Holiday greetings. How are you today? I’m awesome; life is good.

In October, the 26th annual milestone dinner took place in Ellis to honor the seniors 80, 90 and 100 years old in our community. At the celebration, I served as emcee, introducing each honoree with a different comment written by an 8-year-old child about their grandparents, such as: “When we take walks, they show us caterpillars and tell us why we shouldn’t step on cracks.” Next, I’d give advice from an old farmer: “Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.” Last, I’d tell a joke.

“Son asks his Mom: Why do you weep and sniffle over a TV program and the imaginary sadness of people you never met?

“Mom says: For the same reason you scream and yell when a man you don’t know makes a touchdown.”

The honorees would tell about their family and years in Ellis. A great time was had by all. After the special celebration, I began to think about that joke. It reminded me of times I laughed aloud or cried after reading a story or watched a show.

I was really touched when a story told of a man dressed as Santa passed out gifts to each child in the hospital. He had been told one little fellow’s mother was in a coma following an accident they had been in. The boy told Santa all he wanted was for his mom to wake up. Santa thought, “That’s a job too big for Santa,” but he prayed with the boy. The next morning, his mom awoke and was holding the youngster on her lap. I was so touched, tears came to my eyes.

The reminders of the Lord's love are all around me. I noticed tender words on the roll of paper towels in the kitchen. They made me smile — live, joy, bliss, shine, grow, happiness. When I took the towel in my hand to wipe up a spill, it brought a smile to my face and feeling of dismay left me.

I have read stories written by people needing help. The Lord listens to all prayers minor to huge, and he answers prayers in different ways. Stories I’ve read in magazines like “Guidepost,” “Angels,” “Mysterious Ways” and Chicken Soup for the Soul book tell the strange coincidental and miraculous answers to some prayers. We have to believe. I believe we need to give God our problems. Write them down in pencil and give the eraser to God.

I’ll close with advise from an old farmer: Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.

Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.