The good times

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The text for today's lesson is taken from the pages and pages and pages of memories shared by dozens of women from Altenburg, Mo. These women for decades have earned money for themselves and their families by cleaning houses, mostly in Cape Girardeau, some in St. Louis. Over the years, these women have earned a well-deserved reputation for hard work, honesty, reliability, good cooking and good humor.

Today's lesson, as you might guess, is about doing a job well. Any job. No matter how far up or down the ladder of success.

And today's lesson is also about the heaven-sent gift of being able to view a life of hard work through the prism of good memories, shared good times and plenty of laughter.

When a group of Altenburg women recently gathered to reminisce, the time they spent together was punctuated with laughter -- good, solid, deep laughter. All the toil and sacrifices of getting to town regardless of the circumstances, the unusual expectations of their employers and occasional harsh words were more than tempered by all those times when difficult or out-of-the-ordinary situations could be recalled with a good laugh.

There is healing power in laughter. And it's good for the soul too. What marvelous models of industriousness and perseverance the women from Altenburg are -- and have been for years.

Most of all, members of the Bucket Brigade, thanks for sharing your infectious laughter and your ability to make the most of the good times and not dwelling on the rough patches. We all need to do more of that.

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