

      “Did you ever get to feeling that the story’s just too real and in the present tense,
      or that everybody’s on the stage, and it feels like you’re the only person sitting in the audience?”

      One thing for sure, the guys whose names are in the ending credits of the movie may not get top billing, but no star can make a movie without lots of help.

      I will keep praying for you and your wife as you seek to help her family in NJ. I know you’ll get lots of prayer support from readers here and at UR. Thanks for being here with us.

  7. Ann

    Love the quote!

    You are my favorite optimist.

    • WOW, thank you Ann! That’s quite a nice thing to hear. There are so many great optimists out there! Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Life has its ups and down. When life knocks me down, I remember that I’m alive, and so there’s hope. I’m a star in my show. I like your aunt Peggy! 🙂

    • How I wish you could meet her in person! You’d like her even better. There’s a quote I like that says “success means getting up at least one more time than you fall,” but on reflection, we don’t even need to do that; we just need to get up however many times we fall. (Assuming we are standing to begin with.) I hope you get a great script this week and have an award-winning performance! Thanks for being here.

  9. Julia, I have quite a supporting cast in so many ways. Of course my leading man is “William C.” and the stars of our show are Ashley and Stephanie and the 6 grandchildren. Faye is the friend that comes to mind that is always there saying, “The show must go on!” and I love her for the supporting role she plays in my life. 🙂

    • Sheila, I can always tell when there is a great supporting cast – the stars really shine! Thank you for helping me keep this show on the road. 🙂

      • Walter’s 2 cents: Juia, when I fly the coop, I sure hope I can find you. Is there a chance that Aunt Peggy and Sweetie could be on your stage? 🙂 As for you, I wanted to say, “When you’re a star, you’re a STAR!” 🙂

        • Walter, if Sweetie has anything to do with it, they will surely be on stage when you come. Sweetie is a bit of a “diva” and may get jealous if I take too many photos of you instead of her — so I’ll have to get that out of the way when she’s not there. She loves to pose! Until I met her, I had never seen a bird strike poses for a photographer and then fuss when the focus went elsewhere. Aunt Peggy has spoiled her, just as she spoils everyone else she knows!

  10. Peggy

    I don’t know what to think about this wonderful tribute from you. You sure did lift me up today, and I be smiling all day, and remembering all of our wonderful talks we’ve had. I love you,

    • Peggy, I’m so glad you saw this. I started to send it to you, but decided to wait and see if I heard from you. I love you!

  11. I had an aunt who was spectacular and who still has a huge influence over the way I think about things, despite not being physically present for almost thirty years. Currently, I have to admit that living with a puppy keeps my eyes wide open when it comes to living in the moment and experiencing pure joy. Who knew! 🙂

    • Pauline, isn’t it wonderful how those who touch our lives in a beautiful way will always be there as an influence even when we have been parted from them? Yes, a puppy keeps one’s eyes wide open (in more ways than one) and like a new baby, it always seems surprising how much they require AND how much they give back in return. I’m so happy you have a (relatively) new furry friend in your world!

  12. The stars in my show? That’s the easiest question ever 😀 My goodness, there’s my whole WP posse that I adore to pieces. I have just had the most fun away with my kindred spirit Alys and then there’s friends I’ve known for life like Deb L. She’s had to manage being a single mom and sole bread winner. All while maintaining her bubbly sense of humour and positive attitude. I tend to surround myself with happy people, I honestly don’t know anyone who’s cranky about life. Not saying there aren’t times when things go off the rails, that’s when your friends need you most and vice versa. Bravo for your Aunt Peggy! Isn’t it just beautiful to share life with someone so special?

    • Yes K, we are beyond fortunate to have all these shining stars in our universe. It’s so much easier to get up and keep going with their inspiration surrounding us. Speaking of which, your blog is a great place to go for an instant dose of “happy!” Thanks so much for being a star in my show too. WP is the ultimate “ensemble cast!”

  13. bobmielke

    That would be my brother in Christ Mr. Marion Malcolm, my best friend from South Carolina. He has a perpetual smile on his face from being the eternal optimist. I’ve known him to be troubled with situations but never to show it with a frown on his face or an unkind word. He was the friend that drove to Oregon from South Carolina in a pickup truck with his new 80 year old bride, just to visit me. We had a grand 3 days together before he continued on his 3200 mile honeymoon drive home. 🙂

    • Bob, anybody on a 3200 mile honeymoon drive with an 80 year old bride sounds like fun to me! I am glad you are blessed to have such a wonderful friend in your life. Such people make life fabulous in the good times and bearable in the bad ones.

      • bobmielke

        Experts claim everyone is lucky to have one or two really good friends in their lifetime. I’ve had about 4 that I keep in touch with on a regular basis. I was so glad to meet Mae, Marion’s new bride. I knew his first wife who passed away after a long illness. I was so happy Marion found someone so quickly. She’s a real trooper and I see them together for the rest of their lives.

        • Bob, I’m so happy you have some great lifelong friends, and especially that you were able to meet Mae. She sounds like a special lady. Not too many people I know who are 80 would take any sort of long trip, let alone a cross-country honeymoon!

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