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COURTESY PHOTO Four Ellis County Foster Grandparents were honored for their service with the program at the monthly in-service meeting Feb. 4 at Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays. Those recognized were, form left, Irma Chlumsky, Hays, six years; Rose Patrick, Hays, four years; Gloria Pfannenstiel, Hays, three years; and Karen Noon, Hays, eight years. The Foster Grandparents contribute their time helping children in area classrooms.

A smile is friendly magic

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As I was reading through The Hays Daily News on Feb. 8, I found an advertisement for a dental office. What it stated added to what I wanted to write about this week. It pictured a family of four with beautiful smiles and the headline, "Smile it looks good on you." How true that statement is.

Next, I want to quote the words from a song I sang with my preschool children in the early 1970s. "A smile is friendly magic, so is a warm hello. Your helping hands will bring you friends wherever you may go. And kindly words are magic, so use them when you may. You'll find a world of neighbors making yours a happy day." (Words and music by Sema Williams Herman.)

Did you ever think a smile or a warm hello could be friendly magic, or that kind words are magic as well?

It's like you are a steward of good works when you spread your smile around.

The other day, I found myself singing the song, "When You're smilin', when you're smilin', the whole world smiles with you. When you're laughin', when you're laughin', the sun comes shining through. But when you're cryin', you bring on the rain, so stop your sighin' be happy again. Keep on smilin', cause when you're smilin' the whole world smiles with you ... " (Lyrics by Frank Sinatra.)

I believe that when we smile, others within our small world smile with us. Smiling should make us feel good. It's a cost-free facelift.

Another song I was singing recently, and I don't even have a clue why I know this song because it is almost 100 years old, was "Till we meet again" -- music written by Richard Whiting and lyrics by Raymond Egan in 1918. It was written during the Great War and tells of the parting of a soldier and his sweetheart. Let's see if you remember it. "Smile the while you kiss me sad adieu, when the clouds roll by I'll come to you, then the skies will seem more blue. Down in lover's lane my dearie, wedding bells will ring so merrily, every tear will be a memory, so wait and pray each night for me, till we meet again." Even in sad times, a smile can lift our spirits.

Here's a children's song from the "Peter Pan" movie I thought fits right in with smiling. "Never smile at a crocodile, no you can't get friendly with a crocodile. Don't be taken in by his welcome grin, he's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin. Never smile at a crocodile ... " Ah, the things that humor me, and bring a smile to my face.

Do you remember the jingle that was played on the radio when the Buick, Pontiac, GMC dealership was known as Ben F. Dreiling Motor Co.? If I remember correctly, the jingle went like this. "Keep on smiling, see Ben Dreiling." It was a clever and catchy tune for me to remember it all these years. Back then, I didn't have money to buy a new car, but perhaps you did. Customers had Mr. Dreiling smiling all the way to the bank because he made a profitable sale, and you were smiling because you got a good deal on the clunker you traded in and new car you purchased.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself through the words of the above songs. I couldn't have said it better.

A frown is a smile turned upside down. The way to fix a frown is to turn it around. Smiling can put you in a better mood. It promotes health. Have you noticed when people enter a room and they smile, it brightens up the space. A smile is like a new coat of paint on the wall -- it removes the gloom. When friends or relatives come to visit and you greet each other at the door with a big hello, have you noticed how your faces are covered with smiles of welcome? A smile gladly given brings its reward to you and the recipient. It's an awesome feeling.

Some people put smiley faces on sticky notes or envelopes. Have you ever gotten a letter or email with a smiley face attached? It's a clever idea and brings a smile to my face. As a matter of fact, I'm smiling as I'm writing about smiling. It makes me feel good to share my thoughts with you and to know many of you read and enjoy my articles.

Sharing a smile is speaking without saying a word. So here's a smile from me to you. Hope it brightens your day.

Alberta Klaus is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.

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