Reflections on Laughter

slice-of-life2

I am participating in SOL#17. Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team for creating this wonderful writing community!

My father always said that you only needed three things to live life well: your health, someone who loves you, and a sense of humor. While I never considered my dad to be a particularly wise man, I seem to remember many of his truths delivered over and over again during his lifetime. This advice stayed with me, and although I carried it somewhere inside of me, it is in this last year that it seems to bubble to the surface when least expected.

I married late in life. My husband Ralph and I are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary this spring (and we are over sixty!). Ralph is always making jokes. One I hear each year is about abandoning my passion for writing professional books about the teaching of writing and drafting a book instead about a boy wizard named Larry Smotter (my husband’s ham radio nickname is Larry) who goes to a special wizard school and fights the dark forces.  I just shake my head every time he starts this little joke, especially when our dear friend Tom Wittkamp is around to join in.

Ralph can always create a joke – often a play on words or a riddle – and he usually laughs at his own joke just like my dad. Sometimes, I smile. Sometimes, I giggle. Too often, I just shake my head and say, “That’s not funny.”  My husband is undeterred. He keeps the jokes coming. Ralph says, “Lynne. You are too serious. You need to laugh more.”  I know he is right. I need to laugh. I always feel better after I belly laugh.

Yesterday my husband spent hours outside with the snowblower, trying to remove snow that was packed into icy sheets from our sidewalks and driveway. I cleared the snow off the cars and walked our Corgis. Ralph went across the street to offer our neighbor some help. He took our snowblower and cleared Sam and Sara’s long sidewalk while Sam continued to shovel.

Late afternoon, we finally heard the township plow. I was beginning to wonder if they ever were going to make a pass through our street. Ralph sighed and stood up. I knew he was going back outside to clear all the snow that the street plow had pushed onto our driveway’s apron.  He knew that it couldn’t wait. As temperatures were dropping steadily, that snow would turn into an icy mound impossible to budge.

I offered to prepare dinner – I would make a chicken stir fry if Ralph just helped me out by locating our wok. Ralph went into the kitchen and came back with the wok in one hand and a bag of hamburger buns in the other. I didn’t get it – were we making Sloppy Joe Stir Fry?  Why did we need hamburger buns?  And then the joke delivered: “What do we have here?  Wok (as he extends the wok for emphasis) and roll (the hamburger buns)!  I couldn’t help it. I burst into laughter as the Corgis joined in. “We have to video this,” I said, jumping up and dashing for my phone. And so, I had him repeat his joke while I taped him, and I laughed out loud a second time!

I’ve included some quotes about laughter from goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2682703.  Maybe you have a favorite that you’d like to share with me. I hope you find a reason to smile, giggle, and laugh today!

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”   ― Audrey Hepburn

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.”  ― Seán O’Casey

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”   ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”  ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”  ― George Gordon Byron

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”   ― Mark Twain

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”   ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

19 thoughts on “Reflections on Laughter

  1. Your husband has the same sense of humor my father had! The “wok and roll” was funny and so happy you shared it with us. Remember laughter heals all that ails. Keep it in you life!

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  2. Ralph is a hoot, because your don’t expect him to be joking (I don’t anyway). I love that video.

    This isn’t a quote but I read somewhere that laughing every day can extend your life. A good belly laugh is good for anything that ails you. Ralph is your longevity pill. Take good care of him.

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  3. I too am like you. I need to laugh a bit more.Well, I certainly laughed. I laughed before I even watched the video! I appreciate the quirky sense of humor that Ralph has. I call it stupid silly. I loved hearing the corgis in the background going berserk in the background. That brought on an extra layer of laughter. Thanks, Lynne!

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    • Yes, Amy. This is my husband’s brand of humor. When I posted on facebook, teachers from UMSD said things like, “I miss him (Ralph).” That’s because he could make everyone relax for a minute, smile or giggle. Ralph is right that I am far too serious-minded and work-driven. Diane Dougherty said he is my longevity pill. I am going to remember that taking time to laugh and be silly is as important as anything else!

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  4. I have one of those husbands! Some times I groan and he deserves it, but I love it all the same.
    and once in awhile he hits a winner, like yours! I love how you captures this special moment pulled from the most normal of times.

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  5. Laugh is my OLW this year — I am loving it!! All day, every day we make a choice of how we are going to respond. Laughter is a great choice. Love all the quotes and I plan on bookmarking this so I can see Ralph anytime I need a good dose!! I could hear your laughter before the video — you have a great laugh!
    Clare

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  6. I love this so much. We all need laughter in our life and a person who can help us find that laughter. I knew your husband was a card when I saw him in the background of our Skype session at OWP! And you have a great laugh!

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