Have you ever noticed that life might seem to be rolling along smoothly when, suddenly, a little speed bump appears. Many people take this right in stride as a normal part of life, which it is. They proceed as if nothing was unusual. Me? Heck, no! I internalize . . . and start worrying.

Experience over the years, though, has taught me that even in some of the worst events, things work out — whether I worry or not. The magic trick at this point is to take a deep breath, make a plan to cope with whatever is causing the stress, and implement that plan. It works for me! One day last week I was talking on the phone with an old high school buddy and received the comment, “You’ve led such an interesting life!” I paused for a moment and realized that, had things gone the way I had “planned” all those years ago, my life might have been pretty dull. So, why worry? I’d worked my way though many a crisis before and could handle a little one again. All right, what was causing this consternation? It was an impending influx of company.

Let me say here that our house is small enough that it cannot accommodate a crowd. The sleeping limit is two people; that is, if they sleep together. That could possibly be stretched to three if one of them could sleep on the sofa and was not afraid of having a cat snuggle up to them in the middle of the night. This crowd was composed of relatives who knew our limitations and they had made arrangements to stay at a local motel, thus eliminating a lot of worry right off the bat. I relaxed even more when I realized that they had come with an agenda of what THEY wanted to do and whom THEY wanted to visit. Less worry there. My next plan was to determine what meals (and shopping to be done) they would be eating at our place. Of course, our kids would be here, as well, to eat and visit. All of that planned, I started to relax and knew that as soon as they arrived, I would relax and enjoy their company.

1) One of the first requests, once they got here, was to find a foreign car repair shop to check out a problem they had with their car. On the third try we found the right garage and they checked the car, and made repairs. Let me add here that we had purposely brought two vehicles that day, just in case, so everybody stayed with them and their car, while I headed over to keep a short check up at the doctor’s. That didn’t take too long and when I got back to the repair shop, the car was almost ready to go. They had driven here from Alaska and were concerned about the drive back, with the possibility of car trouble. I can identify with this! Once the repair was finished, two families stopped worrying!

2) We had decided to go over to Dardanelle and head for Petit Jean Mountain, before continuing on to see another relative in Morrilton. It was a beautiful day and all seemed well — until we started seeing emergency vehicles coming toward us. There were at least two ambulances and lots of other vehicles with flashing red and/or blue lights. Later we found that someone had slipped off a trail and took a nasty fall. After two hours, they were brought to the top of the trail and air-lifted by helicopter to the hospital. Later, it was said that the person did not have life-threatening injuries. This just served to remind us that we had nothing to worry about.

3) I’d planned on one big meal at our house, but we ate out a couple of times and didn’t have to worry about all the details. This also enabled us to relax and visit — sometimes long after the plates were empty. That was nice.

4) The morning they arrived we were greeted by the fire in London, UK, about three miles from where we had stayed. Also there was the shooting in Alexandria, where we had visited our son-in-law’s mother a number of years ago. Once again we were thankful to have been to both places without being in the midst of tragedies.
Right now I’m busy counting our blessings and I can’t help but think of an old publication. How many of you remember Mad magazine? What about Alfred E. Neuman? Remember that he always said, “What, me worry?” That’s pretty good advice. Don’t you think so?