Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let the Good News Roll

Yesterday was Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday and today, all the good times have stopped rolling. I'm sure there was plenty of revelry in New Orleans and that some may have been just trying to forget the sad state of affairs that plagues the world today.

Stock prices have plummeted, retirees are having to return to work because their retirement accounts were stolen by fraudulent investment managers, neighborhoods are filled with foreclosed houses and newspapers have headlines every day about horrible people who do horrible things.

But today we're going to celebrate the good things that happen and I'm sharing a few good news stories I found on the web:

Susan Clancy said she is thankful to a homeless man who found and returned her wallet after it was lost on a busy Boston street on Wednesday afternoon. Clancy, 47, a labor and deliver nurse at South Shore Hospital, said she was in Boston Wednesday helping her daughter, Erin, 25, get ready for her upcoming wedding.

But Clancy's happy afternoon came to an abrupt end when she realized on her way home that her wallet was gone. She immediately knew it had fallen off her lap when she got out of a cab to give her daughter a hug. Frantically, she called her daughter to go back to the intersection to look for it.

"I was hoping it was there. It had my license, my debit card, credit cards, but no cash," she said.
But when Erin Clancy got back to the intersection, the wallet wasn't there. She asked a homeless man if he had seen a wallet, and he said he had. The man pulled the small wallet from his pocket, but he wouldn't give it to the woman right away.

"He said he couldn't just give it to her, and she wouldn't want him to do that if it was her wallet. So he asked for the name on the ID, and she told him my name," Susan Clancy said.

The man said he planned to turn the wallet and its contents in to a local shelter.

Erin Clancy gave the man all the cash she had -- $8.

Susan Clancy regrets not knowing the man's name, but said his honesty has changed the way she perceives people living on the street.

Against all the odds, a golden retriever is back home in Washington State, USA, six months after going missing.

The dog, named Buck, fled from his owners last summer after being scared by a train whistle. The seven-year-old retriever survived despite apparently spending most of the winter exposed to heavy snow and temperatures well below zero.

He was finally found taking refuge under a collapsed building, by the kindly residents of rural north-central Montana. "I've never had a miracle happen to me," said owner Kim Halter, explaining that she, her husband and two of their sons were on a family trip to Montana in August when they stopped at a rest stop in the small town of Chester.

After two days of searching in vain, the brokenhearted family continued on their way. Other than put up posters appealing for information, there was little more they could do.It was about 27 degrees below zero the stray dog was spotted on a family farm just north of Chester. He was coaxed with food and kept safely until he could be returned to his owners.Recalling the appeal, the finders called Buck's owners and e-mailed them three pictures.

Confirmation that the dog had an underbite sent the Halters on a 750-mile trip through the night. "He ran right up to us and it was absolutely without a doubt him," Kim said. "It was a miracle. He looked at us and we looked at him and we were all crying. It was beyond amazing. I tell ya one thing, he hasn't stopped smiling since he got home and neither have we."

And in a follow-up to the story of Sam the koala...

From the devastating events of Australia's deadliest wildfires has emerged a heart-warming tale of two koalas who have formed a close bond after being rescued from the flames.

A bewildered female koala, since nicknamed Sam, was found by a firefighter cowering in a burned-out forest at Mirboo North, 90 miles southeast of Melbourne.

After reaching a wildlife shelter Sam met and befriended another koala, nicknamed Bob, who was saved by wildlife workers in Boolarra, about 110 miles from Melbourne.Sam was taken to the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson. Colleen Wood, who runs the shelter, said both koalas were doing well while other animals like possums, kangaroos, and wallabies were also starting to emerge from the debris.

Sam suffered second degree burns to her paws and will take seven to eight months to recover while Bob had three burned paws with third degree burns and should be well enough to return to the bush in about four months."They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs. They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this," Caroline said.

Didn't all those stories make you smile? Good, because smiling makes you more attractive, changes your mood and is contagious. It relieves stress, boosts your immune system and lowers your blood pressure.

Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for the sense of well-being. A smile is a legal, natural and effective drug. Smiling makes your face look younger without the cost of a face lift.

Smiling people are perceived to be more successful, are considered more approachable and are more likely to be promoted at work.

Smiling also helps you stay positive. It's hard to think negative thoughts with a big smile on your face. When I worked in customer service, I attended a seminar on dealing with people. The instructor told us to keep a small mirror at our desks and smile into it before answering the telephone. A smile will translate through the phone lines to the person on the other end.

Heard any good news lately? Please share it with the Playground gang and I'll pick one commenter to win a book from my stash and some yummy Valentine candy I picked up for half price. That made me smile. **g**

P.S. If you glance at the sidebar you'll see that the last time I updated my progress meter I was at 50510 words. I've been writing the past two weeks and am proud to unveil my total as of last night. I'm getting ready to round third base and head into home.

59324 / 60000


Kathy said...

Thanks, PM! These stories uplifted my spirits today. ;)

A smile is a terrible thing to waste.

Smile though your heart seems weary.

A frown upside down is a smile.

Kathy said...

Oh! I'd be remiss if I didn't congratulate you on your word count, PM. I'm proud of you!!!

Maureen said...

Those were some good stories. Thank you and congratulations on your wonderful progress with your story. My good news is that my new nephew was born last week and I am going to see him this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for those stories Marilyn, we all can use some uplifting. And congratutlations on your word rock! I use to be in customer service and was given the same advice. I do believe that your voice can convey over the phone lines a good disposition. I was told many times that my voice conveyed that and trust me, that was a plus in my previous job. My good news is that I have an offer on my home, now if the buyers can come up with $1800.00 I will be able to move on with my life. I plan to move closer to my 3 sisters & my mom.
word verification - ralos (rally on?)

Playground Monitor said...

Yay, Maureen, on becoming an aunt. Is this your first niece or nephew?

And woohoo Ginger! An offer! $1800 sounds like such a small amount of money, especially in the context of billion-dollar bank buy-outs and a trillion-dollar deficit. But on the individual level, it's a lot of money. I have fingers and toes crossed this comes through.

Playground Monitor said...

And Kathy, thanks for the sayings. One of my faves is "Mom upside down is Wow." She also has blood rushing to her head and the neighborhood kids pointing and laughing. ::grin::

Problem Child said...

I'm still smiling about my 4-star RT review. That made me pretty happy...

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Congrats on almost being there, PM! Loved the stories -- I like smiling. :)

I'm still smiling about my editor's praise on Book 2. :)

Claire Winston said...

I love hearing good news. Thank for sharing those stories. Especially the one about the koala bears. They're so cute. And good luck on finishing your book.

Smarty Pants said...

Nice stories, PM. Good news? Uh... my new exercise routine is going well. I haven't missed a scheduled day yet. If I go today and tomorrow, which I plan to, I'm treating myself to a massage. I'm also ranked #16 out of the women in my gym for fit credits, which baffles me. :)

Virginia said...

Thanks PM! These stories were great. Good news is always nice to hear in our world today. Congrats to your word count to, this is wonderful news!

The only good news I can come up is our state is starting to get things back together from the ice storm we had a few weeks back. I think most people have their power back but there still maybe a few without power. Things are starting to look up again!

Sherry Werth said...

Congrats PM on the word count! And the stories were sweet. :)

My entire working career has been office related and answering the phone was part of it. And it's true, if you have a smile on your face and answer the comes through to the caller. I remember once having to tell a caller that my boss wasn't in, which wasn't true but he didn't have time for the call. The gentlemen on the line told me he had never before been so pleasantly lied to and made to feel happy about it.

And congrats to PC and Lynn on your good news!

Angel said...

Sherry, that's so funny!

Today, I'm happy that my business is going well. Clientelle is up and I'm actually making some money, which is never a bad thing. Yes, it cuts into my writing time, but I feel I've served a useful purpose at the end of the day.

PM, I'm so proud of your word count! I know I need to remember to update mine. I'm not used to having them there! I"m sure I'll hear you scream with delight as soon as you cross that finish line.


PM's Mother said...

I have just returned from the noon Ash Wednesday service at my church and the good news is "Jesus Loves You!"

catslady said...

Wonderful stories. My daughter just made the Dean's List which thrills me to death. She's renting an apartment on her own and working too so I'm very proud of her.