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How to Find — and Spread — Joy

“I spread joy through notes and gifts. After my downstairs neighbor gave us Parmesan cheese when we had none and needed some, I replaced it and included a six-pack of Narragansett. I put Post-its on five of the beers saying “Thank/you/for/being/a totally great, considerate, awesome” and then circled ‘neighbor’ on the sixth beer.”

Pamela Roy, New Haven, Conn.


“Every Monday morning I send a postcard to my three elderly aunties. They live far away and because of Covid cannot have visitors, and calling on the phone is cumbersome because of hearing and other health issues. So, at the start of Covid I started a ritual of writing to them and putting cards in the mail every Monday morning. I haven’t missed a week yet! And, of course, it makes me feel good, they enjoy the anticipation of mail and it gives me time each week to reflect on the world, from large stage (politics, weather events, movies to watch) to small world (critters in the yard, walks taken, dreams had, memories shared).”

Laurie Zyons Wood, Manitou Springs, Colo.


“I don’t go into work every day but have to go in about once every two weeks. Along the way I stop for an egg sandwich at a drive-through. I always pay for the tab of the car behind me, no matter the price. Makes me smile and I hope is a good start to their day too!”

Mary Bell, Portland, Ore.


“This past weekend, I enlisted my daughter-in-law Gayle’s help to make a Ukrainian food takeout menu for 20 family and friends. I made pierogies, of course — two kinds: sauerkraut and bacon and mashed potato and Cheddar cheese — holopchi (cabbage rolls), Ukrainian sausage and crepes (nalysnyky) with cottage and ricotta cheeses. Of course, we topped the pierogies with bacon bits and sautéed onion and ate them with sour cream. The recipes are from the cookbook ‘The Prairie Table’ by Karlynn Johnston. My daughter-in-law made a salad of cooked chopped beets, carrots, sweet onion and dill pickle with a dressing of vegetable oil and vinegar with some dill pickle juice. And, for dessert, she made a delicious sheet cake. We packaged all of this in takeout containers, kept the hot food warm in the oven and enjoyed short visits with our family and friends who came for takeout on a cool Sunday afternoon.”

Lucelle Prindle, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

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